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Valerie GossNanomaterials in the Environment, Agriculture, and Technology IGERT
University of California, Davis
The NEAT-IGERT's emphasis upon interdisciplinary and collaborative research efforts, as described in the program goals, closely parallels my academic and research experiences. My interests are in materials development and applications. Nanomaterials and their varied uses are really fascinating venues for employing chemical and engineering principles. As an incoming graduate student with a diverse research background, I am looking forward to working within the NEAT-IGERT program framework to prepare me for future scientific work with a multidisciplinary approach.
The major thrust of my research efforts will be centered upon thermodynamic studies using specialized calorimetry equipment to determine the energetics of candidate nuclear fuel types.
Research Focus: Energetics of Materials for New Nuclear Fuels
The ability to understand oxygen and actinide behavior in nonstoichiometric oxides and their solid solutions is critical to improving our knowledge of nuclear fuel materials. Gaining thermodynamic data for proposed fuels, and the calorimetric measurements of the uranium oxide-thorium oxide binary system to be investigated in the Thermochemistry Facility at the University of California, Davis is one step toward this goal. High temperature oxide melt solution calorimetry using a Tian-Calvet type calorimeter with a twinned design will be used to measure drop solution enthalpies of uranium and thorium oxide samples. This data serves as a starting point for the thermochemical characterization of solid solutions in systems such as UO2-ThO2, UO2-ZrO2, and UO2-CeO2.
M.S., Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry, 1999, Loyola University, Chicago
B.S., Chemistry: Biochemistry, 1996, Chicago State University
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