Milan Ardeljan Awarded Seaborg Institute Fellowship to Conduct Research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Milan Ardeljan Awarded Seaborg Institute Fellowship to Conduct Research at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Jul 01, 2014
Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Candidate Milan Ardeljan

For UNH mechanical engineering Ph.D. candidate Milan Ardeljan, everything matters ‒ even the tiniest particles. Ardeljan has been awarded a prestigious summer fellowship from the Seaborg Institute at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in New Mexico to develop predictive models for material behavior. At LANL, Ardeljan will examine macroscopic phenomena at micro and nano scales. “I start with the well-known facts,” he says. “Materials that are simple, in theory. I hone in closer and closer on a micro level. It is these small things that can make a big impact on a macro field.”

In a year that drew more applicants than ever before, Ardeljan was one of only ten fellows selected from a nationwide pool of candidates. This summer, Ardeljan will join LANL scientists in independent research projects, attend weekly lectures presented by field experts, and complete research toward his Ph.D. by developing a micro-structural model to examine how materials behave during manufacturing processes.

LANL scientists have encountered problems manufacturing zirconium for nuclear reactors because the thin layers of this composite currently cannot withstand the amount of strain created through the reactions. By studying the reasons for formation and deformation during the manufacture of zirconium, Ardeljan aims to create models of stronger composites able to withstand nuclear reaction strain.

Ardeljan applied for the Seaborg Institute fellowship with the support of his graduate advisor Marko Knezevic, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “Macroscopic behavior of materials can only be understood and predicted if we characterize it at various length scales and link the physics at each scale,” Professor Knezevic explains. Ardeljan is the first Seaborg fellow from UNH, but Knezevic aims to establish a strong relationship with the Seaborg Institute to enable future graduate students from the UNH Materials Modeling Group to perform research at LANL.

The Seaborg Institute Summer Research Fellowships Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the G.T. Seaborg Institute for Transactinium Science.

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