June 27, 2023 WI State Legislators tour the Department of Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics Written By: Samantha Vold Departments: Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics Categories: Community|Research On June 1, a group of Wisconsin state legislators visited the engineering campus at UW-Madison to learn about the Department of Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics (NEEP) and the future of nuclear energy in Wisconsin. Tour highlights included: UW Nuclear Reactor (UWNR) with Department Chair Paul Wilson. Ion Beam Lab with Associate Professor Adrien Couet, Nate Eklof, and graduate students. Cold Spray Laboratory with Professor Kumar Sridharan and graduate students. Pegasus-III Fusion Experiment with Assistant Professor Steffi Diem and graduate students. Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX) with Assistant Professor Benedikt Geiger and graduate students. During each tour, attendees learned about the cutting-edge research being conducted in the department and industry partnerships faculty members have throughout WI and the U.S. Rep. Joy Goeben (second from left), Rep. Tom Michalski (second from right) and staff look into the UWNR core with NEEP department chair Paul Wilson (right). Rep. Donna Rozar (third from left), Rep. Nate Gustafson (right), and staff listen as Ali Holden, UWNR licensed operator, explains the process of fission. The UW Nuclear Reactor is an invaluable tool that provides hands-on experience for nuclear engineering undergraduate students and allows for research and industry partnerships, particularly with local Wisconsin companies. Graduate student Evan Willing (left) explains the methods used in the Cold Spray Laboratory. Pictured: Rep. Nate Gustafson, Rep. Karen Hurd, and Rep. Peter Schmidt. Graduate student Cole Dunbar explains the methods he uses in his research. In the Cold Spray Laboratory, they are developing solutions to preserve materials from irradiation and corrosion in the harsh environment of a nuclear reactor. Representatives Donna Rozar and Patrick Snyder examining high-throughput testing plates used by researchers in the Ion Beam Laboratory. Nate Eklof describes the Pelletron charging system used in the Ion Beam Lab’s particle accelerator. The Ion Beam Lab is part of a strategy for developing and testing novel materials that will improve the safety and affordability of advanced reactor concepts, and is a user facility for scientists around the country. Prof. Benedikt Geiger (left) explains the goals of the Helically Symmetric eXperiment (HSX). Graduate students explain the HSX device and focus of their research. Researchers at HSX are exploring novel concepts for achieving fusion energy with the potential for higher performance than traditional approaches. Group photo with Prof. Steffi Diem and the Pegasus-III fusion experiment. Group photo with Prof. Steffi Diem and the Pegasus-III fusion experiment. The Pegasus-III Fusion Experiment group is working to develop novel startup techniques for future fusion power plants.