Summer student Crystal Green awarded $5,000 scholarship from DOE

(Download Image) This is Crystal Green's third summer working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Green has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) , which she will use to cover school expenses. Photo by Jamie Douglas/LLNL
Crystal Green, a third-year returning summer student from the Operations and Business PAD's Nuclear Operations, has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP) .

Through the Integrated University Program (IUP), 37 $5,000 scholarships were awarded to undergraduates for the 2013-2014 school term. The rigorous application included three reference letters, a personal career statement, a program eligibility essay and SAT scores.

The scholarship is not a research grant. The money can be used to help cover any costs regarding education. Green plans to use the scholarship money to help pay for textbooks, the GRE test, graduate school applications, graduation expenses and fees.

Born in Augusta, Ga., Green came to the Lab from South Carolina State University, where she is a senior nuclear engineering major with a 3.8 cumulative GPA. She serves as the vice president of the American Nuclear Society Student Chapter; vice president of the American Association of Blacks in Energy Student Chapter; a member of the Honor's College; and a member of the Alpha Xi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. This is her third summer at the Laboratory working for Dave Heinrichs with the Nuclear Criticality Safety Division. The past two summers she has won first place at the LLNL Summer Student Poster Symposium, in which interns show their work during their stay at the Lab.

This summer, Green and another summer student, Una Stephens, used Monte Carlo N-Particle Transport Code (MCNP) to design baseline critical experiments using Zero Power Physics Reactor (ZPPR) fuel for execution at the National Criticality Experiments Facility for Thermal/Epithermal eXperiments (TEX). This simulation involves stacking unreflected layers of Plutonium ZPPR fuel with various thicknesses of polyethylene to mimic polyethylene moderation.

This arrangement will result in a higher percentage of the neutron fissions occurring in the intermediate energy region, which has very limited experimental data associated with it. Computational results will be used for comparison with a homogenized SCALE computational result and later also with the measured TEX experimental data scheduled to be done at National Criticality Experiments Research Center in 2015.

Green also is helping to perform approach-to-critical experiments using the LLNL Inherently Safe Subcritical Assembly (ISSA). ISSA uses highly enriched uranium fuel assemblies. Helium-3 detectors are used to determine the count rate and the neutron fluence for various subcritical arrays. Data from these experiments are being used to help develop the experimental training materials for ISSA. "This scholarship is truly a blessing," Green said. "I wasn't going to be able to apply to all the graduate programs I wanted to because of all the expenses involved with applying to graduate programs and fellowships. But since I have received this scholarship, the sky is the limit for applying to more grad schools."

As a senior, Green also will be eligible to apply for the IUP fellowship, and winning the DOE NEUP scholarship will help boost her chances. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Green plans to attend graduate school, hopefully at Georgia Institute of Technology or UC Berkeley. She hopes to continue her career path in nuclear engineering or shift to medical physics, potentially at LLNL. In her free time, Green enjoys skydiving, river rafting, parasailing and shopping.