Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is partnering with Washington State University students to develop new instruments, tools, and methods to support nuclear nonproliferation and international safeguards.

WSU engineering student Matthew McDaniel demonstrates the lift fixture to move a sample into a detection instrument system.
WSU engineering student Matthew McDaniel demonstrates the lift fixture to move a sample into a detection instrument system.

Under PNNL mentorship, student teams design and develop prototype equipment to tackle real-world problems. Completed designs are eventually used to train personnel, conduct tests and experiments, and evaluate hypotheses to further international safeguards goals. The student teams last year worked with Professor Charles Pezeshki and PNNL mentors Leesa Duckworth, Patrick Valdez, and Mark Mitchell.

The students designed and developed a mechanical lift to improve ergonomics of moving a sample into a detection instrument system, modifications for detector enclosures to improve their sensitivity, and a portable cart and racking system to position detectors for field measurements. The program is supported by the National Nuclear Safety Administration’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative.


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