Cope & Hart win the 2020 American Nuclear Society Mark Mills Award

Congratulations to S. Joseph Cope and Nathan Hart, they have been selected as the 2020 American Nuclear Society (ANS) Mark Mills awardees. Joseph for his paper entitled, “Incremental Gains in Transuranic Activity Analysis in Air Samples for Radiological Emergency Response”. Nathan for his paper entitled “High Order Implicit Residual-Based Spatial Discretization Error Estimation for SN Neutron Transport”.

Dr. S. Joseph Cope obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering (2016) and Master of Nuclear Engineering (2017) from NC State University. Then in 2018 Joseph completed NC State’s Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Policy. He was a recipient of a Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC) Fellowship. And his dissertation was entitled “Graded Approach Methodology for Rapid Transuranic Activity Estimation in Radiological Emergency Response Air Sampling”, and his Doctor of Philosophy in Nuclear Engineering was conferred December 2020. His graduate faculty adviser and committee chair was Dr. Robert Hayes, Associate Professor & ORNL Joint Faculty,

“Joseph was an extremely motivated student who excelled in everything he set his mind to do. He maintained a perfect GPA both in undergraduate and graduate studies here at State, received multiple honors from the Health Physics Society and was awarded a full fellowship from the Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC) to study radiological air monitoring. He interned at various federal research and engineering facilities including KAPL, ORNL and the remote sensing laboratory – Andrews (RSL-A). RSL-A is one of the federal radiological emergency response centers where Joseph did multiple intern projects relating to his dissertation which included algorithm development and analysis of the federal environmental radiological air monitoring systems. There he was offered a position prior to graduation and now works as a full- time staff scientist. He is now a member of the nation’s primary nuclear emergency response teams. There is no doubt the award is deserved and recognizes his accomplishments in radiological air monitoring research.”

Joseph is now senior scientist at the Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) at Joint Base Andrews. RSL is part of the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and is operated by Mission Support and Test Services, LLC (MSTS) for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

Dr. Nathan Hart obtained his Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering (2015) from the University of New Mexico. Continuing in at NC State Nuclear Engineering to obtain his Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy (2020). He was a recipient of the US Department of Energy Integrated University Program Fellowship. And his dissertation was entitled “A Residual-Based A Posteriori Spatial Error Estimator for the SN Neutron Transport Equation”. His graduate faculty adviser and committee chair was Dr. Yousry Azmy, Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Engineering, CNEC Director & INL Joint Faculty,

“Dr. Hart’s doctoral research addressed the development, implementation, and testing of a novel spatial discretization error estimator for the Discontinuous Galerkin Finite Elements Method (DGFEM) applied to the solution of  radiation transport problems. Error estimation is important because it determines the user’s confidence level in a numerically obtained solution to the transport equation and drives the magnitude of safety margins in subsequent design and analysis activities. Therefore, the accuracy of error estimators is of paramount importance. Equally important is their computational efficiency, that is how much they “cost” as a factor of the cost of obtaining the solution itself. Nate struck a good compromise between these competing demands by innovating the Residual Error Estimator and thoroughly assessing its performance against earlier estimators. Nate’s work ethic is admirable, he is highly motivated, creative, thorough and rigorous in completing his tasks, then going the extra mile without proding.”

Nathan is now a postdoctoral research associate at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He works in the CCS-2: Computational Physics and Methods Division on the neutron transport code PARTISN.

The Mark Mills Award is conferred by the Education, Training and Workforce Division of the ANS and recognizes the important contributions of the late Mark Mills to nuclear science and engineering. It is presented every year to the graduate student author(s) who submit(s) the best original technical paper contributing to the advancement of science and engineering related to the atomic nucleus. The official presentation of the award will be made during the 2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting.