Fusion Energy Week at NC State

NC State’s Department of Nuclear Engineering recently celebrated Fusion Energy Week, a national outreach initiative from May 6 – 10, 2024. The Fusion Plasma Auxiliaries Characterization Laboratory (FPAC) Laboratory led the charge in organizing ten teams of nuclear engineering professors, graduate, and undergraduate students along with participants from other departments.

During the scavenger hunt, teams ventured throughout Burlington Engineering Labs, deciphering clues while utilizing NFC tags to uncover hidden clues. The fastest team successfully completed the hunt in just 43 minutes, highlighting both their agility and problem-solving prowess. All teams were neck-and-neck in their quest, underscoring the event’s competitive spirit and the participants’ shared enthusiasm.

To further enhance the experience, each participant (30 in total) received a unique fusion collectible – a trading card featuring a fusion experiment developed worldwide, providing a memento of their involvement.

Postdoctoral scholar, Kirtan Davda noted –

“There was a noticeable sense of satisfaction, camaraderie, and community-building was evident among all who took part. It was heartening to witness everyone united in their positive outlook towards the future, envisioning the pivotal role of fusion energy in our energy landscape”.

Then during the evening, there was a showing of the Let Their Be Light follows the story of dedicated scientists working to build a small sun on Earth, which would unleash perpetual, cheap, clean energy for mankind. After decades of failed attempts, a massive push is now underway to crack the holy grail of energy. This showing was co-sponsored by the Nuclear Engineering Graduate Student Association (GSA).

Fusion Energy Week was established in honor of Dr. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, an astrophysicist and astronomer renowned for her groundbreaking proposition in 1925 that stars primarily consist of hydrogen and helium.