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CCEE graduate student selected for University Nuclear Leadership Program Fellowship

CCEE master’s student Will Ashe (BSCE 2023) was selected for the University Nuclear Leadership Program Fellowship by the Department of Energy (DOE). The graduate fellowship program provides $169,000 over three years to support graduate research relevant to nuclear energy and includes a summer internship at a DOE national laboratory or approved facility.

Will Ashe

“I am super excited to receive this fellowship,” Ashe said. “Considering it is primarily given to nuclear engineering students, I was shocked to have been selected.  As a civil engineering student, this is a unique opportunity.”

Ashe works with Associate Professor & Edward I. Weisiger Distinguished Scholar Kevin Han and Professor Abhinav Gupta as part of NC State’s interdisciplinary Center for Nuclear Energy Facilities and Structures (CNEFS). The mission of CNEFS is to perform research on innovative but rigorous solutions to problems in nuclear power plants and to transfer this technology to the industry. The solutions reduce uncertainty, increase safety and reduce the cost of operation of existing plants and of building new ones.

Ashe’s research is focused on Finite Element Modeling change detections. As part of the research, he is creating a computer program to automatically detect changes engineers make in Finite Element models. 

“The long-term research project I plan to work on through my Ph. D. is Finite Element to Building Information Modeling interoperability (FEM-BIM interoperability),” Ashe said. “This research works toward allowing global compatibility among structural software platforms.”

Ashe said he hopes to grow as a leader and a student in the program.

“I also want to use this opportunity to become a mentor for other students interested in interdisciplinary research. With my research, I ultimately plan to work toward streamlining nuclear facility construction, making nuclear energy more accessible and feasible.”