Alison Dreyfuss Receives U.S. Department of Energy Graduate Research Award

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research, or SCGSR, has awarded doctoral candidate Alison Dreyfuss of Keene, N.H. with funding to conduct part of her Ph.D. thesis research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

AlisonThe award will support six months of collaborative research with LLNL physicist Jutta Escher, who is also an LSU alumna.

“Programs like the DOE’s SCGSR awards play an important role in developing the future workforce for the national laboratories, as well as universities,” said Escher.

Dreyfuss will work on a project titled “Understanding nucleosynthesis from a symmetry-informed ab initio perspective.”

“The SCGSR award is giving me the opportunity to develop a new theory for nuclear reactions that will help inform us on how the universe produces the matter that is all around us,” said Dreyfuss, who is working on her Ph.D. in nuclear physics with her adviser, LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Kristina Launey. “This new method will enable studies that support state-of-the-art experimental investigations of nuclear systems, predict nuclear reaction rates in exotic systems, and improve the nuclear physics needed for astrophysical models, among many other applications.”

“It is exciting to see that nuclear physics remains a vibrant field at LSU,” said Escher. “The recent progress made by LSU’s nuclear theory group, in particular the successful integration of modern nuclear interactions in the symmetry-adapted ab initio approach, is quite promising. I am very much looking forward to working with Ali on new applications of this method and hope this will lead to a longer-term collaboration between LSU and LLNL.”

"Ali is a talented young physicist, and I am convinced that, in combination with the strong expertise of Escher and access to state-of-the-art computational resources at LLNL, Ali will make important contributions to the mission of the DOE Office of Science," said Launey.

LSU is one of five universities in the U.S. with more than one graduate student awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Student Research, or SCGSR, program. Along with Dreyfuss, LSU Department of Chemistry doctoral candidate Chunwa Peter Kei of Boston, Mass. is among the 53 awardees. The awards were established to support graduate students to conduct part of their graduate thesis research at one of 14 Department of Energy national laboratories.

The award provides support for inbound and outbound travel to the laboratory, and a monthly stipend of up to $3,000 for general living expenses while at the host DOE laboratory during the award period. The research projects are expected to advance the graduate awardee’s overall doctoral thesis while providing them access to the expertise, resources and capabilities available at DOE laboratories.

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