Graduate student Chad Durrant selected as Livermore Scholar


Chad Durrant, a nuclear engineering doctoral candidate and Nuclear Forensics Graduate Fellow, was chosen for the highly competitive Livermore Graduate Scholar Program (LGSP) (formerly the Lawrence Scholar Program). The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California runs the LGSP, which grants appointments to top doctoral students to conduct research in the LLNL for up to four years while completing their doctoral thesis.

Durrant has been working closely with a group at LLNL while continuing his studies at Penn State.  He is advised by Kenan Ünlü, director of the Radiation Science and Engineering Center and professor of nuclear engineering at Penn State. As part of the LLNL Academic Collaboration Program Durrant has been working on projects that will help automate the analysis of post-detonation nuclear samples as determining mineral compositions for cesium and plutonium in environmental samples. This work is of significant interest for nuclear forensics sample analysis and in refining environmental reactive transport models.

Under the LGSP, Durrant will be an employee of LLNL and will work with laboratory technical advisors Annie Kersting, director, Glenn T. Seaborg Institute and Dawn Shaughnessy, group leader, Experimental Nuclear and Radiochemistry.

The LGSP plays a critical role in recruiting new scientific and engineering talent to LLNL.


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Shea Bracken



The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

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The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519