NNSA Awards $10 Million Center Grant To Texas A&M-Led Consortium

About the Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M University

A Texas A&M University-led consortium has been awarded a five-year, $10 million Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Center of Excellence program grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) to establish and implement the Center for Excellence in Nuclear Training And University-based Research (CENTAUR).

CENTAUR’s mission is to provide research experience necessary to develop next-generation leaders in stewardship science in the area of low-energy nuclear science to support workforce and research needs relevant to the NNSA mission.

Texas A&M Regents Professor of Chemistry and Cyclotron Institute Director Dr. Sherry J. Yennello serves as the principal investigator for CENTAUR, which will pursue basic research in low-energy nuclear science through experimental, theoretical and technical programs using accelerators at the Texas A&M Cyclotron Institute and Florida State University’s John D. Fox Superconducting Linear Accelerator Laboratory as well as facilities at the other participating institutions. Existing collaborations between scientists at Texas A&M and the NNSA national laboratories — specifically, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory — will be incorporated into center programs and expanded to involve scientists from all partner institutions, which include Florida State, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of Washington, Louisiana State University and the University of Notre Dame.

“These grants ensure a pipeline of the next generation of scientists in areas of relevance to the stockpile stewardship mission,” said Dr. Kathleen Alexander, Assistant Deputy Administrator for Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation in NNSA’s Office of Defense Programs.

Launched in 2002, the SSAA program supports areas of fundamental research and development that are relevant to NNSA’s stockpile stewardship mission and works to recruit the next generation of highly-trained technical scientists and engineers for the nuclear security enterprise.

Roughly two dozen scientists across all partner universities will be involved in CENTAUR, along with their affiliated research groups. One of the center’s major contributions will be research and development expertise related to neutron detectors, which are relevant for both low-energy nuclear science and nuclear security applications. CENTAUR is equally committed to building upon the consortium’s collective tradition of service as an invaluable technical resource and fertile training ground for the nation’s nuclear workforce and future stewardship science leaders.

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