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Weltner awarded Nuclear Energy University Program fellowship

First year materials science and engineering doctoral student Ariel Weltner was awarded a Nuclear Energy University Program fellowship from U.S. Department of Energy. This fellowship provides Weltner with $52,000 a year for the next three years to help pay for graduate studies and research, as well as $5,000 toward a summer internship at a Department of Energy research facility.

This fellowship will support Weltner in her research developing flexible energy harvesters for nuclear applications. These energy harvesters could be used to power remote sensors which monitor conditions within nuclear reactors and nuclear waste storage facilities.

“I’m developing materials that convert heat into electricity which can be used for a variety of applications, from harvesting body heat to power wearable technology to turning waste heat into useable power,” said Weltner.

Originally from San Luis Obispo, California, Weltner came to Boise State for her undergrad, and said her three years of experience working with associate professor Paul Simmonds in the Collaboratory for Epitaxy of Nanomaterials Laboratory was critical to her decision to pursue a doctoral degree.

“Dr. Simmonds has an infectious enthusiasm for his work and is a role model for good stewardship of his field. Without a doubt, he is the reason I had the confidence to pursue a Ph.D.,” said Weltner.

Q and A with Ariel Weltner

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?

“Be intentional with who you are and what you say.” – Professor Will Hughes

If you had the power to change any current crisis/challenge, what would you do?

“I’d address the amount of contamination and waste in the ocean and restore its beauty and biodiversity.”

If you had a day off and could spend it anywhere, where would you go and what would you do?

“I would have second breakfast at the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand.”

What song is always on your playlist?

“‘Barcelona’ by Ed Sheeran.”