SEERI Student Interns

Andy Biller (2011-Present)

I am a fresh graduate of the Engineering Physics bachelor’s degree program at New Mexico State University. I have future plans to go on to graduate school to study Mechanical Engineering. In the five summers I have been here, and my experience has been nothing short of extraordinary. I have been given the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects, such as mapping radiation dose in test cells, fabricating a current/voltage calibration pulser, running thermodynamic analysis on energetic reactions, designing lead-shielding structures, evaluating accelerator hardware design, and working on new structures to support accelerator operations. The caliber of the staff, fully-developed student intern program, state-of-the-art equipment, and supporting professional institutions make Sandia National Laboratories a place I can easily see myself starting a career.

Taylor Lane (2014-Present)

Currently studying nuclear engineering at Texas A&M University. His master’s thesis is investigating ways to reduce the error caused by coupling an Implicit Monte Carlo code to a Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes hydrodynamics model. His undergraduate thesis developed novel semi-analytic, self-similar solutions for time-dependent Marshak wave problems. While his schoolwork has focused on radiation transport methods, his passions lie in the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, national security, and the interaction of nuclear science and technology policy. Taylor is currently working on characterizing the time and energy dependent delayed fission gamma-ray flux for use in the ACRR and NuGET. In his free time, Taylor enjoys playing golf, watching college football, and shooting handguns.

Dimitrios Michaelides (2014-Present)

I have recently graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s in nuclear engineering, a bachelor’s in physics, and a minor in being awesome.  Next semester I will be attending the University of Wisconsin at Madison to pursue a PhD in nuclear engineering so that I can one day attain my life long goal of becoming a Jedi.  This is my second summer at Sandia National Laboratories where I have run computer simulations on everything from neutron multiplication in Beryllium to neutron production in heavy metals using high energy gammas.  The work environment at Sandia National Laboratories is great with friendly people and knowledgeable coworkers.  My time here has certainly helped me grow personally and develop my skills all while giving me a sense of purpose with the work that I do.

Don Bruss (2013, 2015)

I am a PhD Student studying Computational Physics in the Nuclear Engineering Department at Texas A&M University.  This is my second summer interning in 1341, the Radiation Effects Theory group.  During my first summer I worked on an residual Monte Carlo method for coupled photon and electron transport.  This summer I’m working to add features to a deterministic radiation transport code that will allow us to perform uncertainty quantification calculations.  My PhD research is on uncertainty quantification for radiation transport calculations with high-dimensional uncertain input data, so the work I am doing this summer is directly related to my dissertation.    Working here over the summers has exposed me to production-level scientific codes, and has allowed me to apply my PhD research to a project with real-world applications.

Luke Kersting (2015)

I am a PhD student at University of Wisconsin – Madison in Nuclear Engineering. This summer I worked at the Radiation Effects Theory Department on Monte Carlo particle transport. In particular, I worked on Monte Carlo Electron particle in conjunction with the ITS team. This summer I  implemented a moment preserving method using the Generalized Boltzmann Fokker-Planck method. I enjoyed working at Sandia and especially with the members of 1341. My time at Sandia has helped me learn more about other research in my field and the direction of particle transport in the near future. Being exposed to some of the research around Sandia through the SEERI program and my research group has help broaden my interests to outside my particular field. I look forward to applying what I have learned to my own research.

Andy Huang (2015)

I am a Ph.D. graduate student in pure mathematics at Rice University. My thesis topic concerns energy minimizing maps between Riemann surfaces and has me thinking about systems of non-linear elliptic PDE’s pretty often. I pursued my summer Sandia internship as a way to see in situ how an applied system of elliptic PDEs is numerically studied (and also as an excuse to hike through a lot of parks in the Southwest!). This interaction helped me to gain more perspective on what should be considered in my more theoretical analyses.

Brandon Fehr (2014-2015)

I am currently a Master’s student at Georgia Tech studying nuclear engineering, but was an undergraduate when I first started interning at Sandia during the summer of 2014.  During my first summer, I created a 3D CAD model of the ACRR transient rod pneumatic system as it is built today.  For 2015, I was brought back on as a contractor to complete a thesis on the nuclear aspects of the transient rod design study.  This project has been very rewarding, teaching me a very valuable program (SolidWorks) and being exposed to the culture of a working environment.  I also tend to spent significant amounts of time after work at Tijeras Arroyo (the golf course on KAFB, one of Sandia’s other perks) honing my golf game.  Also, the yearly tours to visit LANL are some of the highlights of the summer.  All in all, Sandia has been a phenomenal place to work, and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Aaron Olson (2010-2012, 2014-Present)

I am a PhD student in nuclear engineering at UNM. I first interned with the Radiation Effects Theory Department as an undergraduate summer intern and am now a year-round graduate intern.

My work at Sandia has mostly involved uncertainty quantification in radiation transport problems. My current work models particle flux profiles using the polynomial chaos expansion with a Monte Carlo transport solve.

My time with SIP, SEERI, and Department 1341 has been very useful to my early career development by expanding my horizons through seminars and tours, providing opportunities for collaboration with peers and those more established in my field, and helping provide interesting problems to work on for a summer or more.

Sean Grant (2013-Present)

I am a fifth year graduate student working on my Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin. I am in my third summer here at Sandia, and have just wrapped up my first year as a year-round intern. 

I have been working with organization 1646 on both Dynamic Material Properties as well as Diagnostic Development. Primarily this has involved development of a time-resolved ellipsometry technique to optically probe the dielectric properties of samples during dynamic experiments. While this technique will likely have broad applications towards future material property studies, I personally will look to study geophysically relevant materials to help constrain the models of Earth’s core and it’s magnetic field generation. This work, and my continued collaboration with Sandia, will constitute the research for my Ph.D. thesis.

 The group at Sandia consists of a wide range of very bright and welcoming people, who are willing (and often excited) to help out the students when needed. My time at Sandia has given me access to a range of facilities and equipment that would have been hard to come by at my university. Which has not only allowed me to get some excellent research done, but has also broadened the scope of research my university group as a whole is actively engaged in.