Patel wins NEUP fellowship

Vishal PatelVishal Patel, graduate student in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, was awarded a Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy.The fellowship provides Patel $150,000 over three years."The best part of receiving this fellowship is that it allows me to create my own topic of research," Patel said. "The elimination of any financial concerns is an added bonus."Patel plans to work with Dr. Pavel Tsvetkov on analyzing the performance, safety and environmental impact of small reactors. Patel is originally from Houston and earned his B.S. in physics at the University of Texas at Austin. Patel said that numerous research options drew him to Texas A&M University for graduate school.The DOE NEUP also awarded one-year $5,000 scholarships to five other nuclear engineering students: Michael Hackemack, Daniel Holladay, Ryan Kelly, William Sames and Steven Smiley.The fellowship and scholarships were part of the $5 million program announced earlier this year from the U.S. Department of Energy. DOE created the Nuclear Energy University Program to help recruit and train the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers - a critical need as the nation moves toward greater use of nuclear energy to meet our energy needs and address the global climate crisis.Written by Dedra P. Nevill,