Contact: Steven Winters

Human Resources Generalist

Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

(734) 764-4261

1902 Cooley

Two NERS alums have won University of Michigan Alumni Society Awards. Marvin Adams (MS NERS 84, PhD NERS 86) received a 2016 Alumni Society Merit Award, and Kristine Madden (BSE NERS 2009) was honored with the 2016 Outstanding Recent Graduate Award.

"The NERS department is extremely proud of our graduates. It is very unusual to have two winners from the same department win College of Engineering Alumni Society awards."

Adams holds an endowed professorship in the Nuclear Engineering department at Texas A&M University and directs the Institute for National Security Education and Research. He joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1992, after working at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Tennessee Valley Authority's Sequoyah Nuclear Plant. At Texas A&M, he has served as Associate Vice President for Research and as Director of the Center for Large-scale Scientific Simulation. He also has been recognized with a number of teaching awards.

Adams serves on the U.S. National Academy of Science Committee on International Security and Arms Control, which engages with scientists in China, Russia and India on critical problems of international security. He has chaired the Weapons Science Review Committee at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and chaired the Predictive Science Panel at the Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories, in addition to serving on numerous other advisory and review committees at U.S. national laboratories.

Adams' research focus centers on numerical methods for large-scale scientific simulations, methods for quantification of uncertainties, and methods for efficient use of massively parallel computers.

"When I came to UM for grad school, I didn't know what I wanted to specialize in, but I was excited about computational work," he said. He began working with professors Bill Martin, Ed Larsen, John Lee and James Duderstadt. "It was a very inspiring team, and they prepared me well."

The inspiration and mentorship continued. After Adams earned his PhD and went to work for Lawrence Livermore, he was able to hire Larsen as a consultant. "We worked closely together, and Ed had a lot to do with preparing me for academia," said Adams, who has been part of several collaborative research projects with NERS faculty since he left UM 30 years ago. 

Adams said he was "surprised, grateful and humbled" upon learning that he won an Alumni Society Merit Award. While on campus in October, he spoke with students and gave the NERS Fall Colloquium. His presentation was entitled, "Challenges and Some Recent Progress in Computational Transport.”

Madden currently works as a nuclear safety officer with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. She was selected to serve a two-year appointment, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Junior Professional Officer program. She has also worked with Holtec International, for which she managed projects in the United Kingdom and the Ukraine, including for the Chernobyl Independent Storage Facility 2 project.

At IAEA, Madden is working on licensing for small modular reactors (SMRs). Currently, she is facilitating a study among regulators from multiple countries to adapt design safety requirements for light water reactors to SMRs, including light water, floating light water and high temperature gas SMRs.

"These are the technologies that are closest to being ready for near-term deployment," she noted. "It's really cool to be leading the charge. All the vendors we contacted are participating in the study, which is rare and a great opportunity since, because the work is being done by the IAEA, participants can take the results back to their home countries."

Madden also serves as a volunteer with North American Young Generation in Nuclear and on the board of directors of the International Youth Congress.

"It's important to share operating experience on a global scale," she said. "Meeting people from around the world provides opportunities to get out of domestic siloes and see that someone in another country might be doing something better. The U.S. nuclear industry shares best practices, and being able to do that internationally is critical, especially for countries with developing nuclear industries."

On winning the Alumni Society Outstanding Recent Graduate award, Madden says that "being honored by such a prestigious university, especially by its top-ranked nuclear engineering program, is really quite humbling."

(picture, l-r: Madden, Adams)



Article topics: Nuclear

About Michigan Engineering: The University of Michigan College of Engineering is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Eight academic departments are ranked in the nation's top 10 -- some twice for different programs. Its research budget is one of the largest of any public university. Its faculty and students are making a difference at the frontiers of fields as diverse as nanotechnology, sustainability, healthcare, national security and robotics. They are involved in spacecraft missions across the solar system, and have developed partnerships with automotive industry leaders to transform transportation. Its entrepreneurial culture encourages faculty and students alike to move their innovations beyond the laboratory and into the real world to benefit society. Its alumni base of more than 75,000 spans the globe.