Mines Graduate Student Lands Department of Energy Appointment

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South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Ph.D. candidate Anne-Marie Suriano has been selected to receive the 2015 Science Graduate Research Award from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. Suriano will investigate the electrodeposition of ultra-high purity copper alloys for use in low background experiments, an extension of her current work helping to create the purest copper in the world for the Majorana Demonstrator Experiment at the Sanford Underground Research Facility.

The aim of the grant is to develop a method to create these ultra-radiopure alloys for high-energy physics purposes, but they can also be used as detector parts for nuclear physics projects such as Majorana.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology Ph.D. candidate Anne-Marie Suriano has been selected to receive the 2015 Science Graduate Research Award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.

Suriano, who is pursuing her doctorate in the materials engineering and science program, will investigate the electrodeposition of ultra-high purity copper alloys for use in low background experiments such as those at the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF). This research is an extension of her current work helping to create the purest copper in the world for the Majorana Demonstrator Experiment at SURF’s 4850 level, alongside Cabot-Ann Christofferson, Mines faculty member and liaison and deputy director of the experiment. The Majorana project is searching for evidence of neutrinoless double-beta decay. Its detection could help measure the mass of the neutrino.

“The aim of the grant is to develop a method to create these ultra-radiopure alloys for high-energy physics purposes, but they can also be used as detector parts for nuclear physics projects such as Majorana,” said Suriano.

Suriano’s one-year DOE appointment will begin May 2015 at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory located in Richland, Wash., where she will work under Eric Hoppe, a leading expert in the field. Suriano said her grant will allow her access to the necessary equipment and lab space to successfully complete her dissertation.

The goal of the DOE program is to provide graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories in order to prepare students for critically important science, technology, engineering and math careers by addressing challenges central to the Office of Science’s mission.

For more than 50 years, the Department of Energy has supported the education and training of scientists, engineers and technology specialists to maintain the workforce needed to address the nation’s complex challenges. The DOE Office of Science has the responsibility to train the next generation of scientists who will carry out its mission – to deliver the discoveries and major scientific tools to advance the energy, economic and national security of the United States.

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About SDSM&T
Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,798 students from 45 states and 39 foreign countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The SD School of Mines placement rate is 98 percent, with an average early-career salary for graduates of $65,600, according to the 2014-2015 PayScale report. Find us online at http://www.sdsmt.edu, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sdsmt and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sdsmt.

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