Dr Stephanie Thornber wins the ENS High Scientific Council PhD Award 2020

The ENS High Scientific Council is glad to announce the winner of the PhD Award 2020, Dr Stephanie May Thornber, with her PhD thesis “The development of high fraction zirconolite glass-ceramics for the immobilisation of actinides in plutonium residues for long-term geological disposal“, conducted under the joint supervision of Prof. Neil C. Hyatt and Dr Martin Stennett from the University of Sheffield and Dr Ewan Maddrell from NNL.

Her PhD project improved the understanding of both the hot isostatic pressing (HIP) thermal treatment process for wasteform fabrication and the scientific underpinning of zirconolite glass-ceramics.

Key output include the impact of precursor properties and process control quality, the impact of glass formulation on the final crystalline phase assemblage and its relationship to elemental activities in the glass, and the development and demonstration of an optimized glass formulation culminating in the production of plutonium containing HIP samples.

The High Scientific Council congratulates Dr. Thornber for her achievement and wishes her a productive and fruitful research career.

ENS High Scientific Council organised online the final stage of its PhD Award 2020 contest on 10 November 2020.
Together with the winner, three more finalists have been selected by the HSC among the candidates nominated by their national nuclear societies, giving them the opportunity to present their PhD work to the HSC members and discuss it with them. They were:

  • Dr Fluvio Bertocchi – “On Coherent Structure, Flow-Induced Vibrations, and Migratory Flow In Liquid Metal Nuclear Reactors”, nominated by the Netherlands Nuclear Society;
  • Dr Tom Petit –  “Comprehension and modelling of toughness tests with pop in: Application to 6061-T6 aluminium and effect of neutron irradiation”, nominated by the French Nuclear Society.
  • Dr Pablo Romojaro – “Nuclear Data Analyses for Improving the Safety of Advanced Lead-cooled Reactors”, nominated by the Spanish Nuclear Society.

Dr Fulvio Bertocchi, Dr Tom Petit and Dr Pablo Romojaro Otero won the laureates title for this year award, after an excellent performance at the final stage of the contest.