The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) announces the first cohort of CAES Fellows. The six members of this diverse group – a researcher with the US Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and faculty members from Boise State University (BSU), Idaho State University (ISU), and University of Wyoming (UW) – have demonstrated extensive engagement in the CAES community, collaborating with partners at INL and the CAES universities in at least one of the focus areas outlined in the CAES Strategy. Each of the fellows has exhibited impressive leadership: mentoring students, leading research projects and workshops, representing their organization at CAES events, and taking the initiative to create stronger bonds among the members of the CAES consortium. Fellows serve two-year appointments during which they are provided with resources and opportunities to drive further collaboration among the CAES entities.
CAES is a research, education, and innovation consortium consisting of INL and the public research universities of Idaho and Wyoming: BSU, ISU, UW, and the University of Idaho. CAES was designed to harness the power of collaboration among its members – 65,000 students, 8,000 researchers, more than 100 facilities, and nearly $2 billion in annual research funding. From its headquarters in Idaho Falls to satellite centers across Idaho and in Laramie, Wyo., CAES leverages its collective expertise to inspire innovation and impact, empowering students, faculty, researchers, and industry to accelerate solutions to complex energy issues. The CAES Fellows initiative was launched this spring to advance this effort. Here are the 2020 CAES Fellows:
Ron Boring, Idaho National Laboratory
A Distinguished Scientist and Department Manager for Human Factors and Reliability at Idaho National Laboratory, Dr. Boring has been involved with CAES since its inception a decade ago, when he led the Human Systems Simulation Laboratory. He has collaborated extensively with the CAES universities and is a current participant in the CAES Summer Visiting Faculty Program. Boring’s CAES collaboration dates to a Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) award he received jointly with University of Idaho that served as seed money for the advancement of advanced human-machine interfaces for nuclear power plants. This effort led to an additional LDRD award and DOE funding. Boring joined INL in 2003 and has led research projects for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the Department of Defense, and the Norwegian Research Council. Boring holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science from Carleton
University, was a Fulbright Academic Scholar to the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and has published more than 280 research articles in a variety of forums, from human reliability to human factors to human-computer interaction, with an emphasis on nuclear engineering.
Mike Borowczak, University of Wyoming
Dr. Borowczak is the founding director of the Cybersecurity Education and Research Center at the University of Wyoming, where he has been an Assistant Professor of Computer Science since early 2018. Borowczak has championed several CAES endeavors at the university and has been involved in a number of efforts in the cybersecurity focus area at CAES. He has served as the UW lead for the pilot CAES Nuclear Security and Safeguards joint certificate initiative, is a member of the CAES Cybersecurity working group, and was recently granted a joint appointment with INL, which is an arrangement in which a researcher has formal ties to both INL and a university. Borowczak is a current participant in the CAES Summer Visiting Faculty Program. Before joining the UW faculty, he worked in the semiconductor industry and at several start-up companies as a hardware security architect and data scientist. His research has been funded by a range of federal, national, state, and industrial entities, including the National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, INL, and the state of Wyoming. Borowczak holds a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
Brian Jaques, Boise State University
Dr. Jaques is an Assistant Professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University who has been involved with CAES since its opening in 2009, when he worked as a Research Engineer. He has collaborated on several CAES projects in the Nuclear Energy and Advanced Manufacturing focus areas and is currently the BSU Program Manager for the In-Pile Instrumentation Program, an $8 million DOE-funded collaboration between INL and BSU that calls for developing novel sensors for in-pile, in-situ measurements in a nuclear reactor core. Jaques, who recently received an INL joint appointment, is also collaborating on several pending proposals with CAES partners. A participant in the 2019 CAES Summer Visiting Faculty Program, Jaques currently serves as the CAES Nuclear Energy Focus Area Lead at BSU. He holds a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from BSU.
Lan Li, Boise State University
Dr. Li is an Associate Professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University who has been actively involved in CAES seminars, workshops, working groups and proposal development. She is leading the Remote Summer Boot Camp on Computing, Data, and Visualization scheduled for June 8-12 that is sponsored by CAES and INL’s Collaborative Computing Center. Li is currently participating in two projects with CAES entities and has led the development of a computational materials science roadmap report to identify researchers with expertise in the field, equipment, computational power at the CAES institutions, research needs, and funding sources. Li holds a PhD in Nanomaterials from the University of Cambridge (UK). Before joining Boise State, she was a NIST-ARRA (National Institute of Standards and Technology – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) Senior Fellow, working on energy and sustainability.
Mustafa Mashal, Idaho State University
Dr. Mashal is an Associate Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Idaho State University who has participated in several collaborative projects with INL and the CAES universities, including a project he leads that recently received a $1.1 million grant from the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission initiative. CAES provided seed funding for the project, which calls for the construction of a Disaster Response Complex for research, certification, and training of first responders. A participant in the CAES Summer Visiting Faculty Program in 2019 and a current member of the Advanced Manufacturing and Energy Policy working groups, Mashal is also working with the CAES Operations team to pilot a training program for CAES students that is modeled after Battelle’s Laboratory Operations Safety Academy. Dr. Mashal received his PhD in Civil Engineering (Structural and Earthquake Engineering) from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Claire Xiong, Boise State University
Dr. Xiong is an Associate Professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering at Boise State University who has been a CAES collaborator since 2012, participating in several projects involving INL and the CAES universities. Her current projects with INL include a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project with the Energy Storage and Advanced Transportation group at INL, the In-Pile Instrumentation Program, and a project focused on nuclear materials for molten salt reactors. She is collaborating with researchers at the University of Idaho and University of Wyoming on a project aimed at the development of carbon electrode materials. She also has partnered with INL researchers Erik Dufek and Kevin Gering to write a book chapter on batteries, and is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Xiong has co-organized several CAES workshops and contributed to a recent Nuclear Energy roundtable. Xiong received her PhD in Analytical Chemistry/Electrochemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.