CAES Summer Visiting Faculty Program kicks off 3rd year

The CAES Summer Visiting Faculty Program (CSVFP) kicked off its third year with a virtual orientation that spanned several days in mid-May. The program, which pairs CAES university faculty with INL researchers on a project of interest to both parties, features 11 partnerships this year. All of the CAES universities were represented. The kickoff event featured introductions from INL leadership, including an overview by Deputy Lab Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer Marianne Walck, and presentations by CAES Director Noël Bakhtian; Ron Crone, Associate Lab Director – Materials and Fuels Complex; John Wagner, Associate Laboratory Director – Nuclear Science & Technology Directorate; Sean O’Kelly, Associate Lab Director – Advanced Test Reactor Directorate; Zach Tudor, Associate Laboratory Director – National & Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate; and Todd Combs, Associate Laboratory Director – Energy and Environment Science & Technology Directorate. Participants had the opportunity to introduce their proposed projects to the associate lab directors. There also were presentations from INL’s Technology Deployment office on CO*STAR, which helps researchers with communications strategies to take their project from the laboratory to market, and on the Rapid Idea Improvement method. The CSVFP is one of the tools used to build and sustain a research collaboration ecosystem in seven focus areas outlined in the CAES Strategy. The program provides faculty with exposure to the inner workings of a national lab, imparting knowledge of national lab capabilities and expertise, while INL researchers are exposed to new diversified funding opportunities and the potential to work and connect with students. CSVFP provides the mechanism to facilitate the initial partnerships and requires participants to develop a joint-funded research proposal for submission to DOE or other energy-focused federal and state agencies. If funded, the proposal will sustain the partnership for years.