The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Tennessee State University have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen research cooperation and provide diverse undergraduate students enriching educational research opportunities at the lab. This collaboration will further cement relationships between the lab and minority serving institutions, encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds to achieve their professional goals.
ORNL is devoted to accelerating the pipeline of future workforce by offering educationally oriented, mission-aligned STEM student experiences with world-class researchers and staff.
“It is important to foster students’ natural curiosity in STEM education and research,” said Susan Hubbard, ORNL’s deputy for science and technology. “Through ORNL’s partnership with Tennessee State University, we will offer hands-on learning experiences, helping students to develop critical skills and a passion to impact their communities through research opportunities.
“The programs also provide an opportunity for diverse students to learn about how national laboratories work to address complex, pressing challenges. Helping to develop the STEM workforce of tomorrow’s problem-solvers is important to ORNL and the nation,” Hubbard said.
While adhering to Tennessee State University’s curricular requirements, students will gain access to educational programs at ORNL as interns during their undergraduate studies.
“This collaboration will strengthen and support our students’ overall preparation and contributions particularly as it relates to the mission of ORNL and the Department of Energy. Furthermore, this opportunity will broaden TSU’s research capacity and capabilities via access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources at ORNL,” said Quincy Quick, TSU’s associate vice president for Research and Sponsored Programs.
Students will engage in research activities through internship programs in DOE mission areas including renewable energy and materials, neutron scattering, fusion and fission energy technologies, national security research, manufacturing, environmental sciences and computer sciences.
Additionally, interns may have the opportunity to work with ORNL’s premier research facilities such as the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (home of the world’s fastest supercomputer Frontier), the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Spallation Neutron Source and the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences – all DOE Office of Science user facilities – plus the DOE Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at ORNL.
ORNL and TSU will commit to increasing the number of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fortifying the talent reservoir for workforce development and fostering collaborative mentoring opportunities for students.
Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 25 master’s degree programs, one education specialist degree and eight doctoral degrees. TSU is a comprehensive research-intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee. With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.
UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science. – Natori Mason