Michigan State University
Stewardship science, Juan Manfredi has learned, is more than just assuring the safety, security and efficacy of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.
First, ensuring weapons don’t go off when they’re not supposed to, but will when they’re needed, isn’t as easy as it sounds, he says. Stewardship science also “is concerned with actually understanding the physics behind the nuclear stockpile, which was developed with an emphasis on results rather than understanding. And stewardship science seeks to solve interesting and difficult problems in fields related to stockpile stewardship so that very intelligent people will want to work on them.”
Include Manfredi in that complement of intelligent people. He was drawn to the DOE NNSA SSGF by the prospect of researching nuclear science, particularly fission. The chance to serve a practicum at a national laboratory also intrigued the Michigan State University student.
Manfredi says he’s especially enjoyed professional meetings the fellowship affords him, like the Stewardship Science Academic Programs symposium. His first experience there “taught me a lot about stewardship science and allowed me to meet several people in my field who I had no idea were funded by the NNSA. It’s even possible I’ll gain new collaborators from these meetings.”