The State of Texas Chapter of the Health Physics Society (STC-HPS) held their annual student presentations and executive council meeting on the campus of Texas A&M University on April 7, 2018. The event featured presentations by students from throughout Texas, including NSSPI graduate students Katie Cook and J.T. Falkner and undergraduate student Jonathan Chen.
Cook was awarded first place in the STC-HPS graduate student presentation competition for her talk titled “Protocol for Studying a Canine in a Contaminated Working Environment.” Cook, a master’s student working with NSSPI Deputy Director and Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering Dr. Craig Marianno, presented her project to examine what happens to dogs when they work in a contaminated environment. Her project seeks to obtain invaluable knowledge that could be used to better understand, protect, and train Search-and-Rescue dogs so they can work safely and effectively in contaminated environments.
Falkner, who will be graduating with his Ph.D. in May, placed second with his presentation titled “Minimum Detectable Activity as a Function of Detector Velocity.” He also worked with Marianno to analyze the performance of a mobile radiation detection system with respect to how fast the system is moving. He did his experiments using a 2 x 2 inch sodium iodide detector attached to a robot traveling between 20-120 centimeters per second and then using a 2 x 4 x 16 inch sodium iodide detector attached to a vehicle traveling between 10-40 miles per hour and compared that field data to computer simulations.