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The University of Alabama

UA Graduate Student Wins $150K Fellowship from DOE

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Department of Energy has awarded a University of Alabama doctoral student, Steven Kelley, a three-year, $150,000 Nuclear Energy University Programs Fellowship.

Kelley, a native of Olive Branch, Miss., is pursuing a doctorate in chemistry at UA.

Students studying programs related to nuclear science and engineering compete for the fellowship. The award includes money for tuition and related expenses, a stipend and annual research-related travel.

Kelley’s research adviser is Dr. Robin Rogers, the Robert Ramsay Chair of Chemistry at UA.

Kelley’s research is in the field of actinide chemistry. The actinides are a series of natural and man-made metals best known for their use as nuclear fuel and their role as pollutants in radioactive waste.

Kelley’s research is aimed at understanding how these chemicals behave in a relatively new class of compounds called ionic liquids, which are liquid salts. The research may help find solutions to challenges facing the nuclear industry, such as radioactive waste separation and disposal and actinide transport in the environment, or even strategies for use in next-generation nuclear power generators.

For more information about the fellowships, see

The department of chemistry is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.