CNTA
Ian DeMass

The Robert Maher Memorial Scholarship Award


Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA) and AECOM-Savannah River Remediation (SRR) are pleased to announce Ian DeMass of Aiken as the winner of the 2017 Robert Maher Memorial Scholarship.

The scholarship is sponsored by AECOM-SRR, the liquid waste contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy at the Savannah River Site (SRS).

DeMass is a senior bioengineering student at Clemson University. CNTA Chairman Jim Marra said CNTA is proud to award this $5,000 scholarship to such a deserving student.

"Ian's academic achievements, experience in the nuclear field, and his drive sets him apart from the distinguished set of applications we received," Marra said. "Ian is an outstanding example of the kind of young, energetic students we need to sustain the nuclear industry into the future."

DeMass is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school to study nuclear medicine and its role in medical imaging.

"It is my goal to make significant contributions to advancements in this area, allowing for hospitals and medical clinics to more accurately and more effectively diagnose diseases and detect cancers," DeMass said.

DeMass interned at the Savannah River National Laboratory for two summers, where he conducted research on improving the power generation of betavoltaic batteries using tritium sources. This technology could be used to power medical devices, such as pacemakers.

He has also worked for Surgical Robotics Solutions, where he collaborated with a local surgeon to identify unaddressed surgical robotic needs with potential to advance the technology in the field. DeMass is spending this summer working in the MRI division of Mayo Clinic, where he is using these techniques to help identify malignant cancer tissue.

"The intersection of the nuclear field and bioengineering is a rapidly developing area of study," he said. "Nuclear medicine has the potential to make a profoundly positive impact to health across the world and far into the future."

Ultimately, he wants to have a career to help improve the lives of people, he said.

The Robert Maher Memorial Scholarship is a joint project of CNTA and AECOM-SRR. Maher, Vice President and General Manager for Strategic Mission Development at SRS, passed away in 2002 after a 48-year career at the Site. A visionary with a broad view of the Site's potential, Maher helped shape SRS.

The annual scholarship was established in Maher's memory to support students pursuing science and engineering degrees in preparation for careers in the nuclear field. The recipient will be recognized at the annual Edward Teller Lecture/Banquet.

Previous winners of the award include:


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