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Trustee Scholar Cassidy Ludlow ’03 (Groton, N.Y) is studying different types of insulating materials that protect alloys used in fusion reactions. The work is part of an international collaboration on nuclear energy research among the United States, Japan, Russia, and the European Union under the auspices of Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, Ill.

Ludlow is working as an EXCEL Scholar with Mehmet Uz, professor of chemical engineering.

“We are looking at different types of vanadium alloys and trying to characterize calcium oxide coatings which keep these alloys from melting,” says Ludlow, a chemical engineering major.

The alloys, or refractory metals, serve as the structural material of fusion reactors.

“Vanadium has a high melting point, and it has been selected from a group of alloys because it meets base requirements of strength, toughness, and durability,” says Uz, “but it’s necessary to have an insulating coating on the metals. Characterizing these coatings helps protect the alloy.”

Ludlow is enjoying the research, particularly because of its direct application for use in fusion reactions.

“EXCEL is interesting. Eventually I hope to attend graduate school in engineering for materials science and process engineering, so this is a great way to get raw experience doing research,” he says. “I’m hoping to get a job at Argonne this summer, which will help expand my knowledge of this corrosion process.”

A graduate of Groton Central School, Ludlow is a member of the Pep Band, co-chair of Questioning Established Sexual Taboos, an officer of HAVEN, a student group dedicated to providing a substance-free living environment; and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Categorized in: Academic News