Peter Wynnyk, a materials science and engineering major with a nuclear engineering minor, won best presentation in the Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division at the 2022 Student Conference of the American Nuclear Society (ANS).

Wynnyk’s presentation, Investigation of Chlorine-induced Stress Corrosion Cracking in 304 Stainless Steel U-bend Samples, addressed the corrosion and cracking of dry cask storage systems, which are constructed from stainless steel, in maritime environments. In his research, his team placed U-bend samples made of stainless steel in a fog apparatus to simulate an accelerated maritime environment. After an extended time duration, the samples were removed and the amount of corrosion was analyzed. The research was performed using funds from the Virginia Tech Intelligent Infrastructure for Human-Centered Communities Destination Area.

Wynnyk chose nuclear engineering as his minor primarily because he sees nuclear power as a viable solution to climate change, and he wants to play a significant role in driving that solution. As a materials science and engineering major, corrosion is a strong area of interest, and this project allowed him to fully engage those studies.

“I'd like to thank Dr. Juliana Duarte, my faculty advisor and professor, and Abdulsalam Shakhatreh, my graduate sponsor, for allowing me to assist in this research,” said Wynnyk. “I'd also like to thank Dr. Mark Peirson, Adam Berlinerman, and the rest of the Virginia Tech ANS chapter who attended the conference for their support during the conference. I'd also like to thank Dr. Wenjun (Rebecca) Kai for helping me analyze samples and teaching me what I know about corrosion, in addition to Dr. Thomas Staley for letting me use his lab to analyze the samples.”