Idaho National Laboratory selects ECpE graduate student as research fellow

As a graduate student at Iowa State University, Jacob Ulrich, pursuing an engineering degree in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECpE), has received an honor that many students would be thrilled to earn.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) recently granted 13 students into the highly competitive second cohort of INL graduate fellows from universities throughout the U.S., and Ulrich was one of them.

INL is a U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) national laboratory. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: Energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation’s leading center for nuclear energy research and development.

Receiving this fellowship from INL means many things for Ulrich. Recipients of these fellowships have their tuition and fees covered by their university during their first years of graduate school (years one to three), as well as a $60,000 annual salary paid by INL throughout their last two years of doctoral research performed at the INL lab.

Another benefit the fellows will receive is an abundance of experience. Throughout the program, graduate fellows have the opportunity to interact and collaborate with their INL mentor and university thesis adviser. The networking Ulrich will gain from this fellowship is seemingly exponential.

Graduate fellows like Ulrich were selected in degree fields that closely tie to INL’s three mission areas of innovative nuclear energy solutions, other clean energy options and critical infrastructure. The typical graduate fellow runs from three to five years, with the first year revolving around university Ph.D. level classes.