NuSTEAM - Nuclear Science in Texas
to Enhance and Advance Minorities

This is a collaborative effort by four Texas-based universities that runs an undergraduate traineeship project under the guidelines of the Department of Energy TBD-NP (Research Traineeships to Broaden and Diversify the Nuclear Physics community) program. The collaboration consists of the University of Houston (UH), University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), University of Texas – El Paso (UTEP) and Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU).

The University of Houston will serve as a host for the summer program of the year-long traineeship. After completing a six-week summer course at UH, Brookhaven National Laboratory will host the students for a two-week hands-on experience in the laboratory environment. Upon returning to their home institutions, the students will continue to be supported for the Fall and Spring semesters for 15 hrs/week, while working on a research topic chosen through the traineeship program. Possible topics will include nuclear and high energy data analysis, neutrino and dark matter data analysis, phenomenological modeling of data from RHIC and LHC, radiation physics studies, machine learning applications in nuclear physics, detector calibration and electronics testing for new instruments.

Summer program dates

Students are expected to arrive at UH on Sunday, May 21st. The UH training will start on Monday, May 22nd at 9 a.m. and end on Friday, June 30th, in the afternoon. The training consists of three- or four-hour lectures in the morning, followed by two hours of hands-on exercises and problems in the afternoon. Students will then travel to Brookhaven National Laboratory, where the training will start on Monday, July 3rd and end on Friday, July 14th.


Claudia Ratti (PI)

Quantum Chromodynamics

Lattice QCD

Effective field theories

Theoretical heavy-ion physics

Israel Portillo (Coordinator)

Theoretical nuclear physics

Computational techniques

Hands-on exercise sessions

Rene Bellwied

Experimental heavy-ion physics


Computational techniques

Professional opportunities in Nuclear Physics

Daniel Cherdack

Experimental neutrino physics

Neutrino fluxes and connections to nuclear physics

Applied math and statistics for neutrino physics

Lisa Koerner

Experimental neutrino physics

Neutrino detectors

Neutrino experiments

Lawrence Pinsky

Low energy nuclear physics

Space science

Medical physics

Anthony Timmins

Experimental heavy-ion physics


Computational techniques

Volodymyr Vovchenko

Theoretical nuclear physics

Phenomenology of heavy-ion collisions

Computational techniques

Angeliki Diane Rigos (guest lecturer - MIT)



Role of personality and personal history

Student Support

Aymen Shamoon

Aymen is a theoretical condensed matter graduate student. He will facilitate the summer program and help to make connections between different fields.

Micheal Kahangirwe

Micheal is a theoretical heavy-ion graduate student. He will facilitate the summer program and advise on academic career paths.

Employment details

Students enrolled in the program will be employed during the summer for an expected workload of 40 hours/week. The employment will continue during the following Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 semesters, to conduct research on selected research topics at their home institution. During these semesters, students are expected to work 15 hours/week and they will be co-mentored by a UH co-PI and a co-PI from their home institution. All travel expenses to/from Houston and to/from Brookhaven Lab, as well as lodging and meals, will be covered.

Anticipated skill set at the end of the program

The anticipated skill set will range from programming procedures over analysis implementation and evaluation software to detector and electronic expertise. These Physics-based knowledge components will be complemented by presentation and publication skills as well as confidence and community building components, which can be applied within small local groups all the way up to large international collaborations and consortia. The balance between fundamental and applied components of Nuclear Physics is emphasized throughout the program and will lead to well-rounded scientists.


This program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)

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UH Physics Department
  • 617 Science and Research Building 1
  • Houston, TX77096

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