The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (cSEND) is pleased to announce that Dr. Amy Hixon, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, has joined the cSEND faculty. Please join us in welcoming her to cSEND and wishing her well as she contributes to the research developments in nuclear energy at Notre Dame.
The overarching research interests of Dr. Hixon and her research group revolve around how processes at the mineral-water interface control actinide behavior. Actinides are present in the environment as a result of nuclear weapons production and nuclear fuel disposition and pose a long-term environmental concern due to their toxicity and long half-lives. Understanding and predicting their mobility is important for risk management. By using a combination of wet chemistry, instrumental, and modeling techniques, Dr. Hixon and her research team are able to understand actinide aqueous speciation, the properties of mineral surfaces, and how the two interact. Specific research interests include the development of comprehensive and mechanistically accurate surface-complexation models for actinide sorption to pure mineral phases and 1D advective-dispersive transport modeling of uranium in-situ recovery operations.
Dr. Hixon received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Environmental Engineering & Earth Science from Clemson University in 2013 and 2008 respectively, and her B.S. degree in Chemistry from Radford University in 2006. While a doctoral candidate at Clemson University, she also held a position at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in the Office of Federal and State Materials and Environmental Management Programs, where she supported the work of the Performance Assessment and Environmental Review branches. She is currently a member of the Health Physics Society, the American Chemical Society, and Sigma Xi.