Physics Doctoral Student Ivan Lepetic Receives DOE Graduate Student Supplemental Award

The U.S. Department of Energy selected Ivan Lepetic, physics Ph.D. candidate, to receive a supplemental award to pursue his graduate thesis research in high-energy physics at a national laboratory.

Lepetic will do his research project, “A Radioactive Source Calibration System for Large LArTPCs,” at Fermilab under the guidance of Ornella Palamara, a staff scientist, and Bryce Littlejohn, assistant professor of physics at Illinois Tech and Lepetic’s adviser.

Lepetic was one of 43 graduate students selected nationally for the award, which provides a living stipend of up to $3,000 per month and a travel benefit of up to $2,000.

Liquid Argon Time Projection Chambers (LArTPCs) are detectors used to study neutrinos. Lepetic will be working on a calibration system which will help to determine LArTPC response to low energy events. This is important because solar and supernova neutrinos exist at these energies, and thus far, little is known of LArTPC response at these levels. Eventually, this will help us better understand neutrinos as a whole and especially those of solar and supernova origin.

The award was given under the Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory in areas that address scientific challenges central to the Office of Science mission. The research opportunity is expected to advance the graduate students’ overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories.