August 23, 2017  

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Southern Miss Graduate Student to Attend National Neutron, X-Ray School

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Ryan Hensarling

Ryan Hensarling, a doctoral student in the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been accepted to attend the 14th Annual National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering Aug. 12-25 in Argonne, Ill., and Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Hensarling, a Petal, Miss., native, will join 69 other graduate students from across the United States for the prestigious conference which is designed to educate participants on the utilization of major neutron and X-ray facilities. He is the only student from a Mississippi college or university chosen for this year’s National School.

“I hope to gain a better understanding of how X-rays and neutrons interact with matter, in particular polymeric materials, so that I can apply this knowledge to the fundamental research we perform in the Patton Research Group,” said Hensarling, 26, who is set to receive his doctorate in polymer science and engineering this December.

Students will spend the first week at the Argonne National Laboratory, which specializes in X-ray scattering, and the second week at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, which specializes in neutron scattering.

“We will have lectures presented by researchers from academia, industry and national laboratories on X-ray and neutron scattering theory as well as seminars on the application of scattering methods to a variety of scientific subjects,” said Hensarling. “We will also have some hands-on experience at both sites utilizing knowledge we gained from the various lectures and seminars.”

Southern Miss polymer Professor Derek Patton noted that Hensarling’s selection to the two-week school represents an important step in his graduate school career.

“This opportunity will provide Ryan with hands-on experience with neutron and synchrotron sources,” said Patton. “Beyond the School’s impact on Ryan, it’s extremely important that graduate students from across the country continue to be exposed to the theory and application of neutron and synchrotron sources, as the participants selected for this School represent the next generation of users for our national laboratory resources.”

To learn more about the National School on Neutron and X-ray Scattering, visit: