Particle physics research

Hall receives award for conducting research at the DOE National Laboratory

Doctoral candidate Zack Bruce Hall II is one of 44 recipients of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program, which will open him to research opportunities at the National Laboratory Lawrence Berkeley of DOE.

Zack Bruce Hall II

Zack Bruce Hall II is the sixth UNC-Chapel Hill student to win a DOE SCGSR award since the program’s inception in 2014. The goal of the SCGSR is to prepare graduate students for careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) critically important to the mission of the DOE Office of Science by providing graduate thesis research opportunities through extended residency at DOE National Laboratories. A total of 44 winners from 36 different American universities received this opportunity.

Hall’s research at UNC-Chapel Hill, conducted in Amy Nicholson’s research group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the College of Arts and Sciences, aims to understand how strongly interacting elementary particles like quarks and gluons give rise to the low energy properties of composite matter such as hadrons and nuclei which are observed in nature. The research group uses a computational method called Lattice Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) to calculate these interactions and it serves to relate theory to experimental results.

Research projects proposed by new CRSMS awardees demonstrate strong alignment with DOE Office of Science priority mission areas that have a high need for workforce development. Graduate students will perform part of their thesis research in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist. Hall will work with André Walker-Loud to conduct research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for a period of 12 months beginning in January 2023.

“I am grateful to have been selected for this award and excited to work with and learn from leading experts in the field, including my collaborators at the Berkeley Lab,” Hall said. “I hope this will broaden my professional network and help me discover potential postdoctoral research opportunities in my field.”

SCGSR research projects are expected to advance the Fellow’s overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available in DOE laboratories and facilities.

“The Department of Energy is committed to increasing America’s science and technology workforce. The SCGSRs are one way we help nurture the incredible talent and curiosity of students from all backgrounds to tackle the world’s great scientific challenges,” said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, Director of the DOE Office of Science. “I know the future is bright for these students, and I’m honored that the Department of Energy can be a part of their stories.”