Energy Program Provides Next Step For Innovation

Posted: Updated:
WEST LAFAYETTE -

The Purdue University entrepreneur who was chosen this week to take part in the new Chain Reaction Innovations program at the prestigious Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois says it will allow him to take his patent-pending technology to the next level. Ian Hamilton, the chief executive officer of Atlas Energy Systems, says he will use the two-year program to further development of his idea to convert nuclear waste into usable energy.

Hamilton says his goal is to create radioisotope batteries for the aerospace industry, military and other applications. He says having access to the resources at the Argonne National Laboratory will allow him to further his research in a way that he couldn't at Purdue.

"It got to the point where, to build and test this safely and experiment with, I needed essentially a radiation source that mimicked nuclear waste that I could turn on and off. In the physics industry, this is known as a particle accelerator," said Hamilton. "They are very, very big, expensive pieces of machinery and there was no way I was going to be able to get one on my own and, through this program, I now have access to multiple that I can use."

He adds the program gives him access to a large network of industry mentors at the Polski Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago and the Purdue Foundry. Hamilton says, while he has a lot of work ahead of him, he hopes he can bring a new option for safe, clean energy.

"Radioisotope power supplies, tiny nuclear batteries, have been the backbone of our space program for 60 years now," said Hamilton. "My first market is to go try and work with NASA and develop one for their needs. The second market is developing radioisotope batteries for military applications."

The Argonne National Laboratory says the technology being developed by Hamilton will reduce the amount of storage space needed for nuclear waste, which can remain radioactive and produce energy for years. It could also eventually replace other energy sources such as gasoline and lithium-ion batteries.

Hamilton is currently pursuing his master's degree in nuclear engineering at Purdue. He says the CRI program won't interfere with his studies and he is on pace to graduate in May.

You can learn more about Hamilton's technology in the view below from Argonne National Laboratory:

  • Perspectives

    • It's Time For The U.S. to Adopt a Presidential Regional Primary and Caucus System

      As a high school senior at North Central High School in Indianapolis, Martin Moore, one of the best teachers that I ever had, challenged our Accelerated American Government class to think about how we nominate presidential candidates in the United States. Little did I know at the time that our conversations about changing the presidential primary/caucus structure would ring so true a few decades later. In response to Mr. Moore’s challenge, I wrote a paper outlining...

    More

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy Butler University)

      Aramark to End Operations at Butler

      Aramark Educational Services LLC has detailed plans to lay off 200 workers in Indianapolis. In a notice to the state, the company says the decision is the result of Butler University not renewing its contract to provide food services on the campus.

    • Metal Powder Products has Indiana operations in Noblesville and Campbellsburg.

      Manufacturer Growing Noblesville Operations

      Noblesville-based Metal Powder Products has announced plans to move a manufacturing division from Ohio to Hamilton County and add up to 80 jobs by 2020. The powder metallurgy product manufacturer says it will invest $1.5 million to increase production capacity in Indiana. The company currently employs more than 350 associates in its Noblesville and Washington County operations, and over 1,100 overall in the U.S. and China. MPP says it has already hired 51 employees as part of the...

    • Fishers Among Finalists For National Prize

      The city of Fishers is one of 12 finalists for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize. The award honors "communities that are bringing partners together around a shared commitment to health, opportunity, and equity."

    • Matt McIntyre is co-founder and executive director of Brackets For Good.

      Brackets For Good Launches New Program

      Indianapolis-based Brackets For Good Inc. is changing up its annual fundraising program. The sports-themed fundraising organization has launched Champ's Charity Challenge, in which users can fill out brackets for the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in the name of their charity of choice. The previous iteration of the program saw nonprofits competing in a tournament-style bracket of their own to see who could raise the most money. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business...

    • Joe Cudby

      Indiana Office of Technology Hires Chief Technology Officer

      The Indiana Office of Technology has added Joe Cudby as its chief technology officer. He is originally from England and last worked at Managed Housing in Washington, D.C.