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ACM Students Visit Penn State Reactor & Lab

March 22nd, 2024 by WCBC Radio

On February 26, six students from Allegany College of Maryland (ACM) toured the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor and a cleanroom laboratory at Penn State University’s College of Engineering. The students are currently enrolled in chemistry and physics courses at ACM. They were joined by Steven Heninger, a professor of chemistry and physics, and Michèle Barmoy, a professor of biology, at ACM. 

The students and faculty members were given a ‘no photos’ tour of the Brazeale Nuclear Reactor and the Radiation Science & Engineering Center by Zach Van Horn, the Penn State Brazeale nuclear operator and outreach coordinator. Van Horn highlighted the rich history and purpose of the Brazeale reactor, which is the nation’s oldest continuously operating university research reactor. Van Horn explained how the non-power reactor is used to safely conduct research and experiments, its purpose since 1955. 

The ACM group donned ‘bunny suits’ to limit outside containments from joining their tour of a cleanroom laboratory within the Center for Nanotechnology Education and Utilization. The Center has cleanrooms for teaching nanotechnology as well as nanofabrication.  

The cleanroom lab within the Center is also where students who enroll in ACM’s nanotechnology degree program in partnership with Penn State gain experience during their capstone semester at University Park. Information about ACM’s nanotechnology degree program is available online at