In Support of a Recently Handicapped Graduate Student's Research in Nuclear Fusion
Main Photo: Apollo 17 Astronaut, U.S. Senator, and Geologist Dr. Harrison "Jack" Schmitt presents a poster commemorating the Apollo 17 mission to Mr. Craig Schuff, a graduate student in our group.
We are seeking funds to help a quadriplegic student to finish his Ph.D. dissertation in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mr. Craig Schuff (see photo, above) was suddenly made quadriplegic by a freak accident in May 2011. At the time of the accident he possessed a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and was pursuing graduate work in the College of Engineering. He had begun construction of a device designed to generate neutrons that would be used to detect clandestine materials (explosives, IED's, smuggled nuclear material, drugs, etc.).
It took Craig a year to get his life back in order and he recently (11/2012) passed the oral exam for his Masters Degree in Nuclear Engineering. He is now trying to finish his experimental work for his PhD.
He is being assisted by an undergraduate Nuclear Engineering student who is working under his supervision to complete the construction of the device he designed and had partially built before the accident. One of the impediments to the operation of the device is the purchase of a turbo-pump capable of providing the vacuum needed to allow the fusion of deuterium ions that produce the neutrons needed for identification of the clandestine material. The estimated cost for the pump and associated equipment and other supplies needed to complete his work is US$25,000. Once the pump is in place and the system is operational, it is estimated that Craig will need 6 months to take data and another 6 months to write his doctoral dissertation (by voice-activated computer interface) and defend his work. His ultimate goal is to contribute to the defense of the Nation either at a national laboratory or in an industrial setting.
Money donated through this page will go to the Fusion Feasibility Fund at the University of Wisconsin Foundation in Madison, WI. Donations are deductible from income for tax purposes. They will be first applied to meet Craig's laboratory needs, including the aforementioned pump. If we raise funds in excess of those through our fundraising efforts, we will apply them to supporting the undergraduate student assisting Craig. If there are any funds collected in excess of that, they will be applied to the experimental needs of other students in the laboratory, and, thereafter, to other needs of the group.