SUU Student Earns Big Bang Internship at Los Alamos Laboratory

Published: July 08, 2019 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 2 minutes

Skyler ClarkSouthern Utah University student Skyler Clark recently earned a prestigious internship with the Los Alamos National Laboratory. During his internship, Clark will be working alongside some of the brightest minds in the nation while learning more about the early universe.

“My assignment will be to take the chemistry and water networks, and run them inline with standard cosmology code,” Clark explained. “I will then run large scale simulations of the universe to find where water, and potentially other chemical building blocks of life, formed in the first one-billion years after the big bang.” 

Clark is majoring in computer science and minoring in chemistry at SUU. He is working towards a goal of becoming a physician-scientist. This summer, Clark will be mentored by SUU professor Brandon Wiggins, and will also work alongside Los Alamos Physicist Joe Smidt. 

“Skyler has an impressive 3.97 GPA and excelled in organic chemistry,” said Brandon Wiggins, assistant professor of physics, “This, combined with his education in our top-notch Computer Science department, has prepared him to carry out parallel calculations, and set his application apart.” 

During this internship Clark will primarily focus on astrochemistry, specifically dust and methane formation in galaxies during the first one-billion years after the big bang. This internship provides a unique opportunity for Clark to use his research findings to address important questions concerning building blocks of life. 

“SUU doesn’t just provide opportunities, but it showed the many doors available to me and actually opened them, allowing me to then do what it takes to step through,” Clark said. “The high standards of education and quality of the faculty are why I have been able to push myself further each day.” 

The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) delivers breakthrough research with a focus on safe, efficient, and effective operations. Several other outstanding SUU students and graduates have received the honor of interning or working for LANL.  

SUU’s ABET-accredited Computer Science program has small class sizes, excellent professors and staff, hands on activities, personalized attention, and great curriculum. These are all the facets that make SUU an exceptional university. For more information about the Computer Science courses, visit the SUU catalog


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