Student Spotlights

On their home university campuses, KGSP students take advantage of many fun and educational activities to explore the intersection of their academic and personal interests. Engagement with activities outside the classroom is highly encouraged by the KGSP, as such opportunities allow students to expand their knowledge, broaden their social network, and develop their professional business acumen; qualities that will benefit and enrich their development both as students and as future leaders. 

Conference Spotlight: Dana Hejazi


Dana Hejazi, a junior at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Nuclear Engineering, was invited to present her research findings at the 2024 American Nuclear Society (ANS) Student Conference hosted at Pennsylvania State University on April 4th to April 6th. This year’s event theme was Keystone of Tomorrow, and was designed to “build a bridge for students across the country to discuss their research and make lasting connections with each other and leaders in government, industry, and academia.”

Dana Majed M Hajazi

Image 1: Dana Hejazi, junior at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in Nuclear Engineering.

Dana has spent the past year in UC Berkeley’s SALT Group researching how to improve Generation IV reactor systems, primarily Molten Salt Reactors, under the guidance of her research mentor Alexandra Kennedy and Professor Raluca Scarlat. “At the ANS conference, I had the chance to present the discrepancies in data found in scientific literature as well as recent updates and the on-going work in our research.” Dana noted that her motivation for getting involved in Generation IV research was to contribute to the resolution of discrepancies in scientific data available on the topic and ensure data transparency and reliability. Dana sought to attend the student conference because “presenting at the ANS conference helped me diversify my academic knowledge, but most importantly, it allowed me to represent Saudi Women in Nuclear Engineering. Seeing the lack of Saudi nuclear engineers, especially Saudi women, I had to take part in hopes of inspiring more of the Saudi youth to pursue careers in the nuclear field.”

Dana Presenting

Image 2: Dana presenting her paper titled, “Investigating the Solubility Limit of CrF3 in FLiNaK Molten Salt” at the 2024 ANS Student Conference.

In addition to panel discussions and poster sessions where attendees heard from students and industry leaders, the conference also included a Career Fair and Networking session, as well as a “Radiant Women in Nuclear” session that brought together prominent women in the industry who shared their experiences and promoted discussions with younger women and students looking to delve into the nuclear field.  

On her overall experience, Dana was inspired to continue her research on nuclear reactors by presentations from event speakers. “I learned a great deal about different research techniques that I could consider or utilize in future research. I also had the chance to identify more technological gaps that the scientific community needs help with,” Dana said. “I plan on working to further improve Molten Salt Reactor designs and hopefully fill these gaps.” Dana also added that she hopes to see more Saudi students, especially female, take on an interest in the nuclear field. “I want to emphasize that Saudi Arabia needs more nuclear engineers to achieve the goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050… We need more representation, and while I'll do my best, I hope to see more and more [Saudi students] every year.”

Beyond her research with the SALT Group, Dana has worked with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) on research regarding the feasibility of Molten Salt Reactors in Saudi Arabia and currently has a research paper pending publication. Dana’s academic accomplishments and professional goals represent the intellectual curiosity and tenacity within the KGSP’s student community. The Program looks forward to continually supporting its students as they strive towards becoming changemakers who will contribute to the advancement of Saudi Arabia and the world.