Sensharma Nirupama

I am a 3rd year Physics graduate student at the University of Notre Dame where I am associated with the Experimental Nuclear Physics division. I use gamma spectroscopy to study the exotic phenomena exhibited by triaxial nuclei. I am currently investigating the rare process of wobbling in triaxial nuclei in A~130 region as well as looking for different regions in the nuclear chart where wobbling (and hence triaxiality) is expected.

I was born in a small town in India but I grew up in Delhi for the most of my life. I have an undergraduate degree in Physics followed by a Master’s in Nuclear Science and Technology, both from the University of Delhi. I have done various projects and internships at some of the premier Nuclear Physics institutions including two Nuclear Power plants in India. Having gained some experience in this field, I became an ardent supporter of Nuclear power. This led to my interest in studying the structure of the atomic nucleus using various high-end experimental techniques and that brought me here at Notre Dame which at present has one of the best Nuclear Physics labs in the US.

Other than research, I am involved in various outreach activities organized by the Joint Institute of Nuclear Astrophysics (JINA) at the University of Notre Dame. I have volunteered and helped in organizing various science fairs at events in the local neighborhood of South Bend, Indiana. I am also an active member of the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) at their Notre Dame Chapter and have been involved in their STEMentorship program as well.


As a part of this program, I have been mentoring various female undergraduate students studying in STEM fields at the University of Notre Dame. One of my proudest achievements of the year include getting selected for the 2017 cohort of the NSF sponsored training program Social Responsibilities of Researchers (SRR) at the Reilly Center. Being a part of SRR has given me an opportunity to bridge the gap between my research as a Nuclear Scientist and my responsibilities towards the society. I consider myself an advocate of Nuclear energy and so I decided to work on developing and designing a website for a non-science population to introduce them to Nuclear physics, starting from its basic applications to nuclear power production being the need of the day.

On the completion of my term with SRR, I hope to be able to contribute to the society and prove to be an assistance to the general public to help them make well-informed and educated decisions about Nuclear power that could eventually help save the world.