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The invitation to my thesis defense, 8/2009
(with apologies to William Shakespeare)

Friends, stone-women, country-rock-men, lend me your rock hammers;
I come to defend my Ph.D., not to praise it.
The papers that students publish live after them;
The thesis is oft interred in the library;
So let it be with my dissertation.
Here, under leave of Udo and the rest -
For Rod Ewing is an honorable man;
So are they all, my committee members -
Come I to present my dissertation.
It is about UO2, uncorroded and strong to me:
But previous studies say it should alter;
And that was honorable work.
The UO2 is surrounded by carbon steel
And magnetite did the system fill;
Did this in UO2 seem a good waste form?
When that Pu was mobilized, zircon was proposed:
Waste forms should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet it was unknown how much Pu can go in;
And this I have quantum-mechanically calculated.
You have all seen how important U and Th are.
I seven times determine incorporation maxima,
For seven different binaries: were they miscible?
A geothermometer assumes Ti substitutes for Si;
And, sure, but not at high pressures.
I speak not to disprove what other scientists spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all want to attend my defense, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, from being there?
Wednesday in 2520 C. C. Little: Corrosion of UO2
and computational models of solid solutions in the zircon group.
Five years as a grad student are in this talk,
And I must work till the Ph.D. is through with me.