Dr. Charlyne Smithh

Charlyne Smith, PhD is a trailblazing scientist and advocate for nuclear energy. Originally from St. Catherine, Jamaica, she pursued a career in science and technology in the United States. Smith holds bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics, as well as a master’s and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering. In 2021, she made history as the first black woman to obtain a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Florida. Her groundbreaking achievement earned her the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence in Academics from the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica in 2022. 

Before joining the Breakthrough Institute as a Senior Nuclear Energy Analyst, Charlyne was a Distinguished Glenn T. Seaborg Post-Doctoral fellow at the Idaho National Laboratory. There, she conducted research on self-organizing defect structures formed in nuclear fuel during neutron irradiation. Her expertise lies in the advanced characterization and post-irradiation examination of low-enriched Uranium Molybdenum fuels for highly enriched Uranium fuel replacement in high-performance research and test reactors. 

Beyond her scientific achievements, Charlyne co-founded the Empowering Garrison Girls (EGGs) non-profit organization. EGGs aims to reduce gender and economic inequalities by empowering young girls living in Jamaican garrison communities. Her long-term goals include introducing nuclear energy technology to the Caribbean and creating STEM-based education programs in Jamaica.