Charlyne Smith

Senior Nuclear Energy Analyst

Charlyne Smith was a Senior Nuclear Energy Analyst on the Nuclear Energy Innovation team at the Breakthrough Institute. Originally from St. Catherine, Jamaica, Charlyne moved to the United States in 2012 to pursue a career in science and technology focusing on energy solutions for current and future generations. Charlyne 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 and was awarded the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence in Academics from the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica in 2022.

Prior to joining Breakthrough, Charlyne was a Distinguished Glenn T. Seaborg Post-Doctoral fellow at the Idaho National Laboratory where she performed basic energy science research on self-organizing defect structures formed in nuclear fuel during neutron irradiation. Her background lies in the advanced characterization and post irradiation examination of low-enriched Uranium Molybdenum fuels (<20% U235) for highly enriched Uranium fuel replacement in high performance research and test reactors.

Charlyne is also a co-founder of the Empowering Garrison Girls (EGGs) non-profit organization whose mission is to fill the need for a global transformation to reduce gender and economic inequalities by targeting young girls living in Jamaican garrison communities.

Her long-term career goals are to help facilitate the introduction of nuclear energy technology to the Caribbean as well as to create a STEM-based education programs in Jamaica that will offer a wide range of STEM disciplines not currently available in the Caribbean. In her spare time, she enjoys painting, hiking, and spending time with her family.