Bio updated 2022.

Matthew Riss is a first year PhD student at Clemson University studying Nuclear Environmental Engineering. He is interested in the back end of the nuclear fuel cycle, specifically management of spent nuclear fuel. Currently, Riss works with Clemson researcher Dr. Brian Powell to investigate how technetium, a radioactive byproduct of nuclear fission, behaves under different temperatures. Specifically, the chemical speciation of technetium and the rate of dissolution from the solid phase to the aqueous phase are being investigated. This work will help inform nuclear waste repository decisions that need to account for varying conditions, including temperature.


The profile below as current as of 2021 when he was part of the on-campus Kellogg community.

Matthew Riss works with Professor Lionel Jensen to investigate modern issues in China and East Asia more broadly. Riss and Professor Jensen are currently investigating the effects of COVID-19 in East Asia, especially with respect to the recent rise of authoritarianism in the region. Riss is also working on a senior thesis that will investigate the extent to which COVID-19 had disrupted China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the extent to which COVID-19 has affected Uighur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang region.

Previously, Riss conducted tsunami research in New Zealand in the summer of 2019. He also studied abroad in Galway, Ireland in the spring of 2020. Riss has been awarded the Vincent P. Slatt Fellowship for Undergraduate Research in Energy Systems and Processes for the 2020/2021 academic year, through which he is currently investigating periodic trends of thorium-nitrate salts and properties of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs).

Environmental Engineering
Current Research

Research Interests
I am currently interested in research regarding China and its aggressive foreign policy, manifested in the One Belt One Road Initiative. China's environmental policy and regulation are also of interest to me, as is Chinese language and the environment in general.

Current Research
My current research revolves around China but is made up of many parts. I do research on the current state of the One Belt One Road Initiative as well as research on current domestic events in China. For example, I have done research on the persecution of the Muslim Uighur people in Xinjiang, China.