Dr. Kevin M. Fox is fellow engineer in the Environmental Stewardship Directorate of the Savannah River National Laboratory. Dr. Fox’s current research focus is the development of innovative materials for the immobilization of nuclear wastes. Most recently, he has worked to further the understanding of crystallization in high level waste glasses to allow for maximizing the incorporation of waste constituents, and developed compositions for high waste concentration cementitious waste forms to minimize disposal volumes and cost. Dr. Fox has a background in structure/property relationships in ceramic materials, with a concentration on high temperature deformation of ceramic composites and advanced microstructural characterization techniques. He is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society, and serves on the Society’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Fox has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications, co-edited 6 volumes, and has given more than 60 technical society presentations. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Ceramic Science from the Pennsylvania State University, and a B.S. in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University.
Dr. Wendy Kuhne is a Fellow Scientist at Savannah River National Laboratory. She has a M.S. in Wildlife Science and a Ph.D. in Radiological Health Sciences specializing in Radioecology. She completed post-doctoral studies at the Medical College of Georgia in the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics under a National Research Service Award, by the National Institutes of Health. She has more than 10 years of experience in the areas of radioecology and radiation biology. Her research focuses on the transport and movement of radionuclides through the environment and uptake into human and non-human biota (plants, trees, and wildlife). She has experience in measuring biological responses to exposure to ionizing radiation including DNA damage endpoints, DNA repair processes, and genomic and proteomic level responses. Her work has involved chronic low dose exposures and acute exposure from low-LET gamma rays and high-LET alpha, protons, and secondary neutrons associated with space travel. Dr. Kuhne is a member of the International Union of Radioecology and she is the Past-President of the Environmental and Radon Section of the Health Physics Society.
Dr. Wellons is a principle scientist in the National Security Directorate at Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL). He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University in 2008 and has almost a decade of experience working on safeguards and nonproliferation topics within the USG. His general area of research expertise has primarily been method development in support of nuclear material characterization R&D and analytical operations. This has included development of new microscopy and spectroscopy techniques to characterization uranium materials, research into the chemical stability of actinides materials in the environment, and the development of actinide reference particles for safeguards. He has an extensive background in many experimental techniques and methods, with a focus on microanalytical techniques (various scanning and transmission electron microscopy and diffraction methods, and Raman and IR spectroscopy). He also has extensive experience with field campaign development and execution for the collection of trace materials from the environment. Dr. Wellons has published 20+ journal articles in refereed journals, given multiple invited lectures, and garnered two patents on variety of topics including several material science topics, safeguards technologies, and actinide material characterization method development.
After graduating from the University of Florida in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Dr. Aaron L. Washington, II completed his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry with specialization in material science. As of April 2009, Dr. Washington joined the Advanced Characterization and Processing (ACP) group at SRNL and is currently a principal scientist and former manager in the same group. He is currently involved with material development for multiple applications including radiological sensors, nuclear waste storage, additive manufacturing for nuclear material disposal, nuclear Deactivation & Decommissioning (D&D), organic based nuclear sensors, and nuclear waste treatment strategies. Additionally, he recently led a group with 3 post-doctoral researchers (3 former postdocs are now full time), 7 peer PhD scientists, a bachelor’s scientist, 3 managers, and 2-4 interns in interdisciplinary research and program development. Dr. Washington has more than 20+ peer reviewed manuscripts, 30+ technical reports, and more than 15 presentations at national conferences and meetings. Dr. Washington also has 4 patents issued and 7 additional patents currently in process. Dr. Washington was a 2014 recipient of the Laboratory Director’s Award for Early Career Exceptional Achievement and the 2016 Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Achievement. Dr. Washington has also recently received his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification as of July 2017.
Dr. Washington currently serves on multiple committees both at SRNL and in the Aiken community. These include the Conduct of R&D safety council, Diversity Board of Directors for SRNS, and the former Board of Directors Chairman and current member for Habitat for Humanity. He is an also an Adjunct Professor at USC Aiken in the chemistry department.
Dr. Brenda L. Garcia-Diaz is the manager of the Energy Materials Group in SRNL. She has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Carolina with a specialization in electrochemical engineering. She has developed Nb-doped TiO2 electrocatalysts and developed models to better understand DMFC operation. Dr. Garcia-Diaz helped develop electrochemical synthesis methods for aluminum hydride. She has worked on novel electrochemical methods for nuclear fuel processing including the development of an electrochemical fluorination method for processing used nuclear fuel, direct LiT electrolysis for tritium recovery in fusion applications, and reduction of oxide nuclear fuels utilizing a solid oxide conducting anode. Dr. Garcia-Diaz is the principal investigator on a DOE SunShot program to investigate and mitigate corrosion in high temperature molten salt heat transfer systems for concentrating solar power (CSP) applications. She is the molten salt corrosion consultant to NREL for the development of a Gen 3 CSP system. Dr. Garcia-Diaz has also led research on the development of MAX phase coatings for accident tolerant nuclear fuel. She has led collaborations with multiple industrial partners, universities, and national laboratories.
Dr. Garcia-Diaz was awarded the ASM International Silver Award, the South Carolina Governor’s Young Researcher award, and the SRNL Early Career Award. In 2018, her project on electrochemical fluorination also won the inaugural SRNL award for LDRD return on investment. Dr. Garcia-Diaz serves as a Board Member for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers RAPID program for process intensification. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of South Carolina in the Chemical Engineering Department. Dr. Garcia-Diaz is a member of the Hanford Tank Integrity Expert Panel.
Dr. James A. Dyer (Jim) is an Advisory Engineer in the Environmental Modeling Group at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) in Aiken, South Carolina. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University, MCE in Environmental Engineering from the University of Delaware, and Ph.D. in Environmental Soil Chemistry from the University of Delaware. Before joining SRNL in 2016, Jim spent 32 years with the DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware where he was a Chemical Engineering Principal Consultant in DuPont Engineering Research and Technology. Jim is an innovative leader in applying chemical and environmental engineering principles, know-how, and simulation tools to solve challenging technical problems of significant environmental concern. He has thirty-four years combined experience in plant process engineering, environmental and chemical engineering consulting, process and product development, and project engineering. Jim’s areas of expertise include mercury fate and transport, soil and groundwater remediation, geochemical modeling, reaction kinetics, aqueous thermodynamics, water and wastewater treatment, air emissions control, and pollution prevention. He is an experienced user of The Geochemist’s Workbench, OLI Software Suite, and HELP model.