He has wide experience leading national and international advanced fuel development programs, including first-of-a-kind testing of metal fuel with high minor actinide content, high-temperature ceramics for gas-cooled fast reactors, and U-Mo based research reactor fuel. He was instrumental in the startup of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) program and served as interim director and scientific program manager. He is currently the director of Characterization and Advanced Post-irradiation Examination at Idaho National Laboratory. In this role, he oversees the development and utilization of new facilities and analysis tools that provide critical information on fuel and material performance to the nuclear energy research community. He has also worked in the areas of characterization of nuclear waste forms, novel routes for fabrication of low-cost silicon carbide fibers, and high-temperature creep and oxidation resistant intermetallic materials.
He is a research and development engineer in the Experiment Analysis Group of Nuclear Science and Technology at Idaho National Laboratory. In his present position, he leads in-pile instrumentation development for transient irradiation testing and is a principal investigator for transient testing of metallic fuels. He is an experiment safety and performance analyst for experiments at the Advanced Test Reactor and the Transient Reactor Test Facility. In addition, he is a technical lead for measurement of thermophysical properties of nuclear materials. He has expertise in energy transport in condensed matter, liquids, gases, and material interfaces. He has significant experience in advanced measurements of thermophysical properties of nuclear materials using multi-scaled approaches, including nano-scale measurements using atomic force microscopy, laser-based microscopic photothermal methods, and bench-scale high temperature thermal conductivity techniques. He also has expertise in numerical and commercial finite element analysis. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Utah State University and a joint doctorate from Utah State University and Universite de Reims Champagne-Ardenne. He is a member of American Nuclear Society (ANS) and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was the founding president of the ANS Student Chapter at Utah State University and currently serves as an Executive Committee member for the Material Science and Technology Division of ANS.
He received his bachelor's in chemistry from Reed College in 1990, and his doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University in 1996. He specializes in multi-disciplinary problem solving in the physical sciences and their corresponding engineering disciplines. Over his 22-year research and development (R&D) career, he has developed expertise in physical chemistry, chemical kinetics, atmospheric chemistry, instrumentation, electronics (digital, analog, power, and RF), spectroscopic sensing, lasers, fiber optics and wave guides, classical optics, electro-optics, electromagnetics, electromechanical systems, heat transfer, materials science, mechanical engineering, manufacturing processes, and renewable energy technologies.
He has won four R&D 100 Awards, holds numerous patents, has 10 active licenses on his inventions, and given many invited talks on the subject of serial innovation. In 2015, he was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy as its Inaugural SunShot Innovator in Residence. He invented the Radical-Ion Flow Battery under the SunShot Innovator in Residence Program to address the need for low-cost, highly scalable electrochemical grid storage, and the performance limitations of prior art battery chemistries in this demanding application. His current research portfolio is focused on electrochemical grid storage, the elimination of rare-earth magnets in wind turbines, and semiconductor thermal management (power electronics, CPUs, GPUs).
He is a senior research fellow for Energy Conversion Engineering at National Energy Technology Laboratory with more than 30 years of experience in energy systems research, including all types of energy conversion devices. He has lead or directed projects investigating turbine technologies, fuel cells, carbon dioxide capture, combustion, heat transfer, coal/biomass gasification, fuel processing, sensors, controls, magnetohydrodynamics, and geothermal energy. In addition to conducting his own research, his responsibilities include developing and executing cooperative research agreements with private industry and academia and evaluating proposed concepts related to energy conversion. He serves as an associate editor for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Journal of Propulsion and Power. He received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Purdue University, master’s in mechanical engineering, and bachelor’s in physics and mechanical engineering from Clarkson University.
He is responsible for the development of science-based simulations for use in accelerating energy technology development. He was architect of the widely used, open-source multiphase CFD code, known as Multiphase Flow with Interphase eXchanges (MFIX), and led the development of software for linking process- and device-scale simulations and the C3M chemical kinetics software. As a fellow of the American Academy of Chemical Engineers, he specializes in multiphase flow, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), fluidization, and various energy processes. He is a founding technical director of National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative (CCSI). He has received numerous awards, such as the Energy Secretary’s Achievement Honor Award and American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Fluidization Process Recognition Award. His many publications address topics, such as gasifier advanced simulation models; multiphase hydrodynamics of gas-solids flow; modeling coal gasification processes; hydrodynamics of particle segregation in fluidized beds; and simulation of granular layer inversion in liquid fluidized beds. He has a bachelor’s in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU) Varanasi, and a master’s and doctorate from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.
His research revolves around the study of solid surfaces with focus in experimental model systems for heterogeneous catalysts. Specifically, he pioneered the development of surface science models for zeolites, the most used catalysts in the industry, while working at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society in Berlin, Germany. His current research at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials focuses on experimental models for zeolites and other catalysts aiming at elucidating the reaction mechanisms for catalytic processes of importance for energy transformations. At Brookhaven National Laboratory, he is in charge of the Ambient Pressure Photoelectron Spectroscopy endstation, in partnership with the National Synchrotron Light Source II. He received his bachelor’s in chemistry from University of San Luis, Argentina, and doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, followed by postdoctoral research at the Fritz-Haber Institute of the Max-Planck Society under the auspices of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
He received a doctorate in computer science at the University of Tennessee in 2009, master’s in computer systems and software design, and his bachelor’s with a double major in computer science and mathematics with physics from Jacksonville State University. His research spans government-scale database and management systems, graphical user interface design, medical software used for surgery, gesture recognition, graph-theoretic analysis, optimization, automation, systems genetic research, magnetic resonance imaging, image processing, artificial intelligence, supercomputing, and energy-efficient buildings. He currently serves at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Building Technologies Research & Integration Center (BTRIC) as a subprogram manager for software tools and models with oversight of projects, involving websites, web services, databases, simulation engine development, visual analytics, supercomputing, and artificial intelligence. He has lead creation of the world’s most accurate method for calibrating a simulation model to measured data, fastest building model creator, fastest buildings simulator, and largest archive of simulated building data. He is a joint faculty member at the University of Tennessee’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and an active member of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
He is a human factors engineer in the Human Factors, Controls, and Statistics Department with 37 years of experience in various human factors engineering roles in heavy industry, defense, nuclear, and commercial organizations. His primary focus is on making work more effective, efficient, and satisfying through the design of human-centered tools, methods, and work environments. He has worked at Idaho National Laboratory since 2010. His current work includes researching and developing methods and procedures to integrate human factors principles in the systems engineering process for advanced and modernized nuclear power stations with an emphasis on human-system interfaces and control room design and information visualization. He has a master’s degree in human computer interaction from the University of South Africa and associate degrees in human computer interaction and industrial engineering.
He is a research scientist specializing in crosscutting applications and advancement of sensor research to enable resilient real-time measurement and control of process variables within the nuclear and other critical industries. His research expertise includes applications of pattern recognition and machine learning techniques, instrumentation and controls, data analytics, battery modeling, risk and reliability, digital signal processing, acoustic telemetry, diagnosis/prognosis using wavelets and empirical mode decomposition, time series analysis, power management, wireless communication protocols, and wireless sensor networks. He has authored 51 peer-reviewed publications and one book chapter, and two U.S. patent applications filed. To date, he was involved in 13 research projects and has been the principal investigator for eight. He serves as a reviewer for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Transactions on Image Processing, Energy Conversion, Industrial Informatics, Industrial Applications, Power Delivery, Systems, Machine and Cybernetics, Instrumentation and Measurement, and the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Transactions on Nuclear Technology. He serves as an external reviewer for U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science and Office of Nuclear Energy. Since 2009, he has been section editor for the Journal of Pattern Recognition Research. Since 2015, he has served as an elected member of the ANS Human Factors, Instrumentation, and Controls Division and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Nondestructive Prognostics and Diagnostic Division since 2016.
His research focuses on experimental and analytical studies to improve the energy performance of building envelopes, equipment, and systems. Some of his recent work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory includes energy efficiency enhancement of Army huts, thermal performance evaluation of various radiant barrier systems, lifetime energy and environmental impact of building insulation materials, identify and evaluate performance of lower-global warming potential alternative refrigerants for various applications and operating conditions, study suitability of procedures for evaluating performance of appliances and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, and performance evaluation of thermochromic and electrochromic paints for buildings applications. He is also developing web-based energy-savings calculation to estimate energy and cost savings potential from improving building envelope airtightness. He earned a master’s and doctorate in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University. He is an American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) certified Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP) and member of ASHRAE, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Tau Beta Pi.
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.
He is a mechanical design engineer in the Experiment Design and Analysis Department at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). In this capacity, he designs temperature-controlled experiments and experiments for the Hydraulic Shuttle Irradiation System (HSIS). He has been with INL for more than 25 years and has extensive experience in reactor experiment design, chemical process equipment design, piping systems, and pressure vessels. He holds a master’s in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University and a professional engineering license in Idaho.