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 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.
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.
He is a staff research scientist working in the Nuclear System Design and Analysis Division at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He has expertise in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, thermal design, thermodynamics and nuclear safety analyses. Over the last few years, he has been researching high temperature heat exchanger design and optimization, system integration and power conversion systems, and safety and reliability for Advanced Reactor Concepts, and also has extensive experience in the design and construction of large-scale experimental systems for nuclear and thermal-hydraulic research. He has more than 12 years of research and development experience in nuclear/thermal engineering and has been involved in several academic, industrial, and cross-discipline national laboratory research projects. He is currently working to develop a new multi-loop, multi-fluid advanced test facility designed to examine thermal hydraulic and materials issues associated with advanced nuclear reactor technologies. He has authored two books; contributed chapters to technical books on advanced reactors, thermal systems and process heat transfer; published over 100 peer-reviewed publications; and served as the INL lead for numerous partnerships. He holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He obtained his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering with concentration in robotics and controls from Wilkes University in Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in nuclear engineering with a minor in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University, a master’s degree in engineering management from University of Idaho, and doctorate in nuclear engineering from University of Idaho.
He has more than 10 years of industrial and research experience in automation, instrumentation, and control. He holds a doctorate in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University, a master’s degree in information technology and automation systems from Esslingen University of Applied Science in Germany, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology in Jordan. In 2015, he joined Idaho National Laboratory as a research and development scientist with special focus on nuclear automation, instrumentation, and control. Before earning his doctorate, he worked at Asea Brown Boveri for 6 years and was a lead distributed control systems engineer by 2010. While pursuing his degree, he researched various nuclear engineering topics at Texas A&M University and worked for a year at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He also worked for Daimler Chrysler-Mercedes Group and Fraunhofer Institute for Production and Automation in Germany. He is a senior Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) member and author of several publications and technical reports. He is also a reviewer of nuclear energy and IEEE journals and U.S. Department of Energy grants.
He is a directorate fellow and department manager at Idaho National Laboratory and dedicated to conducting radiation effects research, leading to the development of radiation tolerant materials, for 25 years. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated a successful multidisciplinary approach, involving extensive experimental investigations, exhaustive post-irradiation microstructural characterization, and theoretical modeling. He has extensive experience using multiple techniques, such as light ions, heavy ions, in-situ ion irradiation/microscopy, and neutron irradiation to conduct research focused on the relationships between radiation damage, material microstructure, and material performance on a broad range of reactor structural materials and nuclear fuels. In addition to this effective multidisciplinary approach, he is a recognized international expert in the nanoscale characterization of irradiated fuels and materials using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) methods. His important contributions include the evaluation of radiation effects in advanced carbide and nitride candidate materials for the Generation IV gas-cooled fast reactor program; characterization of the fission gas superlattice bubbles in irradiated U-Mo fuel; work as a principal investigator on a project that helped scientists to understand the role of irradiated defect development on thermal conductivity degradation in UO2; and evaluation of the radiation stability of advanced oxide dispersion strengthened alloys using ion irradiation that revealed the superior radiation performance of these alloys to high radiation dose. He also leads a team of researchers at Idaho National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory conducting research under a U.S. Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences project he initiated on gas bubble self-organization.
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