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.
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.
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