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 research scientist from Idaho National Laboratory (INL) with extensive experience in the fields of materials electrochemistry as applied to reactive and refractory metals, process metallurgy, synthesis and characterization of high-temperature metals and materials, energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and materials recycling. While working at Bhabha Atomic Research Center, India, he developed an entirely new (molten salt based) process flow-sheet for the production of vanadium metal with a view to fabricate a self-powered beta detector. He also worked on the development of a new high-temperature process for the production of commercial-grade zirconia and silica powders from the indigenously available zircon mineral. His other projects have been aimed at recovering valuable materials from waste, secondary resources, and lean ore bodies. His team could successfully develop a technology for the conversion of Zr-2.5Nb alloy scrap to high purity zirconium crystal bar by van Arkel de Boer process. This technology can be adopted to successfully transform the alloy scrap into high purity zirconium crystal bar, a metal of significant importance to the nuclear energy program. At the University of Cambridge, he worked on the process optimization studies pertaining to the preparation of titanium metal and its alloys by a novel molten salt electrochemical process. He developed a preparative process for titanium-lanthanum alloy from their mixed oxides. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked on a high-temperature electrochemical process to generate oxygen from the lunar regolith. This is one of the two technologies shortlisted by NASA for its eventual deployment to produce breathable oxygen from in situ (lunar) resources. At INL, the scientific underpinning of his research activities has been to study the behavior of metals and materials under a given set of conditions. His diverse research pursuits include materials electrochemistry, energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and materials recycling.
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 experience in various capacities spanning nuclear and chemical engineering. His research expertise is in the design, modeling, simulation, and analysis of experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory; chemical processes including the manufacturing of high purity polysilicon and oil separation from brine water; and both test and space nuclear reactors. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Utah, where he collaborates on nano- to micron-thick film coating projects, which are done with a fluidized bed chemical vapor deposition (FB-CVD) reactor. He has also been a senior reactor operator of the TRIGA reactor at the University of Utah. His recent work includes the modeling and simulation of corrosion on the surfaces of various cladding materials to be tested at ATR, which is a coupling of nuclear activation, radiolysis of water, chemical systems simulation with the chemical kinetics, and thermodynamics from a selected set of corrosion, acid/base and electrochemical reactions.
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