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 Dr. David Hurley, TETI Director

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. David Hurley received a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a Laboratory Fellow at Idaho National Laboratory.  Since coming to INL, he has focused on characterizing material behavior in extreme environments. Dr. Hurley's research background and expertise encompass elements of physics, mechanical engineering and materials science.  This middle ground between science and engineering has given him a unique perspective on many materials issues facing the nuclear industry.   Thermal transport in nuclear fuel provides an important example of this perspective.  On the engineering side he has led the complete development of the Thermal Conductivity Microscope (TCM) from conception to operational prototype.  The TCM is uniquely capable of measuring thermal properties of spent fuel samples on length scales commensurate with microstructure heterogeneity. On the science side he research interest include novel methods to characterize subsurface grain boundary structure and function in ceramic energy materials, electron and phonon mediated thermal transport in nuclear fuels and time-resolved measurements of light matter interaction in semiconductors. One of his more notable accomplishments in this area involved leading a research team that isolated thermal transport signatures of specific microstructural features.  Examples include the first measurement of the Kapitza resistance of a bicrystal boundary and the identification of a cooperative effect between oxygen vacancies and grain boundaries in nanocrystalline uranium oxide.


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Dr. Lingfeng He, TETI Deputy Director​​

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Lingfeng He is a distinguished staff scientist and transmission electron microscope (TEM) group lead at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), where he mainly works on microstructural characterization of as-fabricated and irradiated nuclear fuels and materials. Dr. He is interested in materials behavior under extreme environments, with a focus on environmental degradation of materials in nuclear power systems. His goal is to understand how the processing and radiation/corrosion environments change the microstructure of materials and their effects on the mechanical and thermal properties of materials. He probed these interactions by virtue of cutting-edge electron microscopy and spatially resolved spectroscopy techniques. Dr. He received a Ph.D. in materials science at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009. He worked as a post-doctoral research associate and assistant scientist at Nagaoka University of Technology in Japan and the University of Wisconsin before joining INL in 2014. He is the recipient of INL Laboratory Director’s 2020 Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award.​

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Dr. Michael Manley, Science Question 1 Lead

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Dr. Michael E. Manley is a senior researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the Scattering and Thermophysics group within the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD). His research covers functional, structural and energy materials using advanced scattering techniques. His research has led to the discovery of several remarkable modes of atomic motion including supersonic lattice phasons, Anderson local modes and intrinsic local modes and more general forms of anharmonic localization. These modes of atomic motion provide a fundamental new understanding with ramifications for diverse materials behavior ranging from giant electromechanical coupling to thermoelectric energy conversion to supersonic thermal transport. Dr. Manley received his Ph.D. in materials science from the California Institute of Technology in 2001 and was awarded the 18th Louis Rosen Prize for his thesis. He was a Director's Postdoctoral Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory for a little over a year before being promoted to staff scientist. He moved from Los Alamos to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2006 where he received a Science, Technology and Engineering Award for his work on the lattice dynamics of actinides, and then to his current position at ORNL in 2012. He was chair of the Physics and Chemistry of Materials Committee of The Minerals Metals and Materials Society (TMS) from 2015 to 2018.


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Dr. Jian Gan,  Science Question 2 Lead

Idaho National Laboratory 

Dr. Jian Gan is a Directorate Fellow and department manager of the Advanced Characterization at Idaho National Laboratory’s Materials and Fuels Complex. He has been dedicated to conducting radiation effects research leading to the development of radiation-tolerant materials for 25 years. 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, Dr. Gan is a recognized international expert in the nanoscale characterization of irradiated fuels and materials using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Before joining Argonne National Laboratory-West in 2002, he did his post-doctoral fellowship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 1999-2001. He was an assistant professor (1982-1987) and a lecturer (1987-1990) in Physics Department of Fudan University. He has been working as principle researcher and work package manager for many DOE projects and he is a member of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development - Nuclear Energy Angency (OECD-NEA) Expert Group on Innovative Structural Materials.


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Dr. Anter El-Azab, Science Question 3 Lead

Purdue University

Dr. Anter El-Azab is a professor of Materials Engineering (and Nuclear Engineering by courtesy) at Purdue University. His research interests focus on materials defects and microstructure. He is a theorist that currently works on dislocation dynamics and mesoscale plasticity, defect disorder and radiation effects in metals and oxides, grain growth and recrystallization, and microscopic and mesoscopic theory of thermal transport in crystalline solids. Part of his research (with his students, postdocs and collaborators) focuses on the development of computational methods in mechanics and materials science and on confronting mesoscale models of materials with experiments.

As a member of TETI, Dr. El-Azab will coordinate the team's effort on modeling of the phonon and electron transport using the Boltzmann Transport Equation (BTE) approach and the connection of BTE models with 5f electron electronic structure models models and experiments of phonon and electron scattering physics. He and his group will work on modeling of thermal transport in Th1-xUxO2 and UZr systems and on defect and microstructure self-organization and the role of defects and microstructure in phonon and electron scattering.


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Dr. Marat Khafizov, Phonon Transport Lead

Ohio State University

​Dr. Marat Khafizov is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University (OSU). He leads the laboratory for Thermal properties of Materials for Extreme environments (TME), whose research focus is on understanding the influence of microstructure on physical properties of materials including thermal transport, elastic, piezoelectric and dielectric properties. His expertise is in using laser-based modulated thermoreflectance method for studying thermal transport in thin films, ion beam irradiated samples and composite materials. Mechanical properties are investigated using laser ultrasonics. Another area of research is development and utilization of laser ultrasonics for microstructure characterization at microscale. Experimental research is supported by development of analytical models for analysis of experimental data to extract physical properties and establishing structure-property relations. Dr. Khafizov obtained his Ph.D. in physics from University of Rochester in 2008 and worked as a research scientist at Idaho National Laboratory during 2010-2014 prior to joining OSU.


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Dr. Krzysztof Gofryk, Electron Transport Lead

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Krzysztof Gofryk is a staff scientist in the Fuel Design and Development department. Nearly 20 percent of the world's electricity today is generated by nuclear energy. However, the microscopic processes that control transport and thermodynamic behaviors in nuclear materials used in power plants are not well understood. Key to the understanding is detailed knowledge of different low-energy excitations and their coupling, and how they are represented in physical properties of these technologically important materials. In his research, Krzysztof studies these interactions by extensive transport, thermodynamic, structural and spectroscopic measurements performed under extreme conditions such as high pressures, low/high temperatures and high magnetic fields. Further, his research utilizes on-site state-of-the-art experimental systems as well as a variety of off-site collaborations and cutting-edge user facilities (National High Magnetic Field Laboratory -Los Alamos and Tallahassee, Advanced Photon Source, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and UserLab Institute for Transuranium Elements (Karlsruhe, Germany). Dr. Gofryk has been with Idaho National Laboratory for two years. Previously, he worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (2014-2013), Los Alamos National Laboratory (2013-2009) and the Institute for Transuranium Elements (2009-2006). He earned a Ph.D. in physics and belongs to several professional societies including the European Rare-Earth and Actinide Society, American Physical Society, American Association for Crystal Growth, Polish Physical Society and the American Vacuum Society. His outside interests include skiing and swimming.



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Dr. Mukesh Bachhav

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Mukesh Bachhav is staff scientist in the Advanced Characterization department, and is instrument lead for Atom Probe Tomography for analyzing nuclear fuels and structural materials for elucidating microstructural changes. Previously, he worked as a research assistant at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor for four years, focusing on structural-property correlation for irradiated materials using high-resolution techniques. He joined University of Michigan after getting his Ph.D. in materials science at University of Rouen in 2013 where he worked on elucidating metal oxides for quantitative analysis using Atom Probe Tomography. His current research focuses on understanding and quantifying the mechanisms controlling microstructural evolution in structural materials and nuclear fuels, interfacial properties, oxidation behavior and irradiation effects in materials. To complement his experimental work, he is also collaborating with groups in computational and theoretical materials science.


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Dr. Michael Benson

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Michael Benson is a distinguished staff scientist at Idaho National Laboratory in the Advanced Fuel Manufacturing & Development department.  


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Dr. ​Zilong Hua

Idaho National Laboratory

​Dr. Hua is a staff scientist at Idaho National Laboratory with research interests in multi-scale thermal and acoustic transport phenomena of solid materials in extreme environments. He is involved in multiple laser-based thermal and mechanical property characterizations of pre- and post-irradiation materials, and contributes to the development and maintenance of state-of-art characterization techniques, the Thermal Conductivity Microscope (TCM) and the Material Properties Microscope (MPM). He contributes to the laser-based thermal conductivity characterization of unirradiated and irradiated Th1-xUxO2 and U-Zr alloys in TETI.  Dr. Hua received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at Utah State University in 2013, and a Bachelor’s in Materials Science and Engineering at the Tsinghua University (China) in 2007.


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Dr. ​Chao Jiang

Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Chao Jiang is a senior staff scientist in the Computational Mechanics and Materials Department at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Pennsylvania State University at University Park in 2004. Before joining INL, he worked as materials scientist at Thermo-Calc Software developing thermo-physical property databases for engineering materials, and as associate research scientist at University of Wisconsin-Madison working on the radiation damage in silicon carbide. At INL, Dr. Jiang’s research interests are focused on understanding the behaviors of nuclear materials under extreme condition of irradiation using atomistic modeling and simulations tools including DFT, MD, and AKMC. He is also interested in using CALPHAD-based computational thermodynamics to study the phase stability of complex multicomponent alloys. To date, Dr. Jiang has authored over 90 publications in leading international journals including Nature, Nature Communications, and Physical Review Letters. He was the recipient of the Director’s postdoc fellowship from Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2006.


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Dr. ​Matthew Mann

Air Force Research Laboratory


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Dr. Chris Marianetti

Columbia University

Dr. Chris A. Marianetti is an associate professor of Materials Science and Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia University. Dr. Marianetti's research focuses on computing the behavior of materials from the first-principles of quantum mechanics, including mechanical, electronic, magnetic,and optical phenomena; and their interplay. He addresses fundamental challenges which exist at the intersection of physics, chemistry, materials science and applied mathematics; including the development of new approaches and algorithms to address interacting electrons and phonons. Applications span the periodic table, from hydrogen to plutonium and everything between; with particular emphasis on materials with strong electronic correlations. Dr. Marianetti received a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004, and a B.S./M.S. from The Ohio State University. He held postdoctoral positions in the Department of Physics at Rutgers University in addition to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory before moving to Columbia. Dr. Marianetti was the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER and DARPA Young Faculty Awards. He chairs the Shared Research Computing Committee at Columbia, governing the formation and implementation of research computing policy for Columbia University.



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Dr. Madhab Neupane

University of Central Florida

​Dr. Neupane received his Ph.D. in physics from Boston College in 2010. He spent four years (2011-2014) as a postdoctoral research associate at Princeton University and one year (2015-2016) as a Director's Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He joined the University of Central Florida in 2016 where he is currently an assistant professor. Dr. Neupane's research focuses on advanced spectroscopic characterization of correlated materials as well as topological quantum materials. In particular, he utilizes angle-, spin- and time-resolved photoemission measurement techniques to reveal interesting electronic and spin properties, as well as the momentum resolved dynamical properties of the materials.


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Dr. Janelle Wharry

Purdue University

​Dr. Janelle Wharry is an assistant professor in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University, and holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Materials Engineering. Dr. Wharry is an expert on microstructure, characterization, and nano- and micro-mechanics of irradiated metals and alloys. She has pioneered the use of transmission electron microscopy in situ quantitative mechanical testing for irradiated alloys. In addition, Dr. Wharry received a Department of Energy contract to code-qualify structural alloys produced by powder metallurgy and hot isostatic pressing for irradiation-facing components in nuclear power plants. She has mentored nine graduate students and more than 30 undergraduate researchers, and she has published more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers. Dr. Wharry is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award and TMS Young Leader Professional Development Award. She is tgeneral chair of the 2019 Materials in Nuclear Energy Systems (MiNES) Conference, chair of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Subcommittee E10.08 on Procedures for Radiation Damage Simulation, and former chair of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Materials Science & Technology Division. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 2012.