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Nuclear Engineering Team Collaborates for Dual Best Paper Awards

Nicholas Brown.

Associate Professor Nick Brown

Nick Brown, associate professor in nuclear engineering (NE), Ed Duchnowski, NE graduate student, and Caen Ang, NE research assistant professor, are co-authors and key contributors on two recent Best Paper awards in collaboration with colleagues from Stony Brook University in New York.

“We worked with our partners to develop brand new material systems that support the accelerated deployment of micro nuclear reactor and advanced reactor technologies for decarbonization of energy production,” said Brown.

The awards are for “Ceramic Composite Moderators as Replacements for Graphite in High Temperature Microreactors,” published in the Journal of Nuclear Materials, p.153591; and “Development and potential of composite moderators for elevated temperature nuclear applications,” published in the Journal of Asian Ceramic Societies, pp.1-24.

The Journal of Nuclear Materials, one of the top publications for nuclear energy topics, chose the paper out of 1,600 submissions for 2022, and will present the award at the American Nuclear Society’s 2023 Materials in Nuclear Energy Systems (MiNES) meeting in December in New Orleans, where co-author Jason Trelewicz of Stony Brook will present about the work.

The collaborators continue to investigate the ways these material systems can impact advances in nuclear energy production.

“The team is building on the successful demonstration of the development and fabrication of these advanced composite moderator concepts by focusing on studying their application in advanced nuclear fuel cycles, including recycle fuel cycles, and additional nuclear reactor types,” said Brown. “The broader work by Stony Brook is also demonstrating the reactor performance of these highly novel concepts under irradiation.”


Randall Brown (865-974-0533,