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Caen Ang

Caen Ang

Research Assistant Professor


Caen Ang currently directs high temperature materials synthesis in the Fuels Development Laboratory. He is responsible for developing and implementing several patented innovations, including advanced composite hydrides, bio-mimic packing of encapsulated nuclear materials, and core structures for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) systems. His current academic goals are to understand the synthesis, properties, and ground-testing of advanced materials to implement the above technologies, in the interest of creating robust, reliable, and ultra-safe reactor cores.


He was the recipient of the UT Research Faculty/Associate Excellence Award in 2020, due to the successful establishment of high temperature materials capability. The laboratory works on advanced fission reactor structural materials and surrogate fuels for the department. The equipment in the SERF building represents a state of the art high temperature materials synthesis laboratory, rivalling any other university capability. This had led to research partnerships with several federal and industry sponsors. In particular, UT is in the university partnership program with Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation for NASA’s Versatile NTP program, and has established cooperative agreements with UT Space Institute/NASA to understand the engineering feasibility and performance criteria for fuels needed in Nuclear Thermal Propulsion technologies.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2014-2017, Neutron irradiation of ceramics and composites & Development of mitigation coatings for advanced LWR fuel cladding

PhD (Eng), MU/CSIRO, 2009-2014, Ultra-High Temperature Ceramics and Composites for Extreme Environments

BSc (Hons), Monash University (MU), 2008-2009, Synthesis of ceramics via pre-ceramic and solution-based processing

Professional Service

Research Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2020-present

Research Scientist, UT, 2017-2020, Advanced Moderators (ARPA-E) and Structural Materials for NTP (NASA/USNC-Tech)



C. Ang, L.L.Snead, Y.Kato, A logical approach for zero-rupture Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuels via pressure-assisted sintering route, J. Nucl. Mater. (2020)

C. Ang, S. Judd, S. Zinkle, K. Benensky, Sintering of niobium carbide as a candidate Ultra High Temperature Ceramic (UHTC) matrix for Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated (FCM) fuel concepts, Int. J. of Cer. Eng. Sci. (2019)

C. Ang, C. Kemery, Y. Katoh, Electroplating chromium on CVD SiC and SiCf-SiC advanced cladding via PyC compatibility coating, J. Nucl. Mater. (2018)

C. Ang, C.M. Parish, C. Shih, C. Silva, Y. Katoh, Microstructure and mechanical properties of titanium aluminum carbides neutron irradiated at 400–700°C, J. Eur. Ceram. Soc (2017)

C. Ang, C. Silva, C. Shih, T. Koyanagi, Y. Katoh, S.J. Zinkle, Anisotropic swelling and microcracking of neutron irradiated Ti 3 AlC 2–Ti 5 Al 2 C 3 materials, Scr. Mater. (2016)

C.K. Ang, J.K. Thomson, J.O. Kiggans Jr, C. Kemery, Y. Katoh, K.A. Terrani, Development of Environmental Barrier Coatings for operational conditions of SiC cladding in Light Water Reactors, Trans. Amer. Nucl. Soc. (2015)

C. Ang, T. Williams, D. Vowles, C. Wood, A. Seeber, Y.-B. Cheng, Influence of sol–gel derived ZrO2 and ZrC additions on microstructure and properties of ZrB2 composites, J. Eur. Ceram. Soc. (2014)

C. Ang, T. Williams, A. Seeber, H. Wang, Y.B. Cheng, Synthesis and evolution of zirconium carbide via sol–gel route: features of nanoparticle oxide–carbon reactions, J. Am. Ceram. Soc. (2013)

Caen Ang

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