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Steven Skutnik

Steven E. Skutnik

Assistant Professor


My research interests pertain to sustainable nuclear fuel cycles, which includes the intersection of advanced nuclear fuel cycles, radioactive waste management, and novel safeguards techniques for advanced fuel cycle facilities. In general, my work focuses on computational nuclear engineering applications, including modeling fuel cycle source terms (including spent nuclear fuel) to better understand characteristics of advanced nuclear fuel cycles and improving safeguards therein. This includes active contributions to the Origen depletion module for SCALE and the Cyclus nuclear fuel cycle simulator, including a physics-based depletion module for fuel cycle source term calculations.

In addition to my primary technical research, other areas I am interested in include policy issues pertaining to the nuclear fuel cycle, including energy policy and radioactive waste management (such as used fuel disposition strategy).

Presently, my teaching focus reflects these research interests, wherein I teach an undergraduate course on the nuclear fuel cycle and a graduate course in radioactive waste management, as well as incorporating aspects of computational nuclear engineering into the senior-level laboratory course I teach.


PhD, Nuclear Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 2011

MS, Nuclear Physics, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2005

BS, Physics and Astronomy, 2002

Awards and Recognitions

J.D. Williams Student Paper Award, First Place, Institute of Nuclear Materials Management 52nd Annual Meeting, 2011

National Nuclear Security Administration, Nuclear Nonproliferation and International Safeguards (NNIS) fellowship, 2010–2011

College of Engineering Dean's Faculty Research Excellence Award, April 2016

Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), May 2014

Office of Fuel Cycle Technologies, US Department of Energy Fuel Cycle Innovations Awards: First Place, Systems Engineering & Analysis, 2010

Graduate College teaching excellence award, Graduate College, 2004

Richard G. Patrick outstanding teaching assistant award, Department of Physics & Astronomy, May 2004

Outstanding first-year teaching award, Department of Physics & Astronomy, May 2003


R. DeVoe, K. R. Robb, and S. E. Skutnik “Sensitivity analysis for best-estimate thermal models of vertical dry cask storage systems,” Nuclear Engineering and Design, 320, pp. 282-297, August 2017

S.E. Skutnik, Proposed Re-Evaluation of the Eu-154 Thermal (n,gamma) Capture Cross-Section Based on Spent Fuel Benchmarking Studies, Annals of Nuclear Energy, 99, pp. 80-107, January 2017

T. Harris, O. Chvala, S. Skutnik, and E. Frame, “Evaluation of Covert Plutonium Production from Unconventional Uranium Sources,” International Journal of Nuclear Security, 2(3), December 2016

Knowles, S. Skutnik, D. Glasgow, and R. Kapsimalis, “A generalized method for characterization of U-235 and Pu-239 content using short-lived fission product gamma spectroscopy,'' Nucl. Inst. Meth. A., 833, pp. 38-44, October 2016.}{10.1016/j.nima.2016.06.112

N. T. Shoman and S.E. Skutnik, “Development of modern CANDU PHWR cross-section libraries for SCALE,'' Nuclear Engineering and Design, 302(A), pp. 56-67, June 2016

S.E. Skutnik and D.R. Davis, “Characterization of the non-uniqueness of used nuclear fuel burnup signatures through a Mesh-Adaptive Direct Search,” Nucl. Inst. Meth. A., 817, pp. 7-18, May 2016

M.J. Willis, S.E. Skutnik, and H.L. Hall, “Detection and Positioning of Radioactive Sources Using a Four-Detector Response Algorithm,” Nucl. Inst. Meth. A, 767(11), pp. 445-452, December 2014.

S.E. Skutnik and M.-S. Yim “An Examination of Simplification and Uncertainty on Material Attractiveness Evaluation for Proliferation Resistance Assessment" Nuclear Technology, 179(3), pp. 374-381, September 2012.

S. E. Skutnik, D. Eipeldauer, T. Margrave, “Innovations in University Nonproliferation Education through a Joint ORNL-NCSU Partnership,” Proceedings of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, 53rd Annual Meeting, July, 2012

S.E. Skutnik, I.C. Gauld, C.E. Romano, and H.R. Trellue, “Creating NDA ‘Working Standards’ through High-Fidelity Spent Fuel Modeling,” Proceedings of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, 53rd Annual Meeting, July 2012

S.E. Skutnik and M.-S. Yim, “Evaluating Advanced Fuel Cycle Proliferation Resistance Dynamics using Isotopic Characterization Coupling,” Journal of Nuclear Materials Management (JNMM), XL(1), pp. 20-28, Fall 2011

S.E. Skutnik and M.-S. Yim, “Assessment of Fuel Cycle Proliferation Resistance Dynamics Using Coupled Isotopic Characterization,” Nuclear Engineering and Design, 241(8), pp. 3270-3282, August 2011.

S.E. Skutnik, J.G. Lajoie, “A GEANT-Based Model for Single Event Upsets in SRAM FPGAs for Use in On-Detector Electronics,” IEEE Trans. Nucl. Sci., vol. 53, no. 4 August, 2006


Steven Skutnik

Contact Information

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