Bill Dunn

Professor and head, department of mechanical
and nuclear engineering

Bill Dunn

Bill Dunn, professor and head of the mechanical and nuclear engineering department at Kansas State University, also directs the Radiation Measurement Applications Laboratory. He and his students conduct research into nondestructive testing, quantitative analysis, threat detection, and other applications of ionizing radiation.

For instance, he has been supported by the Marine Corps to develop a way to improve detection of improvised explosive devices without having to get in close proximity to suspicious containers such as cars, knapsacks, briefcases, and other objects that may conceal explosives. Dunn began working on the project in November 2004 as the death toll in the war in Iraq continued to increase due to car and suicide bombings by insurgents. The device will use beams of both photon and neutron radiation that go into the target. The radiation that comes back contains information about what is inside the container. This has led to the development of the signature-based radiation-scanning — SBRS — method for which a patent application has been submitted.

Recently, Dunn has also become involved in distance education activities. He teaches an introductory nuclear engineering course online and has been principal investigator of three projects sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to develop distance modules — one on virtual laboratory experiments, another on probabilistic risk assessment and fire safety, and a third on radiation dosimetry. These and other distance courses are being offered as part of a nuclear engineering minor program available to K-State students, students at other ABET accredited institutions, and graduated engineers.

Dunn was named mechanical and engineering department head in April 2014 after serving as interim department head since August 2013. He was promoted to full professor in 2014.

Before coming to K-State in 2002, Dunn served for 14 years as president of Quantum Research Services Inc., a firm that conducted contract research, developed specialized products, and offered technical consulting services.

Dunn received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame. He went on to receive both his master's and doctorate degrees in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University.

Dunn can be reached 785-532-5628 or dunn@mne.ksu.edu.