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Computation and Optimization for Reactor Physics Simulation


137D Ward Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-5205

Phone: 785-532-7182


Senior Personnel

Jeremy Roberts

RobertsProfessor Roberts joined the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering in fall of 2013, where he teaches and researches in the areas of computational and nuclear engineering. Previously he completed graduate work in nuclear engineering at Wisconsin (under Prof. Paul Wilson) and MIT (under Prof. Benoit Forget) and undergraduate work at Wisconsin (under Prof. Douglass Henderson). Professor Roberts spent several summers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a student researcher and one academic year abroad at Tampeeren Teknillinen Yliopisto (under Prof. Robert Piché).








Graduate Students

John Boyington
My name is John Boyington and I'm a first year master student studying Nuclear Engineering. I currently hold a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering that I earned at KSU. Much of my research so far has involved learning variance reduction techniques for MCNP and modeling for both the TREAT reactor project for INL and the TRIGA reactor at Kansas State. Outside of the lab I really enjoy mountaineering in Colorado and playing/listening to prog metal.

Ye Cheng
Ye Cheng is a PhD student majoring in Nuclear Engineering in Kansas State University. He got his B.S. degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 2013 then went to U.S. for further study. After receiving his Master degree from Missouri University of Science and Technology, Ye Cheng joined the CORPS group as a PhD student in Dec. 2015. Now he's research work is mainly about computational reactor physics and reactor modeling.

Rabab Elzohery
Rabab Elzohery is a Ph.D. student working on the evaluation of uncertainties in research-reactor models.  Her most recent work has been to implement a detailed depletion sequence for the majority of the KSU reactor's lifetime and to explore use of data-driven techniques for modeling nuclide evolution.  Her present work aims to provide a formal evaluation of data recently acquired as part of a series of steady-state and transient experiments at the UW-Madison reactor facility.

Wenkai Fu
I'm a Ph.D student trying to do something in the NE field, go to the gym regularly, go fishing, get up early...(many objectives not displayed). My research has included: evaluating the sweep performance in SN method; constructin the on-campus TRIGA Mark II reactor model in SCALE (KENO6); contributing some ACE file processing to PyNE; and numerically studying the performance of alternative detectors for the TREAT hodoscope.

Richard Reed
Richard graduated with an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at Kansas State University (KSU) in 2011, and continued on to complete a Masters degree in Nuclear Engineering in 2015. He now is working towards a PhD in Nuclear Engineering at KSU in the area of reactor and lattice physics. During his time in the CORPS group, Richard has worked on various modeling and computational challenges such as expanding the use of the Response Matrix Method by using basis expansion in the energy variable (his mater's work) and modernizing a simulation of a pressurized water reactor from Fortran to Python. Richard has also been fortunate enough to spend two summers at Los Alamos National Lab supporting a project that models heat transfer using a triangular mesh. In his (limited) free time, Richard enjoys going dancing and even teaches some beginner ballroom classes with the Swing and Salsa Club at KSU.

Leidong Xu

Leidong has been exploring the use of Newton-Schulz iteration for preconditioning linear systems, especially as applied to neutron transport.  So far, he has confirmed some results explored by Dr. Roberts in past scoping studies.  Leidong's current work is to apply use of dynamic mode decomposition (DMD) and Galerkin projection to produce a surrogate model for neutron kinetics.  Such surrogates may be of great use in the evaluation of uncertainties in transient neutronic models.

Undergraduate Students

Angela Gearhardt

Angela is using the script-driven model of the the KSU TRIGA Mark II reactor to explore options for optimal fuel management.  In particular, she is exploring ad-hoc ways by which to maximize core excess reactivity using existing fuel.  She will also explore ways by which to generate cheap surrogate models for automated optimization of the core loading patter.

Prerona Kundu

Prerona's work has focused on improving the existing model of the KSU TRIGA Mark II reactor by synthesizing available documentation and data.  She is at present performing a scoping sensitivity study to determine leading sources of potential bias in the model, including the dependence of measured power on the control configuration.

Vibhav Vidyadhar

Vibhav led efforts to review and revise operational log-book data.  He is now working with Rabab and Ye to process data that was acquired during recent reactor physics experiments at UW-Madison.

Tyler Weis

Tyler joined the group to assist John in the acquisition of gamma-ray spectra from activated foils for unfolding neutron spectra.  He is now tasked with building an apparatus to facilitate the acquisition of a richer set of foil measurements by coupling their in-beam activation with a set of tailored HDPE layers.  This effort will help to complete the characterization of the north-east ("piercing") beam port in support of sensor testing.


Group Alumni (degree program, and affiliation if known)

Saqr Alshogeathri (MS, now at KACST)

Philip Hotz (BS, now at Olathe School District)

Keith Huddleston (current undergraduate)

Logan Hughes (current undergraduate)

Nicholas Mason (undergraduate)

Daniel Nichols (BS, now graduate student with Prof. McGregor)

JC Nuncio (current undergraduate)

Samuel Strohkorb (current undergraduate)

Dustin Woolsey (BS)