December 12, 2019
MNE professor awarded joint DOE grant
Scott Thompson, a Steve Hsu Keystone research scholar and associate professor in the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, together with peers at the University of Missouri and Auburn University, has been awarded a grant totaling $400,000 over three years from the U.S. Department of Energy to study the effects of neutron irradiation on 3D-printed part degradation.
The project will determine how to best use a common 3D printing process for metals, laser-powder bed fusion, to generate radiation-resistant parts from nickel-based super alloys for special-purpose reactor applications, an example being use of a very small modular reactor.
An outcome will be to demonstrate that these parts can withstand high-temperature/pressure environments under constant nuclear irradiation before being deemed certifiable for dependable use.
The Department of Energy has awarded more than $28.5 million through its Nuclear Energy University Program to support 40 university-led nuclear energy research and development projects in 23 states. The program seeks to maintain U.S. leadership in nuclear research across the country by providing top science and engineering faculty, and their students with opportunities to develop innovative technologies and solutions for civil nuclear capabilities.