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A student scientist dons protective laboratory gear while looking into a large microscope
The Nuclear Energy University Program supports projects that focus on the key initiatives of the Office of Nuclear Energy, including fuel cycle, reactor concepts and mission-support research. | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

The Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University has been awarded over $4 million through the Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) to support university-led nuclear energy research and development projects. 

An additional estimated $250,000 was awarded as part of a corresponding NEUP infrastructure grant designed to improve research reactors as well as provide important safety, performance and student education-related upgrades.

A total of six new grants have been distributed to nuclear engineering faculty members Drs. Karim Ahmed, Karen Kirkland, Thien Nguyen, Jean Ragusa, and Lin Shao; and mechanical engineering faculty member Dr. N.K. Anand. Each proposal was subjected to a rigorous two-part, independent peer review process to eliminate bias and ensure that those funded are based on technical merit.

“Our grants cover a wide range of topics including multiscale modeling, experimental investigation and data science of fuel and system performance,” said Dr. Michael Nastasi, nuclear engineering department head. “These projects truly reflect the breadth and comprehensive capability of the department.”

Funded projects:

  • Multiscale modeling and experiments for investigating high burnup light water reactor fuel rod behavior under normal and transient conditions

Principal investigator: Ahmed

  • Experimental investigations of high-temperature gas-cooled reactor fission product transport in separate-effect test facilities under prototypical conditions for depressurization and water-ingress accidents

Principal investigator: Anand 

  • Risk-informed consequence-driven physical protection system, optimization for microreactor sites

Principal investigator: Kirkland

  • High-resolution measurements and advanced modeling for design optimization of advanced small modular reactor steam generators

Principal investigator: Nguyen

  • High-fidelity, data science-informed pebble-bed reactor simulation

Principal investigator: Ragusa

  • Infrastructure upgrades to the Texas A&M accelerator laboratory

Principal investigator: Shao