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MIR Research Staff

Principal Investigator: Carl Stoots

Department Manager of the Nuclear Science & Technology, Thermal Sciences & Safety Analysis Department at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). In this capacity, he manages engineers and scientists involved in nuclear reactor safety analysis and simulation (RELAP5, RELAP7), thermal hydraulic experimentation, fusion energy, high temperature electrolysis, basic fluid mechanics (verification and validation [V&V]), ultrasonics, and nuclear data measurements. He has 10 years of experience studying the use of solid-oxide fuel cells for nuclear powered high-temperature electrolysis related to hydrogen and syngas production and is internationally recognized. He also has 10 years of experience in basic and applied fluid mechanics and heat transfer; he is one of the developers of the INL Matched Index of Refraction (MIR) flow facility. Dr. Stoots’ developmental work on the INL’s MIR resulted in his 2-year invited stay at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics, University of Erlangen (Germany), helping to develop and performing the first measurements in their similar MIR flow facility. Dr. Stoots has over 120 peer-reviewed publications and has four patents. Dr. Stoots was awarded the INL Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Engineering Achievement in 2012, which is the highest recognition an individual may receive during their career at INL. This award recognizes national and international major contributions to the advancement of an engineering field of study over a sustained period of time. Dr. Stoots has also been awarded the Federal Laboratory Consortium Outstanding Technology Development award and the Stoel Rives Innovation award for energy technology for his work in high-temperature co-electrolysis.


Co-PI: Piyush Sabharwall

Dr. Piyush Sabharwall is a staff research scientist working in Nuclear System Design and Analysis Division at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He has expertise in heat transfer, fluid mechanics, thermal design, thermodynamics, and nuclear safety analyses. He is internationally recognized as a thermal-hydraulic expert in the next generation nuclear systems. Over the last few years, he has been researching high-temperature heat exchanger design and optimization, system integration and power conversion systems, and safety and reliability for Advanced Reactor Concepts. He has extensive experience in the design and construction of large-scale experimental systems for nuclear and thermal-hydraulic research. He played a key role in the development of STAR-LM, a conceptual reactor developed in conjunction with Argonne National Lab and Oregon State University. He has helped position INL as an intellectual leader in areas such as verification and validation, development of experimental programs, small modular reactors, and molten salt reactor technology and explored capabilities across directorates to enable the successful nuclear hybrid energy systems program. He has authored two books, contributed chapters to technical books on advanced reactors and thermal systems and process heat transfer, and published over 75 peer-reviewed publications including journal articles, conference proceedings, technical abstracts, magazines, and technical reports. In 2011, he received the New Faces of Engineering ASME National Award on the basis of contributions stemming from experiments and research and development effort in the area of thermal hydraulics and in 2013 he was awarded the ANS Young Member Excellence National Award.


Co-PI: Don McEligot

Prof. Donald M. McEligot (Ph.D. Thermoscience, Stanford; M.S.E. Nuclear Engineering, University of Washington; B.E.M.E., Yale; P.E., New Jersey) is a Nuclear Science (Directorate) Fellow at Idaho National Laboratory, a distinguished visiting professor at the University of Idaho, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Arizona. He has over three decades experience in development, use, and guidance of experimental thermal science and computational thermal fluid physics. He is perhaps best known for pioneering experiments and numerical analyses on transport property variation in internal turbulent, laminar and laminarizing gas flows, and discovery of laminarization by heating. He and his colleagues were the first to identify and properly predict low Reynolds-number turbulent flow in tubes, measure transition of mixtures of polymer solutions, and measure effects of heat transfer to low Prandtl-number gas mixtures. For his record of accomplishment, he has been honored by receipt of the 2007 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award, the 2011 iNEER Leadership Award, an award as a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar to West Germany, selection to Fellow grade in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a tour as a Distinguished Foreign Scientist for the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute. The author of more than 60 archival publications, he has completed research projects at Imperial College London, Universität Karlsruhe, the Max Planck Institut für Strömungsforschung, Göttingen, Universität Stuttgart, and University Limerick. He has been a significant catalyst for international research partnerships in convective heat transfer and fluid mechanics.



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