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 Tim Roney, Manager

Dr. Roney is a Senior Scientist with the Idaho National Laboratory. He earned his Ph.D. and M.S. at the University of Arizona (both in Optical Sciences), and his B.S. at the University of California at Irvine (Physics). He has been on staff in the Physics department working on nondestructive evaluation and radiation-based imaging for the past 17 years. He is presently group lead for the Digital Radiography and Computed Tomography laboratory and manager of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at INL.


Dr. Roney's current interests include 3-D cone-beam tomography, induced-emission imaging, compact field-portable systems, and imaging in a high-radiation background.


  Helen Farrell, Directorate Fellow

Dr. Farrell has more than thirty years of fundamental research experience in the fields of materials science, physics and chemistry.  She has extensive experience in the field of surface science, and has published widely in this general area. She has also worked in the areas of superconductivity, grain boundary diffusion, epitaxial growth on semiconductor surfaces and thin films.   Over the last twenty years, or so, she has focused on the structure of the surfaces of semiconductor compounds, both under ultra-high vacuum and during crystal growth.  Dr. Farrell has worked with a variety of surface sensitive techniques including LEED, RHEED and HREELS.  She has also worked at a number of synchrotron facilities and has considerable experience with a variety of electron spectroscopies, including Auger, UPS and XPS, and has previously worked on matrix corrections, modeling and mean free path calculations for electron spectroscopies.

  Dave Hurley, Distinguished Staff Scientist

Dr. Hurley’s research interests encompass theoretical and experimental studies of pulsed laser characterization of materials.  Typically this research examines acoustic and thermal wave generation and propagation in diverse materials ranging from semiconductors to metallic alloys.  Since lasers are employed for both acoustic generation and detection, this approach naturally lends itself to in situ monitoring of material property evolution.  The temporal laser pulse length and the corresponding acoustic wavelength extend from10 nanoseconds and 100 micrometers, respectively, through 1 picosecond and 10 nanometers. 

Dr. Hurley’s research interests also include studies of ultrafast light-matter interactions, phonon focusing of gigahertz surface acoustic phonons in elastically anisotropic materials, electron-phonon coupling in polar semiconductors, generation and detection of picosecond surface acoustic phonons using nanolithographic absorption masks, thermal properties of thin actinide films, carrier transport properties of thermoelectric and photovoltaic materials and simultaneous microscopy of thermal and elastic properties of thin films.

Dr. Hurley has adapted this approach to study a variety of problems germane to the energy industry.  These applications include the study of mechanical and thermal properties of corrosive films, the development of fatigue damage in high temperature environments, and a fundamental study of acoustic wave interaction with individual microstructural features such as grain boundaries and dislocation networks.

Marat Khafizov, Associate Scientist
Dr. Marat Khafizov has performed research in condensed matter physics, optics and ultrafast spectroscopy. He develops and utilizes laser based techniques to characterize optical, thermal and mechanical properties of the material for energy and information applications. He studied material properties of semiconducting, superconducting, and low-dimensional materials and nuclear fuel oxides for radiation detection, photovoltaic and nuclear energy applications.

 Dennis Kunerth, Senior Staff Scientist

Since 1984, Dr. Kunerth has been performing research at the Idaho National Laboratory to develop nondestructive evaluation techniques to characterize materials and monitor material processes. His research has included implementation of ultrasonic and eddy current techniques to characterize metals, ceramics, and composites. He has implemented microfocus radiography techniques to characterize monolithic and composite ceramics and small-layered spheres, developed techniques to monitor and evaluate electromagnetic forming processes of metals, developed pulsed eddy current techniques to evaluate corrosion of low level waste drums, and evaluated eddy current and ultrasonic techniques to characterize advanced gas reactor graphite core materials. Additionally, Dr. Kunerth has developed eddy current array and ultrasonic phased array techniques to inspect closure welds of DOE spent nuclear fuel containers and Yucca Mountain waste packages.

  Tedd Lister, Senior Staff Scientist

Dr. Lister's research interests include electrodisposition, electrosynthesis, corrosion, surface probes for analysis and manipulation of surfaces, and electrochemistry to meet future energy needs.

One of Dr. Lister's current projects includes mediated electrochemical synthesis of energetic materials. The synthesis of 2,2-dinitropropanol from nitroethane has been achieved using ferro/ferricyanide as a mediator to perform oxidative nitration of nitroethane. This process has demonstrated lower waste and better utilization of chemicals. Another project concentrates on corrosion studies of materials used in spent nuclear fuel storage. This work is important to validate the safety case for long-term waste storage.

Karen A. Moore, Senior Staff Engineer

Ms. Moore has been performing project engineering duties for Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) programs and for the Sodium Separation Project and is the designated Control Account Manager for the Disposition of Unirradiated Fuel and HEU Scrap to Y12 project.

  Alan Wertsching, Staff Scientist

Mr. Wertsching's current research interests are in the synthesis of novel high temperature and pressure stable borazine ring structures via inorganic salt solutions.  Additional work evaluating nuclear fuel storage canister stability and high temperature metallurgical computation studies of gas cooled reactor components have been done and are ongoing. Other interests include crack propagation in amorphous silica rich materials and the predictable use of conchoidal fracture in shaping said materials.

  Richard Wright, Directorate Fellow

Dr. Wright has been a scientist at INL since March of 1985. He earned his B.S. (1976), M.S. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees in Metallurgical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Wright is presently principal investigator and technical lead for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) High Temperature Metals Research and Development Program.  

Dr. Wright has an understanding of the issues associated with the use of high temperature metals in both 3rd and 4th generation nuclear power plants and has become the technical lead for NGNP High Temperature Metal R&D. In this capacity he is leading a team of about 10 researchers in characterizing potential metals to be used at much higher temperatures than previously used for applications in very high temperature gas reactors.

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