Welcome to the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS). ISNPS was founded in 1984 as a research and development organization within UNM's School of Engineering with a focus on space power and propulsion technologies and related fields. ISNPS offers educational and professional training and conducts research in many fields of space nuclear power and space systems technology in cooperation with UNM's Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering.
Regents' Professor Mohamed El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical, Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering and the Founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies has been named the recipient of the 2010 Donald Q. Kern Memorial Award by the Transport and Energy Process Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. This award given in honor of Donald Q. Kern, a pioneer in process heat transfer, is one of the most prestigious in the world in recognizing significant contributions to the fields of applied heat transfer or energy conversion or in the translation of research results into useful technological applications. Dr. El-Genk joined the recognized leaders in the field of heat transfer who received this award since 1974.
Dr. El-Genk is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, and an associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a member of the Assembly of the International Heat Transfer Conference (IHTC), the Organizing, Steering and U.S. Scientific committees of the 2010 14th IHTC, and the Scientific Committee of the International Center for Heat and Mass Transfer.
Recent research performed by ISNPS with the assistance of the high performance computers at the University of New Mexico's Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC) was displayed by UNM CARC at the International Supercomputing 2015 conference. The highlighted research included involved projects on Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Force Fields for Modeling Crystalline SiO2 and Convection Heat Transfer of NaK-78 Liquid Metal in a Circular Tube and a Tri-lobe Channel. Copies of the research flyers are available below.
Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical, and Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies at UNM, is named the recipient of the American Nuclear Society thermal-hydraulics Technical Achievement Award for 2015. The award is "in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the understanding of terrestrial and space reactor thermal hydraulics phenomena and for his impact on the thermal hydraulics community as a researcher, educator, and leader." The award will be presented on Tuesday November 10, following the award lecture to be delivered by El-Genk entitled "Journey with Thermal-Hydraulics: Challenges, Contributions and Rewards," at the American Nuclear Society Annual Winter Meeting to be in Washington DC, 8-12, 2015. El-Genk is a nationally and international recognized expert and scholar with many seminal contributions to the technologies of space nuclear power and terrestrial nuclear reactors. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS) and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is the recipient of many prestigious awards and recognitions, including the AIChE 2009/2010 Donald Q. Kern memorial award, for recognizing significant contributions in areas of applied heat and mass transfer, and the Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion Division Award. These are in addition to the Distinguished Faculty Member Honor, Alpha Nu Sigma Honor Society for Nuclear Science & Engineering of ANS, and the United States Department of Energy Certificate of Appreciation, for outstanding contributions to Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion. At UNM, El-Genk was named the UNM 46th Annual Research Lecturer, the recipient the Presidential UNM Lectureship Award, the Faculty Recognition Award, for having the greatest impact on graduating seniors in Nuclear Engineering, the School of Engineering's Research and Teaching Excellence Awards, the Graduate Students' Outstanding Teacher Award in Nuclear Engineering, and was named Regents' Professor. El-Genk is an Associate Editor of ASME Journal of Thermal Science and Engineering Applications, Editor of International Journal on Process Systems Engineering-Energy Systems Processes and member of editorial boards of ISRN Chemical Engineering, J. Nuclear Energy Science & Power Generation Technology and J. Frontiers in Heat Pipes Science and Technology. He is also a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Center of Heat and Mass Transfer and a US Delegate to the Assembly of the International Heat Transfer Conference.
Governor Susana Martinez has unveiled a new energy policy and implementation plan for the State of New Mexico calling for a broad approach embracing different energy sources including clean solar, wind, and nuclear energy. The plan, entitled "Seizing our Energy Potential: Creating a More Diverse Energy Economy in New Mexico" recommends developing a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) taskforce to support a pre-feasibility study for constructing an SMR prototype in New Mexico. For more details visit NM Energy, Mineral and Natural Resources Development . To learn more about ISNPS's research on SMRs visit Small Modular Reactors.
On 5 May 2015, Mr. Timothy M. Schriener successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation, "Multi-Physics Design and Analyses of Long Life Reactors for Lunar Outposts," and fulfilled all the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Timothy's Dissertation Committee Chair and Faculty Advisor is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical and Biological, Nuclear, and Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. Other members of the Dissertation Committee are Dr. Cassiano de Oliveira, Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Dr. Gary Cooper, Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Dr. Chris Hall, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Salvador Rodriguez of Sandia National Laboratory. The dissertation research investigates two lunar surface power reactor concepts using a multi-physics design and analyses methodology which couples detailed Monet Carlo neutronics simulations with 3-D Computational Fluid Mechanics (CFD) and thermal-hydraulics analyses. The research investigated examples of both a solid core reactor that would be fueled at launch, the Sectored Compact Reactor (SCoRe), and well as a concept which would be loaded with fuel on the Moon, the Pellet Bed Reactor (PeBR). Results showed that the final SCoRe concept could achieve a long operational life of 21 full power years, and that the sectored core allows the reactor to continue safe operation in the event one of the core sectors experiences a loss of coolant. Neutronics analyses show that the PeBR can achieve a operational life of 66 fuel power years by fueling the reactor core on the Moon. A fuel loading simulation demonstrates that the reactor can be successfully fueled in lunar gravity. In addition, post-operation storage analyses of the SCoRe and PeBR concepts show that the radioactivity in the fuel decays away to a sufficiently low level to allow for recovery within 300 years. This research is partially funded by United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission Graduate Research Fellowship Grant#NRC-38-09-931-MOI to the University of New Mexico and the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. For more details and related publications, visit Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion Systems and Planetary Surface Power Systems.
On 15 June 2015, Mr. Arthur Suszko successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation, "Enhancement of Nucleate Boiling on Rough and Dimpled Surfaces with Application to Composite Spreaders for Microprocessors Immersion Cooling," and fulfilled all the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Arthur's Dissertation Committee Chair and Faculty Advisor is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical and Biological, Nuclear, and Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. Other members of the Dissertation Committee are Dr. Yu-Lin Shen, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Dr. Mehran Tehrani, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Mahmoud Taha, Professor of Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical and Computer Engineering. The dissertation research experimentally investigated the enhancement of pool nucleate boiling of PF-5060 dielectric liquid on uniformly heated, 10 x 10 x 1.6 mm rough and dimpled Cu surfaces at different inclination angles. In addition, the experimental nucleate boiling heat transfer coefficient curves for rough Cu surfaces were used to computationally investigate the performance of composite spreaders for high power microprocessors. The results demonstrated that composite heat spreaders with scalable surface modifications, such as surface roughening and dimples machining, are very promising for the immersion cooling of high powered microprocessors. For more details and related publications, visit Immersion Cooling of High-Power Electronics.
The ISNPS group picture taken in February of 2012 outside of Farris Engineering. We currently consist of several graduate students and two faculty members. To view each person individually, you may view the faculty and student indices.