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Recent Events
6/10/2020
UNM-ISNPS makes a strong presence at national meeting
12/14/2019
Masters Graduation - Raymond Fasano
8/31/2019
Forbes.com writes about ISNPS's SLIMM and VSLLIM reactor concepts
8/6/2019
ISNPS research highlighted at Cybersecurity Research Spotlight Forum
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Physical Location:
Ferris Engineering Center
Room 1120

Mailing Address:
Institute for Space & Nuclear Power Studies
MSC01-1120
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: 505.277.5442
Fax: 505.277.5433

Online: Contact Form

ISNPS News


[11 - 05 - 2020] Third Progress Report for UNM-ISNPS/SNL DOE-NEUP Collaboration on Cybersecurity for Nuclear Plant Instrumentation and Control Systems

UNM-ISNPS in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories has released the latest progress report on the effort to develop a Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) platform to aid in investigating the cybersecurity of nuclear power plant instrumentation and control systems. This work is supported by a multi-year DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program grant. This progress report, titled Emulated Programmable Logic Controllers for the Protection and Safety Monitoring and Operation I&C Systems in a Representative PWR Plant for Cybersecurity Applications presents the results of the research effort developing an emulated Instrumentation and Control (I&C) system for the physics-based PWR model in the NICSim platform, including the Programable Logic Controllers (PLCs) in the operation and safety I&C systems. The report details the functional programing and testing for the different PLCs when coupled to the developed PWR plant model.


[11 - 05 - 2020] UNM-ISNPS Research Publish Report of Pump Design Effort for Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL) for Planned Versatile Test Reactor

UNM-ISNPS has been working in a team lead by Los Alamos National Laboratory on investigating pumping options for circulating molten lead in the Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL) under conceptual development for the planned Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). The ELTA-CL will support the development of lead-cooled fast reactors by allowing corrosion testing of candidate materials in the VTR core irradiation environment, and by demonstrating potential fuel concepts and instrumentation options. This work is supported by a DOE grant from Battelle Energy Alliance. The results of this effort are published in Design Optimization and Performance of Pumping Options for VTR Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL) and Design Optimization and Performance of Pumping Options for VTR Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL)-Update. These reports describe the research effort to investigate four pumping options for circulating molten lead in the ELTA-CL: Annular Linear Induction Pump (ALIP), Direct Current Electromagnetic Pump (DC EMP), gas-lift pumping, and axial-centrifugal flow mechanical pump. Detailed are the extensive design and performance analyses conducted by UNM-ISNPS researches to determine the ability of each pumping option to meet desired ELTA-CL requirments.


[08 - 03 - 2020] Second Progress Report for UNM-ISNPS/SNL DOE-NEUP Collaboration on Cybersecurity for Nuclear Plant Instrumentation and Control Systems

UNM-ISNPS in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories has released the latest progress report on the effort to develop a Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) platform to aid in investigating the cybersecurity of nuclear power plant instrumentation and control systems. This work is supported by a multi-year DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program grant. This progress report, titled A Physics based, Dynamic Model of a Pressurized Water Reactor Plant with Programmable Logic Controllers for Cybersecurity Applications presents the results of the research effort developing a physics based PWR plant model within Matlab Simulink framework to be coupled with the emulated PLCs in the representative I&C system architecture in the NICSim platform. The report details the physics-based component models of the nuclear reactor, pressurizer, steam generator, reactor coolant pump, and primary loop, as well their validation testing and sample transient results.


[06 - 10 - 2020] UNM's Nuclear Engineering department and Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies makes a strong presence at national meeting

Two graduate students, Andrew Hahn and Ragai Altamimi, Research Assistant Professor Timothy Schriener, and Distinguished and Regents' Professor gave talks on the results of ongoing research on the development of a nuclear power plants Cyber Security platform at a dedicated technical session entitled, "Cyber Security for Nuclear Power Installation-II," at the first virtual national meeting of the American Nuclear Society this week, 8-11 June, 2020. The Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) Platform for investigating cybersecurity risks to nuclear power plants, is being developed in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Lamb and his colleagues at Sandia National Laboratories. This effort is funded by a 3-year award from DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program (NEUP) to the UNM Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies.

1. Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) Platform for Investigating Cybersecurity Risks

2. Programmable Logic Controller of a Pressurized Water Reactor Core Protection Calculator

3. Pressurizer Model and PLCs for Investigation of Cybersecurity of PWR Plants

4. Steam Generator Model and Controller for Cybersecurity Analyses of Digital I&C Systems in PWR Plants

( ANS presentation recording-may need ANS login).


[12 - 14 - 2019] Masters Graduation - Raymond Fasano

On December 14 2019, Ray Fasano graduated with a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico. His advisor was Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Distinguished and Regents' Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical, and Chemical and Biological Engineering and Founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS). Ray worked on the NicSim NEUP project as a member of the ISNPS and as a graduate intern at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). He worked closely with technical groups at SNL and UNM to ensure a productive collaboration. The focus of Ray's research focused on cybersecurity for nuclear power plants by developing an emulation platform for a pressurized water reactor. He also developed a PLC emulation methodology to provide a technical basis for using emulated PLCs in the NicSim platform. Upon graduating Ray will become a full-time member of the technical staff at SNL.


[11 - 27 - 2019] Graduate and Research Assistant positions available for 2020

The Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies has current openings available starting spring semester 2020 .

One opening is available for qualified graduate students in the fields of Nuclear Engineering, Electronics and Computer Engineering, Computer Science, or Mechanical Engineering to assist with exciting research in the area of nuclear cybersecurity.

A second opportunity is available for qualified students enrolled to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, or Chemical Engineering to to conduct pool boiling experiments and Computational Fluids Dynamics (CFD) simulation and analysis of two-phase flow with applications to energy systems and submersion cooling of electronics.

Additional information on these opportunities can be found at http://isnps.unm.edu/opportunities/.


[08 - 31 - 2019] Forbes.com writes about ISNPS's SLIMM and VSLLIM reactor concepts

The Scalable LIquid Metal cooled small Modular (SLIMM) and Very Small, Long LIfe, Modular (VSLLIM) reactor concepts developed by ISNPS researchers are the focus of a recent piece on Forbes.com ( see article here). These passively safe reactor concepts are cooled by the natural circulation of liquid sodium, and are designed to scalable to different power levels (from 10-100 MWth for SLIMM and 1-10 MWth for VSLLIM). For publications discussing these innovative SMR and vSMR concepts see SLIMM and VSLLIM Publications

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[08 - 17 - 2019] ISNPS research highlighted at Sandia National Laboratories Cybersecurity Research Spotlight Forum

Distinguished and Regents' Professor Mohamed S. El-Genk presented recent research performed at ISNPS at the August 6th Research Spotlight Forum on the Topic of Cybersecurity, organized by Sandia National Laboratories. Researchers from Sandia and from universities around the country presented recent research performed in the area of cybersecuity. Dr. El-Genk's presentation discussed work performed in support of the NICSim: Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation for Evaluating Response to Cyber-attacks project supported by a DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program grant. These included details of a fast running interface enabling linking one or more programmable logic controllers (PLCs) to a physics-based dynamic simulation model of a nuclear power system. Also presented were results of testing demonstrating linking an external PLC to a dynamic simulation model of a gas-cooled space nuclear power system (see more on the system in the reference here). Recordings of the talks given at the Research Spotlight Forum can be viewed on the Sandia National Laboratories site here: Link to SNL website with recordings


[08 - 16 - 2019] First Progress Report for UNM-ISNPS/SNL DOE-NEUP Collaboration on Cybersecurity for Nuclear Plat Instrumentation and Control Systems

UNM-ISNPS in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories has released the latest progress report on the effort to develop a Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) platform to aid in investigating the cybersecurity of nuclear power plant instrumentation and Control systems. This work is supported by a multi-year DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program grant. This progress report, titled Implementation and Validation of PLC Emulation and Data Transfer presents the results of the research effort developing and validating a programmable logic controller (PLC) emulation methodology and developing a reliable, fast running interface that effectively links a PLC to a physics based simulation model within Matlab Simulink framework.


[08 - 15 - 2019] ISNPS Research Assisted by Idaho National Laboratory High Performance Computing Center

Recent research performed by ISNPS was assisted by access to Idaho National Laboratory's High Performance Computing (HPC) Center. As a member of the INL National University Consortium, researchers at the University of New Mexico can apply to use the high performance computing resources at INL to assist with their research. UNM-ISNPS researchers have recently published work involving large scale molecular dynamics and computational fluid dynamics simulations which utilized INL HPC computers to run some of their simulation cases. These research included projects on the Radiation Effects in Metal Oxides and Carbides , the Characterization of radiation damage in TiO2, and CFD Analyses and Friction Factor Correlation in Hexagonal Bundles with Flat and Scalloped Walls .


[03 - 29 - 2019] Ph.D. Dissertation Defense - Luis Palomino

On March 29 2019, Luis Palomino successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation titled "Neutronic and CFD-Thermal Hydraulic Analyses Of Very-Small, Long-Life, Modular (VSLLIM) Reactor," and fulfilled all the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Luis's Dissertation Committee Chair and Faculty Advisor is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Distinguished and Regents' Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical, and Chemical and Biological Engineering and Founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. Other members of the Dissertation Committee are Dr. Anil Prinja, Distinguished Professor and Chair of Nuclear Engineering, Dr. Timothy Schriener, Research Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering, and Dr. Fernando Garzon, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering. The dissertation research conducted neutronic and thermal-hydraulics analyses to investigate and quantify the passive operation and safety features of the Very-Small, Long-LIfe, and Modular (VSLLIM) nuclear reactor being developed at the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies. The performed neutronics and fissile depletion analyses of the VSLLIM reactor using MCNP6 particle transport code confirmed that UN fuel enrichment of 13.76% is sufficient for achieving the hot-clean excess reactivity for operating VSLLIM reactor without refueling for ~92 and 5.8 full power years (FPY) at 1.0 and 10 MWth, respectively. The performed CFD-thermal-hydraulics analyses investigated the effects using metal fins along the outer surface of the guard vessel wall and changing the width of the cold air intake duct on the decay heat removal rate and the time after shutdown for cooling the in-vessel liquid sodium to 400 K. This research also performed CFD analyses to investigate the friction factor for laminar, transition, and turbulent flows in bare tube hexagonal bundles with flat and scalloped walls. The results of the CFD simulations and reported experimental data were used to develop a continuous correlation of the friction factor for bundles with flat walls with various numbers of tubes (7, 19, 37, and 61) in a triangular lattice with 1.07 < P/D < 2.416. The results also validated the applicability of the developed friction factor correlation to the VSLLIM reactor hexagonal bundles with scalloped walls. For more details and related publications, visit SLIMM Reactor Concept


[07 - 09 - 2018] New UNM-ISNPS DOE-NEUP Collaboration With Sandia National Laboratories


[06 - 20 - 2018] Mohamed El-Genk Promoted to Rank of Distinguished Professor

Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, and chemical and biological engineering and Founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies has been selected for the honor of being promoted to the rank of distinguished professor. UNM defines distinguished professors as those who have demonstrated outstanding achievements and are nationally and internationally renowned as scholars. This is the highest faculty title the university bestows, and only a handful of professors are honored with the rank each year.

UNM School of Engineering Press Release


[05 - 11 - 2017] El-Genk Receives 2017 ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award

Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical and Chemical & Biological Engineering and the founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies is selected to receive the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2017 Heat Transfer Memorial Award. The award citation reads "for outstanding contributions to boiling enhancement; immersion cooling of electronics; forced, natural, and combined convection in rod bundles; heat pipes and thermosyphons; impinging and swirling jets heat transfer; thermal-hydraulics of nuclear reactors; and thermal management of space nuclear power systems." UNM Department of Nuclear Engineering Release


[11 - 10 - 2016] Patent awarded for UNM-ISNPS SLIMM Small Modular Reactor Concept

A US patent (Application US20160329113 A1) has been issued for UNM-ISNPS's SLIMM (Scalable LIquid Metal cooled small Modular) Reactor concept. SLIMM is a small modular reactor design cooled by the natural circulation of liquid sodium for thermal powers between 10-100 MWth with a long operation lifetime of ~66-6.3 full power years without refueling. The SLIMM concept has been under the development by UNM-ISNPS researchers for several years and has been the subject of many publications SLIMM Publications


[12 - 17 - 2015] ISNPS Research Displayed at Supercomputing 2015 Conference

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.

[Download Here].

[Download Here].


[09 - 23 - 2015] News Break- El-Genk is the Recipient of a National Technical Achievement Award

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.


[09 - 22 - 2015] News - New Mexico Governor Unveils New State Energy Plan that Includes Interest in Small Modular Reactors

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.


[09 - 21 - 2015] Ph.D. Dissertation Defense - Timothy M. Schriener

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.


[09 - 21 - 2015] Ph.D. Dissertation Defense - Arthur Suszko

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.


[04 - 02 - 2015] Master's Project Defense - Benjamin J. Cowen

Benjamin Cowen.

On Thursday, 2 April 2015, Benjamin J. Cowen, a Research Assistant with the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, successfully defended his Master's Project in Nuclear Engineering. Project committee included Research Professor and Director of the Center for Advanced Research Computing (CARC), Susan Atlas, Professor and Interim Chair, Anil Prinja, and Project Chair and Advisor, Regents` Professor Mohamed S. El-Genk.




[11 - 20 - 2014] New Research Assistant positions available for 2014

The Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies has current openings starting spring, summer or fall semesters 2014, for qualified graduate students to purse PhD in Chemical, Mechanical or Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico. More information is available here.


[08 - 14 - 2013] Ph.D. Dissertation Defense - Tai T. Pham

On 23 July 2013, Mr. Tai T. Pham successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation, "Simulations of Space Radiation Interactions with Materials, with Application to Dose Estimates for Lunar Shelter and Aboard the International Space station," and fulfilled all the requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Tai's Dissertation Committee Chair and Faculty Advisor is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical, 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 Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Dr. Adam Hecht, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, and Dr. Christos Christodoulou, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Configurable Space Microsystems Innovations & Applications Center (COSMIAC). The Dissertation research provided valuable insights into the interaction of energetic space radiation with potential shielding materials and dose rate estimates for a Lunar Shelter with Regolith shielding during a simulated energetic solar event. In addition, simulation results of the dose rate estimates on board the International Space Station using MCNPX and PHITS codes agreed well with recent measurement using a spherical Phantom. Best results are when using a cylindrical source particles domain in the simulations. 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 Shielding, Solar Energetic Particles and Radiation Detection.


[08 - 02 - 2013] Ph.D. Dissertation Defense - In-Hwan Yang

On 16 July 2013, In-Hwan Yang (right) successfully defended his Ph.D. Dissertation "Numerical Analysis of co-flowing immiscible liquids in co-axial microtubes," and have fulfilled all requirements for the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. In-Hwan's Dissertation Committee Chair and Faculty Advisor is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical, Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering (left). Other members of The Dissertation Committee are Dr. Timothy L. Ward, Department Chair and Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Dr. Dimiter N. Petsev, Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, and Dr. Juan Carols Heinrich, Professor of Mechanical Engineering. The committee recommended Mr. Yang Dissertation for the PhD degree with Distinction. The Dissertation research numerically investigated various controlling parameters affecting emulsification of co-flowing immiscible liquid in co-axial microtubes. The research provided an extensive database for developing a flow regimes map and dimensionless correlations for predicting the boundaries between the prevailing regimes of dripping, transition and jetting as well as the diameter and frequency of forming disperse micro-droplets. The research results are successfully validated using reported experiments data for various combinations of co-flowing immiscible liquids. Results show that linear instability analysis consistently underestimates the boundary between transient and jetting. In-Hwan conducted his PhD research as a Research Assistant with the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, which funded the research. For more details and related publications, visit: Microemulation Simulation and Microchannel Flow, and Computational Fluid Dynamics and Numerical Analyses


[07 - 26 - 2013] Ph.D. Dissertation Defense - Amir F. Ali

Amir Faris Ali Graduation

On 11 July 2013, Amir Faris Ali (front, 2nd left), successfully defended his PhD dissertation entitled "Enhancement of Saturation Boiling of PF-5060 Dielectric Liquid on MicroPorous Surfaces." Mr. Ali is a Research Assistant with the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS), which funded his research. Faculty advisor and Chair of the Dissertation Committee is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical, Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering and Director of ISNPS ((Front, 1st to the right)). Other members of Amir's dissertation committee are Dr. Timothy L. Ward, Professor and Chair of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Department, Dr. Juan Heinrich, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Dr. Zayd Leseman, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering (front, 2nd right). Mr. Ali is accompanied in this photo with fellow researchers at INSPS, in celebration of his accomplishment and this important milestone. The Dissertation research experimentally investigated enhancing nucleate boiling and Critical Heat Flux (CHF) of PF-5060 dielectric liquid on microporous copper (MPC) surfaces at different inclination angles. In addition, 3D numerical analysis quantified and the potential of MPC surfaces for immersion cooling of high power computer chips. For more details about this research and others please visit the ISNPS projects webpage.


[02 - 01 - 2013] Important Notice - Research Assistantships

A number of Research Assistantship positions will be available for qualified graduate students to pursue a PhD in Nuclear, Chemical or Mechanical Engineering. We are looking of outstanding candidates with demonstrated experience in one or more of the following areas:

  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and simulation of complex fluids;
  • Thermal Sciences, advanced cooling, and thermal management of space systems;
  • Nucleate boiling enhancement and two-phase flow in macro channels;
  • Experimental methods and advanced instrumentation;
  • Microfluidics and gas adsorption experiments and techniques;
  • Electrochemical deposition and synthesis of Nano- and micro-porous surfaces;
  • Nuclear fuel, reactor materials, and corrosion and blistering solutions;
  • Nuclear graphite irradiation and gasification kinetics;
  • Space Nuclear Power;
  • Dynamic simulation of energy systems;
  • Neutronics and reactors thermal-hydraulics and safety analyses;
  • Small modular reactors;
  • Dry casks for interim storage in dry casks;

United States citizens are strongly encouraged to apply, but strong and experienced international students will also be considered. Those interested please send a letter of interest, C.V., copies of recent publications, names and contact information for three references as email attachments to: mgenk@unm.edu.


[11 - 26 - 2012] Breaking News - Boyce W. Travis successfully defended his Master's Thesis, titled "An Effective Methodology For Thermal- Hydraulics Analysis Of A VHTR Core And Fuel Elements."

TBoyce W. Travis and ISNPS committee.

On Monday, 26 November 2012, Boyce W. Travis (middle front), a Research Assistant with the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies, successfully defended his Master's Thesis in Nuclear Engineering. Thesis committee included Research Assistant Professor Jean-Michel Tournier (front right), Adjunct Associate Professor Sal Rodriguez (front left), and Committee Chair and Thesis Advisor, Regents` Professor Mohamed S. El-Genk.



Click here for the full article

[04 - 24 - 2010] Two Nuclear Engineering Senior Design Teams Receive National Awards at American Nuclear Society National Student Conference

Every spring, the seniors of the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of New Mexico are divided into groups to work on a senior capstone design project, under the guidance of Regentsí Professor Mohamed El-Genk. The students in the senior design class are encouraged to submit papers based on their design projects for presentation at the American Nuclear Society Annual Student Conference. This year, the conference was held at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 30 March - 2 April, 2016. At the conference, UNM was represented by five design teams, constituting the entire NE senior class.

The five UNM senior designs presented at the conference are of Americian-241 Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) for future space exploration, a research nuclear reactor for the production of Molybnium-99 medical isotope, a small modular, liquid sodium cooled nuclear reactor for electricity generation and process heat to remote communities, a small nuclear reactor system for maritime electrical power and propulsion, and a nuclear reactor power system for a submersible research vessel. All five projects were accepted for presentations by the conference committee, four were selected for technical podium presentations, and one for a poster presentation.

Two of the UNM design teams received best presentation awards in their technical tracks. The members of the first team, Arnika Chidambaram, Joey Elmblad, James Pike, and Ryan Sharp are developing a Low Enriched High-Flux nuclear Reactor for the production Molybdenum-99 medical isotope. Chidambaram and Pike represented their team at the conference and received the best presentation award in the Isotopes and Radiation Technical track. The members of the second ranked UNM team, Zackary Dodson, Cole Mueller, and Brittany Umbrage are developing an 241Am2O3 Coated Particle, 100 We RTG for Long-Life Planetary and Space Missions. Dodson and Umbrage represented their design team at the conference and received the best presentation awards in the Aerospace Nuclear Science and Technology Technical track. In addition, Dodson and Umbrage received an invitation and offered stipend to attend and present their team design at the Innovations in Nuclear Space Conference, to be held February 2017, in Orlando, FL. [PDF of Press Release]


[12 - 01 - 2008] Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Student Defends Master's Thesis

Bruno Thesis

Mr. Bruno Martin Gallo, Research Assistant with the Institute for space and Nuclear Power Studies, successfully defended his Master Thesis entitled"Brayton Rotating Unit designs and Analyses for Space Reactor Power Systems." The Thesis committee includes Professor Norm Rodrick, Professor Jean-Michel Tournier, and Regents' Professor Mohamed El-Genk (Chair), at the department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering. Mr. Gallo is graduating with an MS degree in Nuclear Engineering. He will return to his native country Argentina to sort through a number of exciting job offers. On behalf of the ISNPS's family and the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering we wish Bruno the best for the Holidays and offer him our warm congratulations for such outstanding accomplishment.

The photo shows Mr. Gallo with the members of Thesis committee and his friends and fellow graduate students, Timothy M. Schriener and Tai Pham. Tim and Tia are Ph.D. Candidates in Nuclear Engineering currently working on their Dissertations with Professor El-Genk at ISNPS.


[05 - 08 - 2008] Two Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Students Successfully Defend their PhD Disertation and Masters Thesis

Jack L. Parker successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation entitled "Boiling of Dielectric Liquids on Porous Graphite and Extended Copper Surfaces," and will graduate in a couple of weeks with a Ph.D. from the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at University of New Mexico (UNM). Jack is a Research Assistant with the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS) which partially funded his Ph.D. research with the support of a DOE graduate fellowship. Jack's Ph.D. Faculty advisor is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical, Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering and Director of UNM-ISNPS. Other members of Jack's dissertation committee are Dr. Timothy L. Ward, Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, Dr. Dimiter Petsev, Associate Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, and Dr. Arsalan Razani, Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Several refereed journal articles and full papers in conference proceedings, based on the results of Jack's dissertation research, have been published. For listings visit: research listings.

Devin W. Gray successfully defended his Masters Thesis entitled "An Investigation of Gas Bubble Injection from Single Nozzles into Water and Liquid Metal Pools," and will graduate in a couple of weeks with an M.S. from the Department of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering at University of New Mexico (UNM). Devin is a member of the technical staff at Los Alamos National Laboratory and his thesis faculty advisor is Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical, Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering and Director of UNM-ISNPS. Other members of Devinís thesis committee are Dr. Timothy L. Ward, Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, and Dr. Gary W. Cooper, Associate Professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering.


[04 - 09 - 2008] New Fellow of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS)

Mohamed S. El-Genk, Regents' Professor of Chemical, Nuclear, and Mechanical Engineering and the founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies at the University of New Mexico has been elected Fellow of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS).

IAASS is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering international cooperation and scientific advancement in the field of space systems safety and it is a member of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).

Dr. El-Genk is also a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is serving on the IASS Academic Committee to develop international education and training programs in collaboration with other universities in US and abroad in the areas of space power and propulsion technologies and the advancement of Space Safety, and is also a member of the program committee of the IAASS Conference "Building a Safer Space Together" to be held in Rome, Italy, October 21-23, 2008. [ Link ]


[01 - 10 - 2008] 2008: A year of celebrations

2008 marks the 50th anniversary of NASA. Established on July 29, 1958 by the National Aeronautics and Space Act, NASA is responsible for the nation's public space program as well as long-term civilian and military aerospace research. The Institute of Space and Nuclear Power Studies would like to congratulate NASA on 50 years of pioneering space exploration. The Institute's own Space Technology and Applications International Forum, or STAIF as it is more commonly known, is also celebrating its 25th year in 2008.

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