ISNPS Logo
Latest Publications
Recent Events
8/15/2023
Graduate Research Assistantships Available Fall 2023 at UNM-ISNPS
7/28/2023
Doctoral Graduation - Ragai Altamimi
1/17/2023
UNM, Purdue work to develop autonomous control architecture for microreactors
11/25/2022
First Year Progress Report for NASA Advanced Radiator Project
Contact
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

Welcome to the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies

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, nuclear reactor design, reactor neutronics and thermal-hydraulics, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), experimental and numerical heat transfer technology, heat pipes, boiling, thermoelectric converters, dynamic energy conversion, integrated system modeling, and nuclear cybersecurity simulation.


We currently have research assistanceship opportunities, check here for details


Recent News

  • Alumni of UNM-ISNPS and Nuclear Engineering Department Selected Scientist of the year
  • Researcher at UNM-ISNPS promoted to an Associate Research Professor
  • Graduate Research Assistantships Available Fall 2023 in Space Nuclear Power, Reactor Therm...
  • Doctoral Graduation - Ragai Altamimi
  • UNM, Purdue work to develop validated physics-based machine learning autonomous control ar...


  • ISNPS Research Areas

    Boiling Heat Transfer

    Space Nuclear Power Publications Boiling Heat Transfer Publications Radioisotope Power Publications


    Dynamic Energy Conversion

    SLIMM & VSLLIM Publications Dynamic Conversion Publications Nuclear Cybersecurity Publications


    Computational Fluid Dynamics

    CFD Publications Thermoelectric Conversion Publications Heat Pipe Publications


    To find our publications on more research areas click here


    Recent News


    Founding Director

    Dr. El-Genk

    Mohamed El-Genk, Distinguished and Regents' Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical and Chemical and Biological 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.

    He has also been named 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.

    Dr. El-Genk was named the recipient of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2017 Heat Transfer Memorial Award for his 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.

    He has also been named the recipient of the ANS 2021 Reactor Technology Award in recognition of extraordinary contributions towards advancing space and micro reactor technologies

    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.


    Alumni of UNM-ISNPS and Nuclear Engineering Department Selected Scientist of the year

    Sal Rodriguez, alumni of ISNPS and the Nuclear Engineering Department of UNM has been selected as the 2023 Scientist of the Year by the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Conference. He is the first Sandia employee so named. ISNPS congratulates Sal on this great and well deserved honor. Please see the Sandia National Laboratories press release for more on this exciting announcement Here


    Researcher at UNM-ISNPS promoted to an Associate Research Professor

    Dr. Timothy Schriener, an accomplished researcher at the University of New Mexico's Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (UNM-ISNPS) has been promoted to the rank of Research Associate Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Dr. Schriener has been with the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies since 2016 working closely with the founding Director Distinguished and Regents Professor Mohamed S. El-Genk and graduate students on cutting-edge research funded by awards and grants from NASA, the Department of Energy, industry, and Idaho National Laboratory that is managed by Battelle Energy Alliance in the diverse areas. These include space nuclear power, radioisotope power systems, alkali and heavy liquid metals technology, miniature submersible pumping options on alkali metals and molten; neutronics and computational fluid dynamics methods and application to the design, thermal-hydraulics and safety analyses of small modular and micro nuclear reactors, radiation shield, modeling and simulation of the transient operation of low and high temperature heat pipes including the startup from a frozen state, and cybersecurity of nuclear reactor systems. He is currently a Co-PI on multiple funded awards. These include a DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program (NEUP) project with Purdue University investigating the development and application of AI and ML methods to the autonomous control of microreactors, a NASA Early Stages Innovation grant to develop an innovative lightweight heat pipe radiator panel concept for waste heat rejection of nuclear reactor systems for space exploration and lunar surface power, and a DOE Integrated Research Project (IRP) with City College of New York, Purdue University and Argonne National Laboratory to develop and investigate advanced computational fluid dynamics capabilities for thermal-hydraulics and safety analyses of advanced GEN-IV sodium fast reactors and very high temperature helium cooled reactors. He is a widely published researcher and works closely with graduate and undergraduate students at UNM-ISNPS to train them on the development, use, and application of nuclear reactorsí modeling and simulation methods to ongoing research at UNM-ISNPS.


    Graduate Research Assistantships Available Fall 2023 in Space Nuclear Power, Reactor Thermal-Hydraulics, High Performance Computing and Computational Fluid Dynamics, and ML and AI Methods and Applications to Nuclear Reactors Autonomous Operation and Remote control

    The Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS) at the University of New Mexico (UNM) is seeking applicants for multiple open Research Assistantship positions starting in the 2023 Fall semester for full-time graduate students in Nuclear Engineering or closely related fields. We are seeking students with diverse skillsets in modeling and simulation for exciting research projects in the areas of secure remote operation and control and cybersecurity for nuclear power plants, the development of lightweight heat rejection heat pipes radiator for future space nuclear power and propulsion systems, and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and thermal-hydraulic analysis for advanced nuclear reactors. Preference will be given to qualified applicants with prior research experience, and an earned MS degree in nuclear, chemical, mechanical engineering, or closely related fields. Those from minorities and traditionally underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. These positions have the potential of multi-year financial support and the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research essential to the future of advanced, small modular and micro-reactors and for space exploration.

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


    Doctoral Graduation - Ragai Altamimi

    ISNPS student Ragai Altamimi graduated with a Ph.D 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). Pictured are Ragai with his committee (from left to right: Dr. Timothy Schriener, Dr. Minghui Chen, Dr. Ragai Altamimi, Dr. Mohamed El-Genk, and Dr. Edl Schamiloglu). The focus of Ragai's research was to develop designs and conduct performance analyses of miniature, submersible electromagnetic pumps in in-pile and out-of-pile test loops for supporting the current development of Gen-IV molten Pb and liquid Na fast neutron spectrum terrestrial nuclear reactors. He investigated two electromagnetic pump options; a Direct Current-ElectroMagnetic pump (DC-EMP) and an Alternating Linear Induction Pump (ALIP). Ragai developed improved equivalent circuit models for the analysis of DC-EMPs and ALIP, and conducted 3-D Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) numerical analyses of the DC-EMP design using the multiphysics code STAR-CCM+.


    UNM, Purdue work to develop validated physics-based machine learning autonomous control architecture for microreactors

    Distinguished and Regents' Professor Mohamed El-Genk and Research Assistant Professor Timothy Schriener have begun a three year research project titled "Demonstrating Autonomous Control, Remote Operation, and Human Factors for Microreactors under Prototypic Conditions in PUR-1." UNM-ISNPS are collaborating on the Purdue University-led project along with Curtiss-Wright Nuclear Division and Argonne National Laboratory. For the three-year project, the collaborative team will develop a validated, physics-based, machine-learning, autonomous-control architecture for the UNM Very Small, Long-Life Modular (VSLLIM), a liquid sodium, natural circulation-cooled microreactor, as well as demonstrate its application for remotely operating and controlling the PUR-1 research reactor at Purdue University. The award will offer minority undergraduates and graduate students at Purdue and UNM the opportunity to participate in the research activities and conduct portions at Argonne National Laboratory.

    You can read the UNM news room release here: UNM News Room Release


    Research Team

    The ISNPS Group

    The ISNPS group picture taken in June of 2022 outside of Hodgin Hall. From left to right, Front: Quoc Duong, Ragai Altimimi, Dr. Timothy Schriener, Christian Arguello, Prof. Mohamed El-Genk, Christopher Wolfe. To view each person individually, you may view the faculty and student indices.

logo