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Brian D. Wirth

Governor’s Chair Professor


Computational modeling and measurements of radiation effects in materials, molecular dynamics simulation, nano-materials.


PhD, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, 1998

  • Thesis Title: “On The Character of Nano-scale Features in Reactor Pressure Vessel Steels Under Neutron Irradiation”
  • Thesis Advisor: Professor G. Robert Odette, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA.

BS, Nuclear Engineering with Highest Honors, 1992

Awards and Recognitions

07/2010Appointment as Governor’s Chair Professor in Computational Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
2007Fusion Power Associates David J. Rose Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award
11/2004Literary Award, American Nuclear Society, Materials Science and Technology Division
09/2004 2013 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
9/20042003 Early Career Scientists and Engineer Award, Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Office of Defense Programs
12/1998Graduate Student Gold Medal Award, Materials Research Society
06/1998Finalist, Lawrence Livermore Post-Doctoral Fellowship
09/1996 – 06/1997
Graduate Scholarship Award, American Nuclear Society
09/1992 – 08/1996Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics Fellow, US Department of Energy
11/1995Best Student Poster Award, Materials Engineering and Sciences Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1995 Annual AIChE Meeting
04/1995Outstanding Graduate Student Presentation in Materials Science, 1995 American Nuclear Society Southeast Regional Student Conference
06/1992 – 09/1992American Nuclear Society Student Research Exchange Program, Kerforshungzentrum, Juelich, Germany
06/1992Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award, Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics Program, The Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering
05/1992Alpha Nu Sigma Honor Society Membership
04/1992Outstanding Undergraduate Student Presentation in Materials Science, 1992 American Nuclear Society Southeast Regional Student Conference

The Wirth Research Group investigates the performance of nuclear fuels and structural materials in nuclear environments. This research will improve Wirthpredictions about the longevity of nuclear reactor components and ultimately lead to the development of high-performance, radiation resistant materials for advanced nuclear fission and fusion energy power plants.The group’s research approach involves an integrated and multi-disciplinary combination of computational multiscale materials modeling with experimental processing and characterization of materials structure and properties from the nanometer to continuum length scales to elucidate the dynamics of materials behavior.Since moving to the University of Tennessee, Prof. Wirth has participated in the DOE funded Energy Innovation Hub for the modeling and simulation of nuclear reactors, the Consortium for Advanced Simulations of Light water reactors (CASL), as the deputy focus area lead for Materials Performance and Optimization, as well as initiated a new project on plasma surface interactions funded through the Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computations (SciDAC) program. The group’s research activities are currently supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy through the Nuclear Engineering University Program (NEUP), as well as through the Office of Advanced Strategic Computing, and the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences. Further support comes from projects funded by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory.

Nuclear Fuels and Materials Performance Research

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