The National Science Foundation (NSF) has presented a $500,000 Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) to Dr. Jie Lian, who is an Assistant Professor at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering.
Dr. Lian will utilize the five-year grant to advance his research of developing nanomaterials for nuclear energy system applications. His focus is to know more about nanomaterials and advanced materials so that they can be effectively used for the production of nuclear energy.
To fabricate next-generation nuclear reactors and technologies, it is important to design materials that can resist corrosion, high temperatures, and radiation. These radiation-resistant materials can lengthen the operating life of components of nuclear systems, which in turn increases the safety and reliability of the systems. This research of nuclear materials integrates the fields of nuclear engineering, nanotechnology and advanced materials.
Dr. Lian’s CAREER project, entitled ‘Radiation Interaction with Nanostructured Ceramics—Integrating Materials Solutions into Nuclear Education,’ will investigate the characteristics of some nanostructured ceramics during their exposure to adverse levels of radiation. To perform this study, Lian will integrate physical tests with multi-scale calculations to measure the impact of radiation on nanostructured ceramics. As an integral element of this project, Lian will study the atomistic mechanisms of reducing the damage caused by radiation using nanoscale features. His idea is based on the nanomaterial design concept to develop advanced materials for controlling radiation effectively.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and NSF are funding Lion’s research. Dr. Lian joined as a faculty at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2008. He is a member of the institute’s Nuclear Engineering Program.