• Chair, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Associated Faculty for Nuclear Engineering
  • Chair of Materials Science & Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering
  • Adjunct Professor, Civil And Environmental Engin
  • Professor, Metallurgical Engineering


  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Princeton University. Project: The Zeolite-Catalyzed Alkylation of Isobutane with Butene

Research Summary

My research is focused on molten salt chemistry for nuclear applications. Prominent current applications include spent nuclear fuel treatment and molten salt reactors. We study methods to synthesize, purify, and characterize molten chloride and fluoride salt mixtures. We also endeavor to transfer knowledge on molten salts to other emerging energy applications such as concentrating solar power (CSP).


For 17 years I worked for U.S. national laboratories on the leading front of nuclear energy research.  This experience connected me with the real needs of our nation in the areas of nuclear energy and nuclear waste management.  I helped develop technologies that truly can be rolled out and implemented to contribute to our nation's long term energy security.  I also gained tremendous perspective into the associated national security issues and have put development of safeguards and non-proliferation technology at the top of my list of research goals.  I am delighted to have recently joined academia and be able to directly engage with students, post-docs, and other faculty.  I plan to bring much of my previous nuclear energy research with me from the Idaho National Laboratory in addition to developing new ideas and new focus areas.  This will hopefully include high impact research outside of the nuclear area, including catalysis, green chemistry, and highly efficient metal processing technology.