• Associate Professor, Civil And Environmental Engin
  • Assistant Professor, Civil And Environmental Engin


  • , Postdoctoral Fellowship National Technical Nuclear Forensics, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • , Doctor of Philosphy Environmental Radiochemistry, Washington State University
  • , Bachelors of Science Chemistry, University of West Florida

Research Summary

The McDonald Research Lab focuses on three primary topic areas: environmental radiochemistry, spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, and WMD Prevention. All research is interrelated and devoted to our core research philosophy of improving basic radionuclide material properties to aid in the rapid detection of hostile nuclear materials, remediate and dispose of radioactive materials in an environmentally responsible manner, and develop advanced processes for the recycling of spent nuclear fuel.


Prof. McDonald joined the UU in January 2014 as an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In July 2020, McDonald was promoted to an Associate Professor. In his time at the UU, McDonald has steered the development of a leading environmental radiochemistry laboratory, mentoring over thirty students, and managing $5 M in research funding. McDonald was the University Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Summer School. Before joining the UU, McDonald performed a post-doctoral fellowship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in National Technical Nuclear Forensics, worked as a visiting scientist at the Commissariat à l’énergie atomique in Saclay, France, and completed his Ph.D. at Washington State University in Radiochemistry. He served as the elected Secretary of the American Chemical Society’s Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology from 2013 – 2016 and was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Science in 2017.