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


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

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 is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Nuclear Engineering Program at the UU. He joined the UU in January 2014 and has led the development of a radiochemistry laboratory, mentoring over forty students, and managing research projects from NEUP, DTRA, NNSA, and DHS, including the Department of Homeland Security’s Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Summer School in 2016 – 2017. 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.