Published on Monday March 12, 2012
Professor Mitra Taheri is the recipient of two grants to further the study of materials used in nuclear research. These two grants will ultimately yield a predictive understanding of materials used in reactors and other extreme environments and lay the groundwork for development of radiation-tolerant materials.
The Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Programs has awarded $1.1M to a multi-university team led by Taheri. The team consists of Taheri (PI) and co-PIs Arthur Motta, chair of the nuclear engineering program and a professor of nuclear engineering and materials science and engineering at Penn State University and Emmanuelle Marquis, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Michigan. "Fundamental Studies of the Role of Grain Boundaries on Uniform Corrosion of Advanced Nuclear Reactor Materials" is a four-year grant which looks at the challenges presented by corrosion in nuclear reactors. This project investigates the early stages of corrosion by combining in-situ transmission electron microscopy observations to perform corrosion of a sample while it is being observed in the microscope and post facto observations using state-of-the-art characterization techniques. The goal of the research is to help design better alloys for future nuclear reactors. Taheri will receive $572K of the 1.1M grant.
Taheri has additionally received a grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Materials Research in conjunction with Dane Morgan, associate professor of materials science and engineering (PI) and Co-PIs Izabela Schlufarska, associate professor of materials science and engineering and Todd Allen, associate professor of engineering physics, all at the University of Wisconsin. "Collaborative Research: Determination of Ni-Fe-Cr Species Dependent Transport Through Control of Temperature, Irradiation, and Grain Size" looks to integrate experimental and computer simulation tools from materials nanotechnology and molecular-scale computer simulation to provide new levels of insight into how Ni, Fe, and Cr are transported in Ni-Fe-Cr based steels under extreme conditions, in particular in nuclear reactors. This project will train researchers to work on a multi-location team and in fundamental areas of materials characterization, modeling, and their interaction. This work will also further the involvement by some of the investigators in the Women in Nuclear Science (WINS) program started at Drexel through a grant obtained by Taheri from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Drexel will receive $216K of the $586K three-year grant.
With these two grants, Taheri and her colleagues will form a knowledge base that is a step forward both in the understanding of existing materials subject to extreme environments and the development of next-generation materials for energy applications.