Nuclear Engineering

Students may apply to one or more of the below projects, indicating this in their statement of interest, or they may apply for "Nuclear Engineering: General," indicating in their statement of interest their skills and background and some faculty with whom they would be interested in working.  Nuclear Faculty List

Title Name Email Project Name Project Description Requirements
Prof. Rusi Taleyarkhan rusi@purdue.edu “Femto-to-Macro Scale Interdisciplinary Sensing with Tensioned Metastable Fluid Detector Technology" - Project 1 This work focuses on developing new research, algorithms, and systems that turn large-scale data into usable, actionable information. We are developing interactive visual interfaces for data analytic engines to solve a variety of real world problems, ranging from efficient water usage for food production, to reducing crime in Indiana communities, to emergency response and disaster management combining video and social media data.

PURE student(s) will be involved in the general area entitled “Femto-to-Macro Scale Interdisciplinary Sensing with Tensioned Metastable Fluid Detector Technology.” It was only a few decades ago that scientists and engineers recognized the non-intuitive fact that ordinary fluids like water at room temperature can indeed be placed under intense tension, even negative pressures (yes – even below perfect vacuum). Briefly, tensioned fluids are in a state of metastability; their intermolecular bonds weakened such that, select stimuli types at the femto scale can “poke” holes into them to create transient bubble cavities via localized superheating that can rapidly (within nano to micro seconds) grow to states that are visible-audible to humans and can be electronically recorded. Amazingly, even conventionally hard to detect sub-atomic neutral particles like neutrons (10-27 kg) or heavier ions (tell-tale signatures of special nuclear materials like U/Pu) or cosmic particles can be now detected with unparalleled intrinsic efficiency. Stimuli may also include UV/IR photons as from lasers or even decaying radionuclide daughters of radon gas (which in the USA itself causes over 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year). Prof. Taleyarkhan’s group has been conducting research in this arena leading to novel sensor systems that involve amalgamation of techniques and insights from various branches of engineering (mechanical, chemical, materials, nuclear) in combination with nuclear physics. These novel sensor systems are referred to as tensioned metastable fluid detectors (TMFDs) which are being commercialized and deployed in fields ranging from nuclear energy, to health, to safeguards-security and also, for studying fundamental physics (e.g., search for dark matter). Project: ********
Selected PURE students will be assigned a dedicated project lasting 9 weeks during 2018 while under mentorship of a graduate and post-doctoral laboratory staff. The project in question will enable the student to understand the underpinnings of this technology – both experimental and multi-physics modeling and simulation.

Use and adaptation of TMFDs for accumulating for sensing Radon gas and daughter progeny in air at ultra-trace (1:1017) levels and thereafter to devise novel means for assessing for their presence in near real time under variety of ambient conditions – for use thereafter, to combat lung cancer deaths world-wide.

Mechanical/Chemical/Materials Engineering with some basic familiarity of nuclear physics.
Prof. Rusi Taleyarkhan rusie@purdue.edu “Femto-to-Macro Scale Interdisciplinary Sensing with Tensioned Metastable Fluid Detector Technology" - Project 2

PURE student(s) will be involved in the general area entitled “Femto-to-Macro Scale Interdisciplinary Sensing with Tensioned Metastable Fluid Detector Technology.” It was only a few decades ago that scientists and engineers recognized the non-intuitive fact that ordinary fluids like water at room temperature can indeed be placed under intense tension, even negative pressures (yes – even below perfect vacuum). Briefly, tensioned fluids are in a state of metastability; their intermolecular bonds weakened such that, select stimuli types at the femto scale can “poke” holes into them to create transient bubble cavities via localized superheating that can rapidly (within nano to micro seconds) grow to states that are visible-audible to humans and can be electronically recorded. Amazingly, even conventionally hard to detect sub-atomic neutral particles like neutrons (10-27 kg) or heavier ions (tell-tale signatures of special nuclear materials like U/Pu) or cosmic particles can be now detected with unparalleled intrinsic efficiency. Stimuli may also include UV/IR photons as from lasers or even decaying radionuclide daughters of radon gas (which in the USA itself causes over 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year). Prof. Taleyarkhan’s group has been conducting research in this arena leading to novel sensor systems that involve amalgamation of techniques and insights from various branches of engineering (mechanical, chemical, materials, nuclear) in combination with nuclear physics. These novel sensor systems are referred to as tensioned metastable fluid detectors (TMFDs) which are being commercialized and deployed in fields ranging from nuclear energy, to health, to safeguards-security and also, for studying fundamental physics (e.g., search for dark matter).

Selected PURE student will be assigned a dedicated project lasting 9 weeks during 2018 while under mentorship of a graduate and post-doctoral laboratory staff. The project in question will enable the student to understand the underpinnings of this technology – both experimental and multi-physics modeling and simulation.

Project:
********
Use and adaptation of TMFDs for identifying tell-tale signatures from special nuclear materials such as U/Pu fission. Thereafter, to conduct assessments of TMFDs for determining their intrinsic detection efficiency for applications towards combating nuclear terrorism – deemed to represent the 21st Century’s Top 10 Challenges (by the US Natl. Academy of Engr. Report to Congress, 2018).

Mechanical/Chemical/Materials Engineering with some basic familiarity of nuclear physics.

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