Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Two new research faculty were hired to work on a variety of tests at Oregon State's High Temperature Test Facility (HTTF). Izabela Gutowska (Ph.D. 2015, nuclear engineering) and Seth Cadell (Ph.D. 2013, nuclear engineering) both joined the faculty as assistant professors, senior researchers in 2016. Gutowska and Cadell are alumni of the College of Engineering's School of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE).

The HTTF is a non-nuclear test facility which uses electric heaters as a stand in for radioactive material. Gutowska and Cadell are working with Professor Brian Woods, director of the HTTF. "Drs. Gutowska and Cadell bring a wealth of experience related to nuclear reactor design and analysis and I look forward to working with them as the HTTF program matures," Woods said.

They will be helping conduct approximately 14 planned tests for the 2017 calendar year. "The majority of the testing is to support work sponsored by Idaho National Laboratories," Cadell said. In addition, several tests are related to the Nuclear Engineering University Program grants awarded to Woods in 2014 for analysis and testing of stratified flow of gases within next-generation high temperature gas reactors and expanding utilization of the HTTF.  

A 2012 Fulbright Scholar from Poland, Gutowska studied under Woods while completing her Ph.D. at Oregon State. She is one of the first nuclear engineering doctoral graduates from Poland since the 1980s. She is working on test facility design, instrumentation and incorporation of system dimensional analysis for the HTTF, and "is thrilled to see how real scale phenomena that occurs in high temperature gas cooled reactors will be reflected in the HTTF reduced scale facility."

Cadell, also a former Ph.D. student under Woods, manages the HTTF--ensuring the instruments are calibrated, the facility is operational, and configured appropriately for each test. He works with a group of approximately 10 NSE students to accomplish these tasks. "I really enjoy the opportunity to work with the students, where together we are able to maintain and operate a world class test facility and produce data is needed to ensure High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors will be built and operated in the US," he said. 

Their hires increase NSE faculty and research personnel to 18 with more hires, including tenure-track faculty, planned in the near future.