About me

I graduated with a PhD in nuclear engineering at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville in December 2018, spent two and a half years as a postdoc in the PHITS development team at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Center, and am presently a postdoctoral fellow/researcher at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL, Høgskulen på Vestlandet).

At HVL I am working on the development, modeling, analysis, and deployment of a prototype radiation detector that seeks to more precisely determine dose depositions delivered in proton radiotherapy treatments to then allow for sparing of more healthy tissue surrounding the sites receiving treatment. At JAEA I was the lead developer of the DCHAIN-PHITS activation, buildup, burnup, and decay code which is coupled to and distributed with PHITS.

Professional interests

My primary professional interests largely surround applications of the radiation transport codes MCNP and PHITS, data analysis and visualization (particularly with large datasets), and documentation/presentation of codes, methods, and results; I enjoy programming, scripting, and developing tools to assist in these efforts.

I am interested in the space applications of nuclear engineering/physics, radiation protection and shielding, accelerator facilities, neutron science, radioisotope production, and radiotherapy.

Professional experience

My work in developing DCHAIN-PHITS has granted me deep experience with and an intimate understanding of induced radioactivity calculations. My improvements to the code have largely involved modernizing it with updated nuclear data libraries and new features such as statistical uncertainty propagation, nuclide inventory tracking by specific reactions, and support for tetrahedral and 3-D grid mesh geometries.

I also have experience modeling the cosmic ray and solar particle induced radiation environments on the surface of Mars. My PhD work involved conducting experiments at an ion accelerator facility (the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory), and my specific role pertained to neutron detection and analysis, utilizing time-of-flight and detector response-based deconvolution techniques. A significant amount of modeling and coding was involved in that project as well; I am experienced with both the MCNP and PHITS particle transport codes.

My programming language of choice is Python, though I also know Fortran, Matlab, and some C++ (also used with ROOT). I also have plenty of experience with batch/shell scripting and working in command-line interfaces (in both Windows and Unix-based systems, local and remote). Additionally, I find joy in the process of generating diagrams and composing documentation with LaTeX, making concise manuals and reports to thorough research notes, all cleanly typeset with sharp visuals.

Personal interests

I enjoy watching “edutainment” documentaries and videos on YouTube covering a wide array of topics including engineering, architecture, wood/metalworking, mathematics, technology, business, geography, history, geopolitics, food, law, travel, and more.

Mixology, explored responsibly, has also become a hobby of mine. Many mixed drinks and cocktails and their ingredients have fascinating histories. I find it intriguing how most drinks consist of ingredients collected from multiple countries (and often continents). Exploring recipes and optimizing them to my own tastes has been very satisfying and rewarding.

I also enjoy coding as a hobby when it can be used to make something easier. The fun projects I have made public can be seen in the Hobby Projects page of this website. As an example, since I like to collect desktop backgrounds and am using a 16:9 aspect ratio monitor, I wrote a Python script which allows for me to easily convert a desktop background of any aspect ratio to 16:9. I have also made several other small things such as a custom HTML/CSS web browser new tab page and Windows batch scripts to automatically create backups of my data. Composing this website also plays into this hobby of mine. The professionally relevant Jupyter notebooks I have written also began as fun passion projects.

I also have an interest in PC gaming as well as a general interest in technology. I built my own PC in early 2016, and the researching of parts, purchasing, and assembly were all enjoyable experiences.

Short bio

I entered college as an aerospace engineering major, hoping to eventually find my way into a space-related career. However, before my freshman year had ended, I had been captivated by the energy density of nuclear fuels and some of the more innovative Gen IV reactor designs, leading me to switch to the nuclear engineering department.

At the end of my undergraduate experience, I learned of the numerous space-related applications of nuclear engineering such as RTGs (radioisotope thermoelectric generators), nuclear thermal propulsion, and radiation protection for both astronauts and electronics. Realizing I could apply my nuclear engineering knowledge toward my original goal of working in space-related fields, I decided to go to graduate school to pursue these interests and prepare myself for a career in these areas.

While in grad school, I worked on numerous space radiation modeling projects in addition to my PhD project which was itself a NASA-funded project related to space radiation shielding. While my passion for space radiation remains, my interests over time expanded to more varied applications of my nuclear engineering skillset (particularly with radiation transport codes) and programming, leading to my previous position working as a developer of the PHITS code and current position working on detector development in the context of medical physics.

Events and recent news

  • 2021/08/30 - Began work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences
  • 2021/08/15 - Ended work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency
  • 2019/04/01 - Began work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency
  • 2018/12/15 - Graduated with a PhD in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • 2018/07/07 - This site was created.