Benjamin Dacus

Benjamin Dacus is a PhD student whose research interests include the study of how structural materials respond in nuclear reactor environments and the fabrication of new radiation-tolerant materials. Ben has made significant contributions to a first-of-its-kind in situ ion irradiation transient grating spectroscopy (TGS) called I3TGS, enabling precise replication of conditions in the first commercial fusion power reactors, and increasing data throughput by a factor of over 1,000,000 using a MATLAB toolchain. His second MathWorks Fellowship will enable him to continue his productive research using TGS to show correlations between thermal properties and microstructural change in materials. By offering new insights into material conditions, Ben’s work could help to inform decisions about reactor lifetimes; extended reactor lifetimes could result in major savings in the energy sector while identifying reactors ready for decommissioning can improve safety. Ben’s work has already led to exciting progress in making I3TGS a robust and commercializable technique for materials analysis, and his research has strong potential further to expand nuclear engineering research and the energy sector.



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