Benjamin Dacus

Benjamin Dacus is a PhD candidate who is exploring how various materials respond in a fusion reactor environment at micro and macro levels. The goal of his work is to identify or fabricate materials well-suited to hostile conditions, from currently available metals to state-of-the-art radiation tolerant materials. With the support of a MathWorks Fellowship, Ben will expand his contributions to a world-first in situ ion irradiation transient grating spectroscopy (I3TGS) sys- tem. MATLAB-based analysis tools—deployed and/or created by Ben—play a fundamental role in the I3TGS system. This includes non-linear fitting and curve-fitting capabilities, enabling data acquisition one million times faster than previous capabilities, with one thousand times the data throughput rate. This tool led to key observations and discoveries, including the precipitation of radiation-induced secondary phases as they grow on the macroscale. His next goal is to augment the I3TGS system to replicate the conditions of the first commercial fusion power reactors. By integrating cutting-edge hardware with powerful MATLAB tools, Ben’s research provides a valuable new technique to test and develop materials in a wide range of hostile environments and conditions.



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