Current Activities for Fall 2007
Prof. John R. White

Schedule Overview for Fall 2007

Time
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:30 - 9:30
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Class Prep
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9:30 - 10:30
Office Hours
(10 - 11:30 am)
Office Hours
(10 - 11:30 am)
Class Prep
and
Meetings
Office Hours
(10 - 11:30 am)
10:30 - 11:30
11:30 - 12:30

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12:30 - 1:30
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1:30 - 2:30

10.317
Applied Numerical Methods

Research
10.317
Applied Numerical Methods
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10.317
Applied Numerical Methods
2:30 - 3:30
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Dept.
Meetings
3:30 - 5:00

10.331/24.331
Intro NE I

10.331/24.331
Intro NE I
24.505
Reactor Physics
5:00 - 6:30
10.539/24.539
Math Methods
10.539/24.539
Math Methods
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(The material below has not been updated for some time!!!)

Spring 2007 Class Schedule:
I have four formal classes this semester, as follows:
10/24.332 Introduction to Nuclear Engineering II (MWF 10:30 am – 11:20 am)

92.236 Differential Equations for Engineers (MWRF 12:30 am – 1:20 pm)
22.554/24.509 System Dynamics (MW 4:00 – 5:15 pm)

25.108 Introduction to Engineering II (R 9:30 - 10:20 (Lec) and three 2-hr labs at 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm)

Spring 2007
Office Hours:
My official office hours are MWF 9:30 – 10:15 am and MW 1:30 - 2:30 pm. Of course, if you cannot make one of these times to resolve your questions or concerns, you can always email me at John_White@uml.edu and we can make an appointment to get together, as needed.

(And below here is even older!!!)

Spring 2006 Thesis/Project Advising:
Areeya Jirapongmed (see times listed above): Areeya is working on her DEng Dissertation under my supervision. Areeya's thesis is related to the development of a simulation model of the UMass-Lowell research reactor using the RELAP5-3D systems analysis package. Areeya is putting together some detailed RELAP models and designing and performing a series of experiments to validate the RELAP simulations. The new digital data acquisition and control system at the UMLRR is being used to collect the data from the various transient scenarios that are run. In addition to developing and validating the simulation model, she is also studying the detailed space-time physics associated with a variety of transient phenomena -- mostly physics-related -- in the UMLRR.

Douglas Kinsman (see times listed above): Douglas is finishing a project that was funded through DOE's NEER program in 2004-2005 (see below). He is doing this work as part of his MS thesis. He is involved in the testing and evaluation of a series of potential photoconverter materials for use in a new photocatalytic energy conversion process. He is looking at the physical and power production characteristics of the photoconverter materials versus dose rate and total integrated dose.

Narine Malkhasyan (see times listed above): Narine is working on a project that is supported under an NSF funded project, "Multi-Semester Interwoven Project for Teaching Basic Core STEM Material Critical for Solving Dynamic Systems Problems" (see overview of full NSF project below). Narine's work is focused on devloping a Matlab GUI and simluation package to address fluid flow in a simple tank and pipe geometry. The GUI will help introduce this subject within several courses taught within the Chemical Engineering program at UMass-Lowell.

Current Research Projects:
I have several other personal things going, as follows:

General Curriculum Development

My interest in general curriculum development continues. This semester I plan to update the course websites for my Differential Equations and System Dynamics courses. The DE site is in pretty good shape, but the Matlab demos and lab exercises need to be updated and there still is significant work needed in making more Illustrative Applications available -- since this is the most challenging part of the course for many of my students. The System Dynamics course website, in addition, needs a lot of work. My goal here is to get enough done to remove the link to the "old site". This was also my goal last year, and obviously I was not successful. Hopefully I will make more progress this semester ...

I am also involved with an NSF funded project, "Multi-Semester Interwoven Project for Teaching Basic Core STEM Material Critical for Solving Dynamic Systems Problems". This project is lead by Peter Avitabile from the Mechanical Engineering Department. Peter and his students, with some input from Stephen Pennell (Mathematics) and myself, are trying to address the disconnect that many students have when moving from one course to another. This project aims to improve student comprehension and retention of basic STEM material (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and to hightlight the integration of many of the courses taken in the undergraduate curriculum. This will be accomplished through the development of a multi-semester, interwoven dynamic systems project, which will integrate STEM material in a relevant, meaningful way. The project develops a variety of materials covering theory, analytical tools, software tutorials, lab problem-solving, in-class projects and presentations, as well as an interactive online experiment. Upon completion, this project will provide a multitude of tools which can be easily transferred to the teaching of core STEM material in all engineering disciplines, at any institution. The project website is http://dynsys.uml.edu/.

Web-Based Access to Process Control Data at the UMLRR

Last year, as part of our Reactor Sharing Program (supported in part by DOE), we initiated a new project to allow web-based access to the process control data from the UMass-Lowell Research Reactor (UMLRR). We are using InduSoft’s Web Studio software at our end and a standard web browser at the other end as the interface between the reactor’s data acquisition system and an educational user at a remote site. Only one-way communication to the end-user is allowed. By establishing this presence on the internet, users at remote sites will be able to access, manipulate, and interpret the same information available to operators and researchers within the UMLRR. We hope that this expanded accessibility will promote increased use of the UMLRR. We believe that this is a direction that must be followed to maximize the direct benefit of a relatively limited number of research reactors around the country.

Our goal, for the first phase of the project, was to establish limited capability for web-based access to data from the UMLRR as a proof-of-concept test. This was accomplished last year and a prototype UMLRR Online application is now available as part of a more complete Nuclear Engineering Educational Website at www.nuclear101.com. Although the site is still under development, the basic site structure and navigation scheme is in place and the UMLRR Online link is fully operational. Our primary goal now is to add more content in terms of Lecture Notes, Experiments and Demos, etc.. This will be an on-going effort of mine, along with graduate student, Areeya Jirapongmed, and the reactor supervisor, Leo Bobek, for the foreseeable future. This semester we hope to add one or two additional formal online experiments and archived demonstrations that use the UMLRR.

Novel Nuclear Powered Photocatalytic Energy Conversion

The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) Radiation Laboratory is investigating a novel radiation sensing technology with applications for in-situ monitoring of Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNF) during cask transport and storage. The technology relies on the radioactive decay energy of SNF to self-generate electric power for the monitoring systems, avoiding the less secure aspects of external or battery powered monitoring systems. One promising technique would use a new dye-based photovoltaic material that scavenges waste energy from high-energy gamma photons and produces electrical power. UML is a leading university, in conjunction with Konarka Technologies, Inc., conducting research on this new class of dye-based PV materials. Radiation hardening for this high-dose long-term application would be achieved by using a dye/ceramic based photoconverter. We are working closely with Konarka on this aspect of the project. This project will experimentally evaluate a number of potential material combinations for the photoconverter. The electric power from the gamma photon interaction can then power a GPS class transceiving system possessing the ability to pinpoint the location and presence of the SNF cask and its contents. In addition, since signal strength is proportional to the radioactive decay energy, this technology may also provide information on the quantity of spent material within the shipping cask.

This project is being supported as part of DOE's NEER 2004 program and, in part, by Konarka research and development funds. The goal of the current NEER project is simply to establish the viability of the overall concept, and the goal of our specific work with Konarka is to evaluate the viability of different material options for the concept. My role as the project PI is to provide overall project management, to help guide the general concept development, and to perform the detailed radiation transport calculations that are required to support the experimental program. Tom Regan and Leo Bobek from the UML Radiation Laboratory and Douglas Kinsman, who is a graduate student in the Nuclear Program at UMass-Lowell, are primarily responsible for designing and executing the overall testing program. Assuming that we are successful in showing proof-of-principle and identifying a set of promising materials, we hope to obtain additional support, in future years, to refine the concept and to actually bring a product based on the new energy conversion technology to market.

Updating our Nuclear Analysis Capability at UMass-Lowell

I finally took the time during summer 2004 to update some of our nuclear design and analysis codes available at UMAss-Lowell for faculty, staff, and student use. In particular, we now have the DOORS 3.2a and SCALE 5 packages operational as replacements for older versions of these systems. I also obtained MCNP 5 and the NESTLE code from RSICC, but these have not been implemented yet. Thus, there is still a lot of work to be done here...

Activation Analysis Methods and Applications

As noted in the Research Work link at the top and bottom of this page, I have also been involved in the development and application of activation analysis methods over the last several years. As you know, methods development, in general, is a never-ending process, where there is always more capability, new methods, new edits and graphics, etc., that can be added to the existing capability. The ACTIV code system is no exception, and there are a number of improvements that I would like to make in the near future. Thus, as time permits, I hope to be making several enhancements to the basic codes and libraries during the next year or so. However, there is never enough time to do everything, so we shall see what develops here…

Last updated by Prof. John R. White (Sept. 2007)

 
 
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