NE Seminar: “Multiphysics Modeling of Nuclear Fuels at the Mesoscale”


1:55 pm-2:55 pm
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Rhines Hall Room 125
549 Gale Lemerand Drive
Gainesville, FL 32611



The drastic change in the microstructure of nuclear fuels was linked to several degradation mechanisms affecting their performance and integrity during normal operation, transients, and accidents. It is, therefore, crucial to understand the irradiation-induced co-evolution of microstructure and thermo-mechanical properties of nuclear fuels.

In this talk, I will discuss how we can employ a multi-physics modeling approach at the mesoscale to achieve that goal. Particularly, I will elaborate on the best practices of utilizing spatially resolved rate-theory, phase-field, and finite-element modeling methods to simulate radiation damage and effects in selected nuclear fuels.

Specific examples will include modeling the mechanical properties and fracture of UO2 and thermal properties of U-Zr, UO2-BeO, and UO2-MO fuels. Moreover, the utilization of Machine Learning techniques to derive reduced order models will also be presented in this talk.


Karim Ahmed, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Nuclear Engineering
Texas A&M University

Dr. Karim Ahmed serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering with an affiliation appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Ahmed’s research focuses on utilizing Computational Materials Science to understand the behavior of materials under extreme conditions, with special emphasis on nuclear fuels. He specializes in developing high-fidelity multiscale models of the effect of irradiation on the co-evolution of microstructure and properties in nuclear materials.

He obtained his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University in 2015. He also acquired a M.S. in Materials Science from Florida State University in 2011.

He worked as a postdoctoral research associate in the fuel modeling and simulation department at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) from 2015 to 2017. At INL, Dr. Ahmed Investigated irradiation effects on the performance of nuclear fuels and structural materials by developing physics-based models and conducting simulations using state-of-art modeling and simulation techniques. He contributed to the development of the DOE-sponsored codes MOOSE-MARMOT-BISON. He was awarded the Group Excellence Award as a member of the MARMOT group by INL in 2016. He was awarded the NRC Faculty Development Grant in 2018 and the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Development Fellowship in 2020. 


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Department of Materials Science & Engineering