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Theodore Besmann

Endowed Chair in the General Atomics Center for the Development of Transformational Nuclear Technologies

  • General Atomics Center for the Development of Transformational Nuclear Technologies.
  • Thermochemical modeling of nuclear fuel and waste materials.
  • Development of new fuel and waste forms.
  • Materials for energy applications with an emphasis on high temperature materials
  • Ceramic matrix composites
  • Energy policy with emphasis on the role of nuclear power

Dr. Besmann’s current research involves several funded projects on both advanced nuclear fuels development and studies of nuclear waste fabrication and behavior, including co-directing the DOE Center for Hierarchical Wasteform Materials.

His teaching and research experience includes appointments as: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Surface Processing and Mechanics Group Leader (15 staff) in the Materials Science and Technology Division, 1985-2014; Full Professor, Joint Faculty Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee-ORNL since 2011-2014; Adjunct Professor, Engineering Division, Brown University teaching “Advanced Chemical Thermodynamics & Phase Equilibria” since 2005; the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Florida from 2000 to 2006; and Adjunct Professor, Materials Science and Engineering and Nuclear from 2000-2001.

With more than 150 refereed journal or proceedings papers and six book chapters published, his review articles have appeared in Science, Bulletin of the American Ceramic Society, and the MRS Bulletin. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of the American Ceramic Society; Editor of three proceedings: Chemical Vapor Deposition of Refractory Metals and Ceramics, Materials Research Society, 1990; Chemical Vapor Deposition of Refractory Metals and Ceramics II, Materials Research Society, 1992; and Chemical Vapor Deposition XIII, Electrochemical Society, 1996; and Coauthor of the book, A Desirable Energy Future, Franklin Institute Press, 1982.

He holds six patents. Numerous awards and appointments include: Visiting Scientist, Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission) or CEA, Cadarache, France; Fellow of the American Nuclear Society; American Nuclear Society Mishima Award for Research in Nuclear Fuels and Materials; and a U.S. Department of Energy Award for Research in Materials Chemistry of Significant Implication for Energy Technology.

Dr. Besmann earned his doctoral degree in nuclear engineering and solid state science from Pennsylvania State University, his Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Iowa State University, and his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from New York University.

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