Dr. Haiming Wen and his six students. (From left) (back row) Ishtiaque Robin, Malwina Wilding, Dewen Hou, Hongliang Zhang, Haiming Wen, and (front row) Andrew Hoffman, Ryan Carnahan. The team is developing nanostructured steels and metallic fuels and evaluating their irradiation performance.


Two doctoral students, two master’s students and two visiting doctoral students are taking part in projects directed by Idaho State University’s Dr. Haiming Wen. The first is a Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET)-Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) project, “Enhancing irradiation tolerance of steels via nanostructuring by innovative manufacturing.” The second is a Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project, “Advanced manufacturing of metallic fuels and cladding by equal-channel angular pressing.”

Three researchers from Idaho National Laboratory – Dr. James I. Cole, Dr. Isabella van Rooyen, and Dr. Yongfeng Zhang – are collaborators on the NEET-NSUF project. It involves neutron irradiation and post-irradiation examination of bulk nanostructured ferritic/martensitic steels that are anticipated to have enhanced irradiation tolerance and are produced by two innovative, low-cost manufacturing techniques: equal-channel angular pressing (ECAP) and high-pressure torsion (HPT). The objectives of the research are to establish and enhance fundamental understanding of irradiation effects in ultrafine-grained or nanocrystalline steels produced by ECAP or HPT, and to assess the potential applications of ECAP and HPT in fabricating materials for applications in current and advanced reactors.

The INL-funded LDRD project involves advanced manufacturing of metallic fuels and cladding by ECAP and evaluation of the irradiation performance of the manufactured materials. The objectives of the project are to develop ECAP capability at INL, to assess the potential application of ECAP in manufacturing nanostructured metallic fuels and cladding for applications in advanced reactors to achieve improved performance. Wen’s co-PIs from INL include Dr. James Cole, Dr. Randy Fielding, Dr. Wen Jiang, and Dr. Tom Lillio. Much of the research is being done in the CAES Microscopy and Characterization Suite (MaCS) and Advanced Materials Laboratory (AML).

The research team includes:

Ishtiaque Karim Robin, who is studying for a master’s degree in nuclear science and engineering at Idaho State University. He came to Idaho from Bangladesh in fall 2016. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.

Hongliang Zhang, a visiting Ph.D. student from Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in particle physics, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in nuclear technology. His areas of study include quantum mechanics, nuclear physics, thermodynamics and statistical physics, electrodynamics, nuclear electronics, nuclear radiation detection, ion beam physics, probability and statistics, linear algebra, and higher mathematics.

Dewen Hou, a visiting Ph.D. student from Chongqing University’s School of Materials Science and Engineering and National Engineering Research Center for Magnesium Alloys in Chongquing, China. His research interests include magnesium and its alloys, deformation mechanisms of HCP (hexagonal close packing) metals, and materials characterization techniques.

Andrew K. Hoffman, who is working toward his doctorate in nuclear science and engineering at Idaho State University. He earned his master’s in physics at ISU and his bachelor’s in physics at Brigham Young University. His graduate coursework has been in quantum mechanics, reactor physics, neutron transport, nuclear physics, advanced mathematical methods, criticality safety, and nuclear fuel cycles.

Ryan Carnahan, who is pursuing a master’s in nuclear science and engineering at Idaho State University. He holds a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Brigham Young University-Idaho, where he co-founded the engineering honors society Tau Beta Delta.

Malwina Wilding, who is pursing a doctorate in nuclear science and engineering at Idaho State University, where she earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees. From 2012 to 2016 she was a graduate research assistant at the Research and Innovation in Science and Engineering (RISE) complex in Pocatello. She started her graduate research assistantship with Dr. Wen in January 2017.

Dr. Wen and his students consult in the CAES library.

From CAES News Feb. – Apr. 2017. Download the PDF issue here.