Opportunities in Nuclear




The Second Annual Ohio State University Forum on Nuclear Power

  • This Conference will focus on the needs, opportunities, and emerging technologies in Nuclear Power.
  • From the need for a carbon-free energy source able to provide base-load power to medical treatments using radio-isotopes to new types of reactors and fuels, the future for the nuclear power industry has many opportunities.
  • This forum will explore some of these opportunities and their impacts.





Mike Childerson

Mr. Childerson serves as the B&W mPower Design Engineering Manager for the nuclear island design team located in Lynchburg, Virginia.  His team is responsible for the Nuclear Steam Supply System design and interfaces with the Bechtel Power engineering team responsible for the balance of plant design as well as all civil/structural design for the plant.  Much of Mr. Childerson’s 30-year career with Babcock & Wilcox was spent at the Babcock & Wilcox Research and Development Division (later McDermott Technology, Inc.) in Alliance, Ohio.  He was involved with nuclear thermal-hydraulic research and development programs associated with the power generation industry.  These programs included small break loss-of-coolant accident testing of scaled models of the Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Steam Supply System.  He also managed the Performance Engineering Unit at Babcock and Wilcox’s Nuclear Operations Group in Barberton, Ohio prior to the mPower development project.  The Unit is responsible for the thermal-hydraulic design of nuclear plant components including multi-phase heat exchangers.  Mr. Childerson received his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1980 and his master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1981, both from the University of Illinois.  He is a member of the American Nuclear Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer with the State of Ohio.

Dr. Henry Cialone

Dr Cialone is President and CEO of EWI, North America’s leading independent materials joining technology organization. He has a record of creating new business opportunities through technological innovation.  After joining EWI in 2005, Dr. Cialone engineered a turnaround of the company by focusing on strengthening the balance sheet, expanding the company’s portfolio of manufacturing technologies, and creating public-private partnerships like the Nuclear Fabrication Consortium.  Previously, he was an executive at Battelle, where he developed and managed the commercial energy technology portfolio ultimately leading the commercial energy business and serving on the governing board of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  Dr. Cialone received his BS degree in materials engineering from Brown University, and his MS and PhD degrees in materials science, also from Brown, where he specialized in hydrogen enhanced fracture.  He has completed executive management programs at Fuqua and Wharton.

Dr. Rich Denning

Dr. Denning spent most of his career at Battelle Memorial Institute before joining the OSU faculty in 1999.  He was a major contributor to the two major studies of the risk of nuclear power plant accidents, WASH-1400 (1975) and NUREG-1150 (1990.  He assisted the NRC in the development and oversight of its severe accident research program.  He was a consultant to the Three Mile Island Special Inquiry Group.  Dr. Denning was previously a member of DOE’s Advisory Committee on Nuclear Facility Safety and NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards.  He chaired the Nuclear Engineering Program at The Ohio State University from July 1999 to June 2001 and from March 2006 to June 2007.  He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society.  He has recently been examining the societal risk of nuclear power plant accidents in light of the extensive land contamination experienced in the Fukushima Dai-ichi accidents in comparison with other societal risks.

Dr. Charles Forsberg

Dr. Forsberg is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Nuclear Fuel Cycle Study, Director and principle investigator of the High-Temperature Salt-Cooled Reactor Project, and University Lead for Idaho National Laboratory Institute for Nuclear Energy and Science (INEST) Nuclear Hybrid Energy Systems program. Before joining MIT, he was a Corporate Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and recipient of the 2005 Robert E. Wilson Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers for outstanding chemical engineering contributions to nuclear energy, including his work in hydrogen production and nuclear-renewable energy futures. He received the American Nuclear Society special award for innovative nuclear reactor design on salt-cooled reactors. Dr. Forsberg earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota and his doctorate in Nuclear Engineering from MIT. He has been awarded 11 patents and has published over 200 papers.

Dr. Robert Hargraves

Dr. Hargraves is a study leader at Dartmouth ILEAD. He was chief information officer at Boston Scientific Corporation and previously a senior consultant with Arthur D. Little. He founded a computer software firm, DTSS Incorporated, while at Dartmouth College where he was assistant professor of mathematics and associate director of the computation center.  He graduated from Brown University (Ph.D. Physics) and Dartmouth College (A.B. Mathematics and Physics).   Dr. Hargraves is the author of the book THORIUM: energy cheaper than coalHe promotes the “Aim High!” vision of a world energy future powered by Thorium and liquid-fluoride reactors. He is the co-author of the American Scientist article “Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors” and teaches energy policy at Dartmouth’s Institute for Lifelong Education.

Dr. Robert Iotti

Dr. Iotti has had an extensive career in the nuclear industry, primarily in engineering and construction, project management and liability management. Dr. Iotti’s involvement with fusion energy dates back to the early 80’s with the design and construction of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR ), then with the design of the TPX at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory until TPX was canceled  (TPX eventually became South Korea’s K-Star. In the early 90’s he was seconded to the Department of Energy to help manage the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor , at that time a joint effort of the European Union, Japan, the Soviet Union and the US to develop fusion power.  The U.S left ITER for a period of years, but rejoined when the project was restarted earnest in 2001.  Dr. Iotti he was then called to serve as the 1st Chairman of the Management Advisory Committee to the ITER Council, a position which is rotated every two years amongst the present 7 parties participating in the effort.  The original four have been joined by South Korea, China and India. He continues to serve on the MAC to the present day.  Dr. Iotti was president of CH2MHILL’s nuclear division and has overseen major nuclear activities, including well-known and successful clean-up projects at Rocky Flats, Colo., and Mound, Ohio, and projects involving ongoing Department of Energy operations.

Joseph Rivers

Mr. Rivers is the Senior Level Advisor on Security for the Division of Security Policy, Office of Nuclear Security and Incident Response at the NRC.  Some areas of his responsibility include categorization of nuclear and radioactive materials with respect to construction of improvised nuclear devices and radiological dispersal devices, chemical security of high-risk chemicals, critical infrastructure protection issues, and developing a more risk informed approach for the security of nuclear facilities.  Mr. Rivers has more than twenty-five years of experience in nuclear safeguards and security.  Prior to joining NRC, Mr. Rivers was Manager for the Nonproliferation Support Program at the Department of Energy (DOE).  He was responsible to prepare DOE facilities to host international inspectors under a variety of arms control and nonproliferation treaties and initiatives.  He served on, and headed U.S. delegations that participated in bilateral and multilateral security consultations. Prior to the position at DOE, Mr. Rivers served as the Science Applications International Corporation Chief Scientist for Nuclear Safeguards and Security.  Mr. Rivers has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and attended graduate school in statistics at the Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Julian Rosenman

Dr. Rosenman is the Clinical Director of the Department of Radiation Oncology at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.  Dr. Rosenman is also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  Dr. Rosenman graduated with his MD in 1977 from the Southwestern Medical School, after earning a PhD in physics from the University of Texas in 1971.  Dr. Rosenman has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles, as well as numerous book chapters, and given hundreds of scientific presentations.  His research includes extensive work on radiation treatment and therapy, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), and the use of computing and 3D technologies in cancer treatment.

Kirk Sorensen

Mr. Sorensen is a co-founder and chief nuclear technologist at Flibe Energy Inc., where he leads development of the liquid-fluoride thorium reactor (LFTR).  Kirk previously worked for ten years as an aerospace engineer for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and as chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering.  Kirk has been a leading public advocate and subject matter expert for thorium energy and LFTR technology for many years. He founded the weblog “Energy from Thorium” which has been the platform for the international grassroots effort to revive research and development of molten salt reactors.  Kirk has been a prominent advocate for thorium energy including speaking engagements at TEDx, Google Tech Talks, Thorium Energy Alliance conferences, International Thorium Energy Organization conferences and as a panelist at energy symposia.

Chris Spielman

Mr. Spielman is a distinguished alumnus of OSU.  He played eight seasons with the Detroit Lions and is a member of the Football College Hall of Fame.  Mr. Spielman was a two time All American while at OSU.  He won both the Harley Chic and the Lombardi awards, and was named the Ohio State’s MVP in 1987.  In 1998, Mr. Spielman and his wife, Stefanie, established the Stefanie Spielman Breast Cancer Research Fund.  Since then, the Fund has raised over $11 million to support breast cancer research and to assist breast cancer patients.  On November 19, 2009, Mr. Spielman’s wife, Stefanie, died after a 10 year battle with Breast Cancer.

Dr. Xiaodong Sun

Dr. Sun is currently an associate professor of Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering at The Ohio State University. Dr. Sun received his B.S. in Thermal Engineering and M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University in 2001. From 2002 to August 2004, Dr. Sun was a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University. Dr. Sun’s research interest areas include reactor thermal hydraulics and safety; two-phase flow experimentation, modeling, and numerical simulation; and high-temperature reactors. He has co-authored 36 journal articles and over 70 conference papers. Dr. Sun has served as vice chair of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Thermal Hydraulics Division, president of the ANS Alpha Nu Sigma National Honor Society, and vice chair of the ANS Book Publishing Committee. He was one of the two assistant Technical Program Chairs (TPCs) for the ANS 2011 Annual Meeting and is slated to be the TPC for the ANS 2012 Winter Meeting. Dr. Sun received the 2011 Lumley Engineering Research Award from the OSU College of Engineering.

Dr. Heather Willauer

Dr. Willauer is a Research Chemist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC.  Dr. Willauer received her B.S in Chemistry from Berry College in 1996 and went on to complete her Ph.D. in analytical Chemistry in 2002 from the University of Alabama.  After completing her Ph.D., she went to the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Associate before joining NRL as a full time research chemist in 2004.  Currently at NRL she is working on the capture of CO2 and hydrogen from seawater and their subsequent synthesis to energy rich hydrocarbons.  She has published over 50 papers in referred journals, and presented over 30 papers at professional meetings, and over 10 NRL reports, and major contributions to 7 books.


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