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Hamid Rahai

Dr. Hamid Rahai
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs
California State University, Long Beach

Presentation Title: Urban Wind Energy Potential

Summary: This presentation will focus on urban aerodynamics and opportunities for harnessing wind energy potential within the urban environment.

Biography: Hamid Rahai is a professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering at California State University, Long Beach. He has been PI and Co-PI of over 13 million dollars in grants and contracts from federal, and state agencies and industries. His research areas include wind energy, mixing, and turbulence, industrial aerodynamics, pollution mitigation, and environmental health. Dr. Rahai is a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors.


Dr. Raúl Bayoán Cal

Dr. Raúl Bayoán Cal
Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering
Portland State University

Presentation Title: Fluid mechanics of utility-scale solar photovoltaic farms: Increasing energy extraction and understanding soiling

Summary: Solar photovoltaic (PV) plants are an integral part of the critical need towards decreasing reliance on fossil fuels and having a direct positive impact on climate change. Pertaining to fluid mechanics, solar PV plants have a tight coupling with the atmospheric turbulent boundary layer. Given the complex interactions, there is a need for the understanding of the fluid flow physics of these systems with important benefits in power production, system reliability and improved models to name a few. Scaled experiments are performed and evaluated for these systems to explain the role of turbulence in the transport of momentum. Strategies which decrease the operating temperature of the PV plant are examined playing a key role on power gains; here, the role of momentum transport is also elucidated. Further, we explore the physics of soiling, cleaning such surfaces, by detecting where the particles might reside and further by zooming into the problem (through the use of our 2.1 second drop tower at Portland State University). We investigate particle-laden droplet jump to understand the characteristics necessary for desired PV surfaces. To conclude, pathways to careers on STEM will be discussed.

Biography: Raúl Bayoán Cal is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Portland State University; a faculty member since 2010. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006. During 2006 to 2009, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University. His area of research is focused on understanding fluid flow phenomena as it relates to physical systems such as turbulence with emphasis placed on physics related of wall-bounded, free-shear and multi-phase flows as well as wind/solar energy, and capillary microfluidics with interests in both terrestrial and space applications.

Moderator: Paolo Pezzini, Ph.D., EPRI
Panelist: Rick Kephart, Emerson Electric, Co.
Panelist: Dr. David Tucker, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Department of Energy
Panelist: Dr. Kenneth Mark Bryden, Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University
Panelist: Mike Hancock, Ansys

Description: This panel session will discuss the development of digital twin and cyber-physical systems used to monitor dynamic performance operation of existing power plants and how those tools can also support the design of new integrated energy systems. The fundamental change of operating nuclear and fossil-based power plants due to the penetration of non-dispatchable resources exposed traditional power plants to aggressive electric load following operations and required the design of novel low/zero carbon technologies that can achieve high efficiency target at part-load condition. Real time models and digital twin environments with the support of cyber-physical methodologies are becoming powerful tools used to monitor performance of existing power plants but they have been also extended to design new integrated energy systems that can achieve near-zero emission targets. Regarding the monitoring of existing power plants, digital twin model supports the prompt detection of abnormal operations and the optimization of scheduled maintenance and repair services of operators, which will avoid costly forced shutdowns, thereby increasing plant availability. Regarding the design of new energy systems, digital twin and cyber-physical environments can reduce the risk of failures in the design and development of new low/zero carbon technologies. The panelists in this session will cover the state-of-the-art of digital twin systems in both areas, existing power plants and innovative cycles.

Rick Kephart

Rick Kephart
Vice President of Technology for the Power and Water Industries

Biography: Rick Kephart has over 30 years of automation experience in the power and water/wastewater industries. Over his career he has become an expert in control systems and theory, embedded systems and real-time systems. Rick joined the organization (then known as Westinghouse Process Control) as a field engineer in 1990. He currently serves as the vice president of technology for Emerson’s power and water solutions business. In this position, Rick leads the global power and water technology organization and is responsible for shaping our technology architecture, strategy and direction for the Ovation platform and the entire power generation and water system stacks. Previously, Rick was the vice president of software solutions and responsible for managing a global organization responsible for the development of all software related to the Ovation™ automation platform. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Penn State University and an M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.


David Tucker

Dr. David Tucker
Hybrid Performance (Hyper) Project Lead
National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)

Biography: His career spans research and scientific successes in industry, academia, and the government sectors. At NETL, Dr. Tucker serves as the Hybrid Performance (Hyper) project leader with research focus in cyber-physical systems, hardware-in-the-loop simulations, real-time dynamic modeling, hybrid system dynamics and controls, solid oxide fuel cell degradation, piezoelectric flow detection, high-temperature piezoelectric valves, and cyber-security using blockchain. During his tenure at NETL, Dr. Tucker developed a cyber-physical system for energy research six years before the National Science Foundation coined the term in 2008. Cyber-physical systems embody a seamless integration of hardware and numeric models that interact with a physical environment and form the foundation of intelligent systems. Using the cyber-physical approach, Dr. Tucker explored the capability of hybrid systems to maintain high efficiencies at part-load conditions and to make fast transitions to accommodate the load following required for increased penetration of intermittent renewable resources on the grid. At Jacobs Engineering Group, Dr. Tucker served as a lead engineer in piping and materials engineering on a $7.1B refinery expansion project. He taught at the University of West Alabama as a chemistry professor, performing research in the flash pyrolysis of waste biomass in high temperature plasma. As Managing Director for Southern Ventures, Inc., Dr. Tucker took the company public and led corporate direction for zero-emission conversion of waste materials into chemical products.


Dr. Mark Bryden

Dr. Mark Bryden
Program Director for Simulation, Modeling and Decision Science at Ames Laboratory
U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory

Biography: Dr. Mark Bryden is the founding director of the Decision Science program at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and is a professor of mechanical engineering at Iowa State University. Dr. Bryden’s research is focused on the federation of information from disparate sources (e.g., models, data, and other information elements) to create detailed models of engineered, human, and natural systems that enable engineering decision making for these complex systems. Dr. Bryden has published more than 180 peer-reviewed articles and co-authored the textbook Combustion Engineering. He has founded two successful startups based on his research work, and he has founded the nonprofit ETHOS, a community of 150+ researchers focused on meeting the needs for clean village energy in the developing world. He has received three patents, three R&D 100 awards, two Regional Excellence in Technology Transfer awards, and a National Excellence in Technology Transfer award. In 2013 he and his coauthors received the ASME Melville Medal. The Melville Medal was first awarded in 1927 and is the highest honor for the best original technical paper published in the ASME Transactions in the past two years.

His professional experience includes three years as an engineer and 11 years as a manager at Westinghouse Electric in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In addition, for more than 15 years Professor Bryden has worked on energy systems for the poor in a number of developing countries. Most recently he has worked in Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, where he led an effort to develop the technology, infrastructure, and in-country support network needed to provide household lighting to remote off-grid villages.


Mike Hancock

Mike Hancock
Enterprise Director for the Department of Energy (DOE)

Biography: Mike Hancock is the Enterprise Director for the Department of Energy (DOE) at Ansys. He leads the development and execution of strategic programs designed to help the DOE achieve its mission through transformative science and technology solutions. Before joining Ansys, Mike split his career in executive leadership roles in early-stage technology companies and large corporate environments. He has a deep background in leading-edge, sophisticated technology solutions, complex simulation, highperformance computing (HPC), data science and analytics, AI/ML, and IoT. Under his leadership, multiple pre-revenue start-ups have grown from $0 to $50M, and $100- $200M businesses have achieved consecutive years of 30-40% YOY growth in companies like IBM and Synopsys. For over 25 years, Mike has helped companies exceed their shareholder's and customer's expectations by developing and leading their sales, business development, and customer success organizations. He resides in and is a life-long native of Austin, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

Description: These topics highlight the application of computational modeling and simulation techniques in different aspects of nuclear engineering, aiming to improve the design, safety, and performance of nuclear reactors and waste treatment processes.

Matthew Anderson

Matthew Anderson
Idaho National Lab

Presentation Title: High Performance Computing Datacenters as End-Users for Microreactors: An Empirical Approach




Mauricio E. Tano Retamales

Mauricio E. Tano Retamales
Idaho National Lab

Presentation Title: Progress in Coarse-Mesh CFD Modeling for Advanced Nuclear Reactors





Donna Guillen

Donna Post Guillen
Idaho National Lab

Presentation Title: Computational Modeling of Joule-Heated Melters for Tank Waste Vitrification

Panelist: George Mesina, Idaho National Lab
Panelist: Michael W. Smiarowski, Siemens Energy, Inc
Panelist: Jovica Riznic, CNSC

Description: As the nuclear industry continues to advance to meet the United States government plans for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by American utility companies and others, its existing reactors are being improved, having their lives extended; meanwhile new research, development, and design efforts are leading to the creation of many new reactor designs. Some are cooled by water, high-temperature gases, liquid metals, molten salts, and other fluids. To aid the analysis and design of these reactors, nuclear plant modeling programs must advance with the nuclear and computer industries. RELAP5-3D is continually upgraded to serve the needs of the nuclear industry. Some uses for RELAP5-3D include aid in the design of new experiments and new reactor designs, commercial grade dedications for licensing submittals to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, serving as the thermal hydraulic engine for new and existing nuclear power plant operator training simulators, and application to margin reduction for utilities.

Moreover, the computer industry continues to advance and puts pressure on computer codes to adapt continually. Whether it be computer architecture, operating systems, system software, compilers, data post-processors, or other advancements. Computer codes that do not keep abreast of changes in the computer industry will typically become unusable in two to three computer generations. RELAP5 has been upgraded in numerous ways in order to continue to build and run correctly on new computer architectures, and a variety of compilers and operating systems

From an industry perspective, financial incentives are being provided at both the state and federal level to existing nuclear plants to extend their operating licenses, in some cases, an additional 40 years beyond their original operating licenses. Recent industry experience will be shared that is focused on areas such as: Thermal Uprates /Engineering Studies Required to Verify Suitability of Existing, Potential Upgrades of Steam Turbine Equipment, and current manufacturing and logistical challenges and mitigations being used to support the nuclear plants.