Presenters

Dignitaries

William D. Magwood, IV
Director-General, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)

Mr. Magwood took up his duties as Director-General of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) on 1 September 2014. He has extensive experience in both the regulatory and developmental aspects of nuclear energy, including at the international level.

From 2010 to 2014, he served as one of the five Commissioners appointed by the US President and confirmed by the US Senate to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). While a commissioner, he advocated the importance of nuclear regulatory independence and the necessity of maintaining strong, credible and technically sound nuclear regulation in the United States and all countries that use nuclear power.

Prior to his appointment at the NRC, from 2005 to 2010 he provided independent strategic and policy advice to US and international clients on energy, environment, education, and technology policy issues. From 1998 to 2005, Mr Magwood was Director of the US Government’s civilian nuclear energy programme at the US Department of Energy (DOE). During his tenure, he established the Idaho National Laboratory; created activities that reversed the decline of US nuclear technology education; and launched important initiatives such as the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) and the US “Nuclear Power 2010,” which helped restart nuclear plant construction in the United States. He was also actively involved in the work of the NEA, serving as a Steering Committee Bureau member from 1999 to 2005, including a term as Chair of the Steering Committee from 2004 to 2005.

Prior to his experience at the DOE, Mr Magwood managed electric utility research and nuclear policy programmes at the Edison Electric Institute in Washington, DC, and was a scientist at Westinghouse Electric Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mr Magwood, a US national, holds Bachelor degrees in Physics and English from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pittsburgh.

Mollie Johnson
Mollie Johnson - Natural Resources Canada

As Assistant Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Canada’s Low Carbon Energy Sector, Mollie Johnson leads the Government of Canada’s efforts to advance Canada’s national energy priorities, including leadership in the global energy transition. In addition to providing strategic advice on domestic and international energy matters, her team delivers energy efficiency and low-carbon power programs to help mitigate climate change, advance the competitiveness of Canada’s energy sector, and promote access to reliable, clean and affordable energy for all Canadians.

Prior to her current position, Ms. Johnson served in two positions at Natural Resources Canada: as Assistant Deputy Minister, Communications and Portfolio Sector; and, Director General, Policy, Major Projects Management Office. She has also held executive positions at Environment and Climate Change Canada; the Competition Bureau; and served as a senior officer in Legislation and House Planning
at the Privy Council Office.

Mollie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master’s Degree
in International Affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School.

Rita Baranwal
Rita Baranwal - US Department of Energy (DOE)

Dr. Rita Baranwal serves as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); she was nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to perform in this role.  Dr. Baranwal leads the office’s efforts to promote research and development (R&D) on existing and advanced nuclear technologies that sustain the existing U.S. fleet of nuclear reactors, enable the deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems, and enhance the U.S.A.’s global commercial nuclear energy competitiveness.

Dr. Baranwal is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. She has a bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in materials science and engineering and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Michigan.

Instructors

We are pleased to have these world-renowned experts to lead our program. 

Todd Allen
Todd Allen, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan

Dr. Todd Allen is Professor at the University of Michigan and a Senior Fellow at Third Way, a DC base Think Tank, supporting their Clean Energy Portfolio. He was the Deputy Director for Science and Technology at the Idaho National Laboratory from January 2013 through January 2016. Prior to INL he was a Professor in the Engineering Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin, a position held from September 2003 through December 2012 and again from January 2016-December 2018. From March 2008-December 2012, he was concurrently the Scientific Director of the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility at INL. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin, he was a Nuclear Engineer at Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho Falls. His Doctoral Degree is in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Michigan (1997) and his Bachelor’s Degree in Nuclear Engineering is from Northwestern University (1984). Prior to graduate work, he was an officer in the United States Navy Nuclear Power Program.

Kirk Atkinson, Department of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, Ontario Tech University

Kirk Atkinson, the Technical Lead at the UK’s Defence Academy and a Module Leader on the NTEC program at the University of Manchester, joined Ontario Tech University as an Associate Professor in 2019 and was awarded an NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in 2020.

He is the Founding Director of the Centre for Small Modular Reactors. An expert on SMRs in the marine context, he served on the Physics Working Group and Science Support Network of the UK Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program and was part of the team assessing future submarine nuclear power options. 

As naval reactors are the original SMRs, Atkinson is one of few Canadian academics with real experience in a program encompassing their design, manufacture, operation and disposal.

Ann T. Ballantyne
Anne T. Ballentyne - Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation

Anne T. Ballantyne, BSc, B.A., M.B.A., is the Corporate Strategy Advisor, Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, a Canadian Not-for-Profit Corporation, with an independent Board of Directors, headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada with the purpose of “placing Saskatchewan among global leaders in nuclear research, development, innovation, and training through investment in partnerships with academia and industry for maximum societal and economic benefit”. Prior to this role, Anne was the Strategic Research Planning and Facilitation Officer, Office of the Vice-Dean Research, Scholarly and Artistic Work, College of Arts and Science, at the University of Saskatchewan.

Sama Bilbao y Leon, Head, Division of Nuclear Technology Development and Economics (NTE) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA)

Dr. Sama Bilbao y León is the Head of the Division of Nuclear
Technology Development and Economics at OECD Nuclear Energy Agency. In her role at the NEA, she leads a team of talented analysts that provide Member Countries with authoritative studies in the intersection of technology, innovation and economics in support of their energy policy
decision-making. She is also the Head of the Technical Secretariat for the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). 

Sama has a very diverse professional experience having worked in the nuclear industry (Nuclear Safety Analysis Engineer, Dominion Energy, USA), in academia (Director
of Nuclear Engineering Programs and Associate Professor at the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia
Commonwealth University (VCU), USA) and in international organisations (Technical Head of Water Cooled Reactors Technology Development Unit, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)). 

Sama, who is originally from Spain, holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Energy Technologies from the Polytechnic University
of Madrid; a master’s degree and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison; and an MBA from Averett University. Sama’s areas of expertise are nuclear thermal-hydraulics for both light water reactors and sodium cooled reactors, nuclear reactor design, nuclear safety, energy and environmental policy, electricity markets and complex decisionmaking.

Stephen Bushby, Senior Director, Commercial Oversight and S&T Integration, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited

Since joining AECL over 25 years ago, Steve has held a number of technical and management positions, including: Director of Advanced Reactor Development program; Program Director of Canada’s Generation IV program; Director of the Reactor Safety Division; General Manager of Capital Projects; General Manager of Strategic Planning; and, most recently, Senior Director of Science and Technology, where he also chairs the Research Advisory Committee for the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE).  

Steve also spent 2.5 years on Executive Interchange with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) – the federal department responsible for nuclear energy in Canada.   Steve obtained his PhD in Chemistry/Surface Science from the University of Western Ontario in 1992.

Michèle Coeck
Michèle Coeck - Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN, Nuclear Science and Technology

Dr. Michèle Coeck holds a PhD in Physics and works at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN since 1994. She started as scientific researcher at the BR2 reactor department and prepared her PhD thesis in the field of semiconductor sciences on the study of neutron irradiated silicon. In 1998 she became a scientific collaborator at the radiation protection department, where she was responsible for the Nuclear Calibrations Laboratory and participated in dosimetry research.

Adrien Couet, Department of Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Adrien Couet’s research includes the study of materials degradation in extreme conditions with a focus on current and advanced nuclear reactors. Couet studies how materials, their environment, and the stresses with which they come into contact, tend to couple in ways that are less than fortuitous for the maintenance and safety of a nuclear power plant. At the MaDCoR (Materials Degradation under Corrosion and Radiation) laboratory, Couet and his research group investigate high-temperature corrosion and irradiation effects in materials as well as the design of these materials to better withstand these aggressive conditions.

Dario Delmastro, Engineering Manager, CAREM
Dario Delmastro is the Engineering Manager of CAREM (CNEA). He is a member of the Technical Working Group on Advanced Technologies for Light Water Reactors (TWG-LWR) and the Technical Working Group for Small and Medium-sized or Modular Reactor (TWG-SMR) of the IAEA.
 
He is a Professor at Instituto Balseiro. He was the Head of the Thermal-hydraulics Group at Centro Atómico Bariloche (CNEA).
 
He obtained his Engineering degree and Doctor in Nuclear Engineering degree from Instituto Balseiro.
Carlo Fiorina
Carlo Fiorina, Laboratory of Reactor Physics and Systems Behaviour, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Carlo Fiorina is a scientist at the Laboratory of Reactor Physics and Systems Behaviour, EPFL.

His activities and research interests include:

  • Development of multi-physics codes for nuclear reactor analysis
  • Modelling of fuel behavior
  • Reduced-order models
  • Machine learning applied to nuclear reactor analysis
  • Use and development of open-source codes in Nuclear Science and Technology
Martin Fisher
Marty Fisher - Sherpa Marketing

Marty Fisher has owned and managed Sherpa Marketing since 1996. Marty brings “Big Idea” thinking, marketing intelligence, and business acumen to every customer interaction.

Marty is a graduate of the University of Guelph, faculty of Economics & Finance. He has grown Sherpa from a one-person shop, to its current state, a provider of full-stack of marketing services for clients across North America (including fortune 500 businesses) and a staff of almost thirty talented employees.

With his 30 years of experience, Marty loves to invest in, and mentor young founders. Currently he has investments in and actively mentors the founders of Kief Cannabis and Ukko Robotics.

Specialties: Software application ideation, branding, CRM, creative direction, writing, sales force automation tools, mobile app development, database integration, marketing strategy

Industry Experience: Financial services, Fintech, Life Science, Post Secondary Institutions, Manufacturing

Massimiliano Fratoni
Massimiliano Fratoni, Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California-Berkeley

Prof. Fratoni teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in nuclear reactor theory, and nuclear reactor design and analysis. His research covers multiple areas including advanced reactor design, computational methods, and nuclear fuel cycle. Current projects focus on accident tolerant fuels for light water reactors, molten salt reactors for used fuel transmutation, and thermal analysis of generic repository.

Margot Hurlbert
Margot Hurlbert, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina

Margot has a B. Admin. (Great Distinction) from the University of Regina (1985), an LL.B. (Osgoode) (1987), an LL.M. (Osgoode) (2005) in Constitutional Law with a focus on energy, natural resource, indigenous and environmental issues, and a Ph.D. (University of Amsterdam) in Social and Behaviour Sciences with a thesis “Adaptive Governance of Disaster: Drought and Flood in Rural Areas” published by Springer. Before entering academia Margot was the Assistant General Counsel of the Legal Department at SaskPower.

Her research interests focus on energy, climate change, agriculture, and water. Margot has lead and participated in many SSHRC, NSERC and IDRC research projects, serves on the editorial boards of international journals, is the Lead of the Science, Technology and Innovation Research Cluster at Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy in Regina. Margot is Coordinating Lead Author of a chapter of the Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Land and Climate (2019) and a Review Editor for AR6.  Margot sits on Future Earth’s Earth Commission Working Group on ‘Transformations’, and is a Scientific Coordinator, Task Force on Earth System Law and a Senior Research Fellow of the Earth Systems Governance Project (Future Earth), Delft, the Netherlands.

Esam Hussein
Esam Hussein, Engineering and Applied Science, University of Regina

Esam Hussein earned degrees in nuclear engineering from Alexandria University (BScE and MScE) and McMaster University (PhD).  

He is currently the Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Regina, Canada and was an engineering professor at the University of New Brunswick, and a nuclear design engineer with Ontario Hydro.

His research has focused on the application of atomic/nuclear radiation in nondestructive testing and imaging, but he has turned his attention lately to the technology of small modular reactors.

John Luxat
John Luxat, Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University

Dr. John C. Luxat is the Senior NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Safety Analysis, Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University.

Dr. Luxat is a leading researcher in the field of nuclear science, with expertise in severe accident analysis and in experimental testing and analytical modeling of nuclear thermal hydraulics, subjects in which he is widely published.

He is a world-renowned expert with an established record of key technical contributions in the modeling and analysis of systems, components and physical processes in nuclear power plant with a focus on predicting consequences of severe accident scenarios. He is also developing alternative nuclear power plant risk analysis approaches that address severe accidents induced by extreme natural hazards.

Lidia Matei
Lidia Matei - Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation

Dr. Matei currently serves the scientific community and nuclear industry in her capacity of Corporate Business Officer at the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada.

She started her career as a scientist at the Radioisotope Production Centre of the largest Nuclear Physics Institute (IFIN-HH) in Romania, where she became involved in the production of radiopharmaceuticals.

In 2009, Dr. Matei worked as postodoctoral fellow at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada and was a member of the team focused on early studies for production Tc-99m by a cyclotron.

As R&D radiochemist at Best Theratronics in Ottawa, Dr. Matei learned elements of cyclotron design, got in-depth knowledge of targetry radiochemistry and continued to work on cyclotron produced Tc-99m. Later, Lidia worked on processing of low specific activity linac produced Mo-99 and on processing, extraction, and purification of linac Mo-99 and Cu-67 as Radiochemist at Canadian Isotope Innovations in Saskatoon.

Gaston Meskens
Gaston Meskens - Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN and University of Ghent

Gaston Meskens holds master degrees in theoretical physics and nuclear engineering from the University of Ghent (Belgium). He works part-time with the Science and Technology Studies group of the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK•CEN and with the Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry of the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy of the University of Ghent.

He has twenty+ years of experience in participative and transdisciplinary research related to the ethics of governance of issues such as sustainable development, energy, climate change and radioactive waste management and with the policy processes of the UNFCCC, UNCSD, UN-NPT, and of the research-related activities of the EC.

Since 2006, he is member of the steering committee of the Constituency of Research-oriented Independent NGOs towards the UNFCCC and was chair of the constituency from 2016 to 2018.

In the previous years, he also participated as invited expert in Belgian parliamentary and public hearings on the ethics of risk-inherent technology governance, in several Technical Committees of the IAEA and of the OECD and in UN missions in the frame of sustainable development. At SCK•CEN Gaston Meskens is now working as researcher, writer, lecturer and mediator of dialogue on ethics in relation to science, technology and democratic decision making.

David Novog
David Novog, Department of Engineering Physics, McMaster University

Dr. David Novog is an internationally recognized researcher and engineer with 25 years of experience in academia and industry and holds an Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Safety.

His research interests include reactor risk assessment methodologies, severe accident mitigation, and emergency planning and served in an advisory role on the recent Ontario Nuclear Emergency Response Plan update.

An emerging area of research in Dr. Novog’s group examines the vital role of large and small modular reactors (SMRs) in reducing humankind’s CO2 footprint and he is the Principal Investigator for the federally funded Small Modular Advanced Reactor Training (SMART) program.

Jean C. Ragusa
Jean C. Ragusa, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University

Jean C. Ragusa is a Professor and Associate Director of the Institute for Scientific Computation (ISC) at Texas A&M University.

His research interests include

  • Numerical Methods for Multiphysics Simulations
  • Computational Techniques for Neutral Particle & Electron Transport
  • Nuclear Fuel Assembly & Reactor Design
Jeremy Rayner
Jeremy Rayner, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Jeremy Rayner is a Professor with the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan Campus and he is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Science and Innovation Policy (CSIP) and Research Lead of the Energy Policy Research Cluster.

Dr. Rayner’s research focuses on governance arrangements for complex policy problems, especially at the intersection of energy, climate change and forests. He is Principal Investigator on a multidisciplinary project funded by the Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation ‘Finding a Niche: Northern Communities as Protected Spaces for Small Modular Reactors’ and Principal Investigator on a research project examining the influence of social learning and attitudes on the perception of risk from low dose radiation funded by Candu Owner’s Group (COG).

Dr. Rayner recently participated in the Canada UK nuclear energy dialogue and presented at the Nuclear Energy Agency workshop on ‘The nuclear and social science nexus: Challenges and opportunities for speaking across the disciplinary divide’. In collaboration with Dr. Margot Hurlbert on energy justice, they have published ‘Reconciling power, relations, and processes: The role of recognition in the achievement of energy justice for Aboriginal people’.

Pablo Rubiolo
Pablo Rubiolo, Subatomic Physics & Cosmology Laboratory, CNRS Grenoble

Pablo Rubiolo is a professor at the Grenoble INP (Grenoble Institute of Engineering and Management) and works as a reactor physics researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France. He is co-director of the Nuclear Engineering Program at Grenoble INP/Phelma. Prior to joining the academia, he worked at Electricity of France (2008-2011, France), Westinghouse Electric Company (2001-2008, USA), the French Atomic Energy Commission (France, 1997-2000) and the Argentine Atomic Energy Commission (Argentina, 1997).

His activities and research interests include:

  • Reactor design and safety: Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs), Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs) and Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFRs). Nuclear space power applications. Core coupled 3-D thermal hydraulics and neutronics studies. PWR severe accidents.
  • Nuclear fuel: PWR fuel assemblies design. Advanced fuel concepts such as Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATFs). Grid-to-Rod Fretting-wear (GTRF).
  • Numerical modeling: Multi-physics models. Computational Fluid Mechanics (CFD). Radiative thermal transfer in porous media. Flow-structure interactions.

He holds a PhD degree in Energy Mechanics from the University of Marseille (France, 2000) and a Nuclear Engineering degree from the Instituto Balseiro (Argentina, 1996).

Curtis Smith, Nuclear Safety and Regulatory Research Division, Idaho National Laboratory

Curtis Smith, Ph.D., is the Director of the Idaho National Laboratory’s Nuclear Safety & Regulatory Research Division. He is the Risk Informed Systems Analysis Pathway lead under the DOE Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program and served as the project manager for the NRC’s SAPHIRE risk analysis software. His most recent appointment is the lead for the Risk Integration and Uncertainty Working Group of the NASA Interagency Nuclear Safety Review Panel for the Mars 2020 mission.

Dr. Smith has been in the risk and reliability assessment field for more than 30 years. He has worked at INL as a risk analysis specialist for a diverse set of organizations including the DOE, the NRC, NASA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Federal Aviation Administration. He was the Chair of the ASME Safety Engineering and Risk Analysis Executive Committee, is the President of the Board for the International Association of Probabilistic Safety and Management organization, and is a past President of the Idaho State University College of Engineering Advisory Council. Dr. Smith has published over 260 papers, books, and reports on risk and reliability theory and applications. He holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sola Talabi, Principal, Pittsburgh Technical

Dr. Sola Talabi is a Principal with Pittsburgh Technical, which is a nuclear consulting firm that specializes in advanced reactor design and deployment.

He is also and adjunct professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Michigan. Sola’s experience includes design, numerical computational analysis, manufacturing, installation and testing of nuclear power plant components.

His experience includes serving as Risk Manager at Westinghouse Electric Company, where he was responsible for risk awareness, assessment and response for advanced reactors including AP1000 and SMR.

Mauricio Tano
Mauricio Tano, Texas A&M University

Dr. Mauricio Tano is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University. He received his Doctoral Degree in Nuclear Engineering from Grenoble Institute of Technology (2018) and his Engineering Degree in Nuclear Engineering from Instituto Balseiro (2015). His research interest includes:

  • Applied Artificial Intelligence in Nuclear Engineering
  • Multi-physics Simulations for optimization of Advanced Nuclear Reactors
  • Innovative Nuclear Reactor Design
Pavel V. Tsvetkov
Pavel V. Tsvetkov, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University

Pavel V. Tsvetkov is an Associate Professor and Faculty Graduate Advisor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University.

His research interests include:

  • System Analysis & Optimization Methods
  • Complex Engineered Systems
  • System Design
  • Symbiotic Nuclear Energy Systems
  • Waste Minimization
  • Sustainability
  • High Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) & Co-Generation Systems
  • Direct Nuclear Energy Conversion Systems
Paul WIlson, Department of Engineering Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Paul Wilson is the Grainger Professor of Nuclear Engineering and chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison‘s Department of Engineering Physics.

His research interests focus on developing improved tools for computational modeling of complex nuclear energy systems, with applications in radiation shielding, nuclear waste management, nuclear non-proliferation and energy policy.

His Computational Nuclear Engineering Research Group (CNERG) develops and provides software for the analysis of complex nuclear energy systems. 

Paul joined the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an assistant professor in August 2001 as part of the Energy Systems and Policy Hiring Initiative. Paul received a B.A.Sc. (Engineering Science) from the U of Toronto, an MS from U. Wisconsin-Madison, a Dr.-Ing from the Technical University of Karlsruhe, and a PhD from U. Wisconsin-Madison. 

Paul was the founding President of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear [NA-YGN] and has been active in the American Nuclear Society for over 20 years. He represented the ANS and NA-YGN at the international climate change negotiations in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1998), and Bonn, Germany (1999).

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