SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Matthew Krecicki
TIME: Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 2:00 p.m.
PLACE: Gilbert Hillhouse Boggs, 3-47
TITLE: Title: Development of Multiphysics Computational Methods for the Design of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Reactors
COMMITTEE: Dr. Dan Kotlyar, Chair (NRE)
Dr. Bojan Petrovic (NRE)
Dr. Anna Erickson (NRE)
Dr. Jonathan Witter (BWXT)
Dr. Lane Carasik (ME/NE (VCU))


Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is an enabling technology for near-term cis-lunar operations and manned mission to Mars. Developing a reactor design that can satisfy rocket engine performance requirements while maintaining adequate thermal and mechanical safety margins within the reactor requires advanced modeling and simulation (M&S) tools. In this thesis, a multiphysics analysis framework, Basilisk, is developed to perform full-core time-dependent mission analysis for a given reactor design. The framework relies on a novel reduced-order thermal-hydraulic (T/H) and thermo-mechanics (T/M) code - ntpThermo. This dissertation puts special emphasis on extensive verification and analytic validation. The ntpThermo tool is coupled with Serpent to enable full-core coupled neutronic, thermal-hydraulics, thermo-mechanics (N+T/H-T/M) analysis.