Keynote Speakers

Thermoelectric Materials – Terry Tritt from Clemson University

Terry Tritt

Prof. Terry M. Tritt is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Physics at Clemson University. Prof. Tritt is a graduate of Clemson University obtaining his BA in 1980 and Ph.D. in 1985. He then served as a National Research Council Fellow at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington,DC (1985-1989) and then as a Research Physicist at NRL from 1989 until 1996 before joining the faculty at Clemson University in Aug. of 1996. The focus of his current research centers on materials for thermoelectric (TE) refrigeration and power generation applications. His primary research expertise lies in electrical and thermal transport properties and phenomena (a special focus in measurement and characterization techniques) in new and novel materials, especially thermal conductivity. His recent activities are focused on the synthesis and characterization of TE nanomaterials and nanocomposites & investigation and characterization of their TE material’s parameters, especially thermal conductivity.

Advanced Ceramics, Metals, & Piezoelectrics – Richard Riman from Rutgers University

Richard Riman

Richard Riman is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Rutgers University. His research is focused on the discovery and development of green manufacturing methods for the production of ceramics in order to provide sustainable solutions to significant technological and environmental problems. His use of hydrothermal technology spans photonic, biomedical, electronic and structural fields. Professor Riman’s entrepreneurial interests include founding Solidia Technologies, a company providing green construction materials for buildings and infrastructure, and more recently RRTC. He holds a B.S. degree in Ceramic Engineering from Rutgers and a Ph.D. from MIT in Materials Science and Engineering. He is the recipient of many research awards including those from NIH, NSF, ALCOA, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, the American Ceramic Society and the R&D 100 new materials innovation award for 2013.

Nuclear Fuels – Rory Kennedy from Idaho National Laboratories

Rory Kennedy

J. RORY KENNEDY (BS, 1982, Inorganic Chemistry, Colorado State University; MS, 1983, PhD, 1987, Inorganic Chemistry, Northwestern University) is Director of the Advanced Test Reactor – National Scientific User Facility at INL. Previously, he was the Technical Lead for Metallic Fuel Development under the DOE Fuel Cycle Research and Development Program and Manager of the Fundamental Fuel Properties Department at the INL. He has been investigating the synthesis and structure/property relations of materials for over 25+ years. Over the last 15+ years, his interests have been directed to the fabrication, characterization, and irradiation behavior of materials associated with the nuclear fuel cycle, with emphasis on advanced nuclear fuels.

Loss of Coolant Accident in Nuclear – Andy Nelson from Los Alamos National Laboratories


Andrew T. Nelson is a senior research scientist in the Materials Science and Technology Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he has worked since 2007. He received his B.S. in Engineering Mechanics followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests are focused on the study of thermophysical properties of both metals and ceramics at high temperatures, with an emphasis on materials for nuclear applications and development of advanced experimental techniques. Nelson is also active in the characterization of materials’ performance in spallation environments as well as the design of materials systems for spallation target applications. Currently, Nelson is the Ceramic Fuels Irradiation Testing Lead within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cycle Research and Development program and directs the Fuels Research Laboratory at Los Alamos.

High Temperature Materials – Erica Corral from University of Arizona

Erica Corral

Dr. Erica L. Corral initiated her academic career in, August 2008, as an Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at, The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. Research programs are focused on advancing fundamental understanding of high-temperature materials for use in extreme environmental applications. Specifically, research efforts investigate ultra-high temperature ceramics and coatings, carbon nanostructured reinforced ceramic matrix composites, and joining of ceramics for use in aerospace applications. Her postdoctoral training was conducted at Sandia National Laboratories, in the Ceramic Processing and Inorganic Materials Department, in Albuquerque, NM. Her Doctor of Philosophy Degree is in Materials Science and her Bachelors of Science Degree is in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, were obtained from William Marsh Rice University, and The University of Texas at El Paso, respectively. Her scholarly efforts are recognized with the National Science Foundation Early Faculty Career Award, and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Program Award, Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award Conference recipient of “Most Promising Engineer-Advanced Degree,” YWCA Women on the Move “Emerging Leader” Award and UA Leading Edge Researcher Award.

Energetic Materials – Ed Dreizin from New Jersey Institute of Technology

Edward Dreizin

Prof. Dreizin received his MS in physics and his PhD in applied physics from Odessa State University, Ukraine in 1980 and 1992, respectively. He immigrated to the USA in 1992 and joined staff of AeroChem Research Labs, Inc., in Princeton NJ in 1993. In 1999, he became a research faculty member of New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he presently is a Professor of Chemical Engineering. Prof. Dreizin’s present research is in the areas of metals combustion and synthesis and characterization of reactive materials. He authored more than 135 peer-reviewed journal articles, 4 book chapters, 4 patents, and multiple proceedings and abstracts. Prof. Dreizin is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a member of AIChE and Combustion Institute. He is an Associate Editor of International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion and a member of Editorial Boards of International Journal of Self-Propagating High-Temperature Synthesis and Combustion, Explosions, and Shockwaves. He has been an invited lecturer in many universities and companies in the USA and abroad, including Singapore, China, Germany, Italy, and Russia.

Building Materials – John Sanders from Clemson University

John Sanders

Research Associate Professor, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Clemson University • Director of Research for The National Brick Research Center (NBRC) at Clemson University. The NBRC is sponsored by the structural brick industry and provides research, testing and educational services. This work includes research, manufacturing support and standards development in the areas of ceramic processing, the environmental aspects of manufacturing and use of traditional ceramic products, and novel masonry systems. Current research projects include optimizing the pore structure of brick for improving thermal performance, moisture buffering or permeability, optimizing the thermal mass benefits of clay brick wall systems, and reducing the energy demand and emissions from producing clay brick.

Aerospace – Rafael Navarro-Gonzalez from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Dr. Rafae Gonzalez

Dr. Rafael Navarro-González is a distinguished research professor at the Laboratory of Plasma Chemistry and Planetary Studies of the Institute of Nuclear Science of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He obtained his B. Sc. in biology in 1983 at this University, and his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1989 from the University of Maryland at College Park. His current research interest focuses on the origin and evolution of life on Earth, Mars and other planetary environments. His studies on Mars brought him to Mars-like environments such as the Atacama Desert in Chile, one of the driest places on Earth, and Pico de Orizaba, Mexico, a volcano with the highest treeline in the world.  Dr. Navarro-González is co-investigator of the Sample Analysis at Mars Investigation and Instrument Suite onboard of the NASA Curiosity rover that is currently exploring the surface of Mars. He is also active in future space missions to Mars and Europa, and in terraforming Mars. Dr. Navarro-González has been honored with the Alexander von Humboldt medal (2009), the TWAS award on Earth Science (2009), the Vikram Sarabhai medal (2012), the UNAM award (2012), and the NASA Group Achievement Award (2013).  Dr. Navarro-González has been a visiting professor at the University of Maryland, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Universities of Paris 7 and 12, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Nuclear Waste Management – Janusz Grebowicz from University of Houston-Downtown

Janusz GrebowiczJanusz Grebowicz received his PhD from Polish Academy of Sciences in Lodz, Poland, in Polymer Physics. He continued his post-doctoral studies with world renowned scientists: Bernhard Wunderlich, Erhard Fisher, William McKnight and Frank Karasz. His specialty is Thermal Analysis of Materials. For 15 years he was a head of Thermal Analysis lab at Shell Westhollow Technology Center in Houston, Texas. He is currently Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). His present research is focused on phase structure and transitions in variety of materials including polymers, mesophase compounds, and rocks for energy. The latest include oil/gas shales and candidate rocks for permanent storage of nuclear waste.