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David Donovan

Department of Nuclear Engineering, UTK


David Donovan is currently an assistant professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He received his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011 and his BS in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  His PhD work was in the area of Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion for the purpose of creating and utilizing small-scale neutron generating devices to detect explosives and other illicit materials.  He was a post-doctoral research associate at Sandia National Laboratories/California in the Hydrogen and Metallurgy Sciences Department.  His work at Sandia was in the area of plasma-surface interactions in magnetically confined fusion devices.  He collaborated extensively with the DIII-D tokamak operated by General Atomics in San Diego, CA as well as with the Tritium Plasma Experiment located at Idaho National Laboratory. He developed expertise in grazing incidence x-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy, and use of laboratory scale RF and microwave plasmas.  His work since joining UTK includes plasma and heat flux diagnostic development and analysis with the Proto-MPEX experiment at ORNL, development of a low-flux He implantation stage for testing damage to fusion materials, and collaborations with research on medical isotope production.  Dr. Donovan is also introducing a new series of undergraduate and graduate courses at UTK in the area of Nuclear Fusion Technology.

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