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Brian D. Wirth

Professor and Governor’s Chair of Computational Nuclear Engineering, Department of Nuclear Engineering, UTK


Dr. Brian D. Wirth is Professor and Governor’s Chair of Computational Nuclear Engineering in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which he joined in July 2010.  Brian received a BS in nuclear engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1992 and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1998, where he was a Department of Energy Nuclear Engineering Graduate Fellow. Dr. Wirth spent four years in the High Performance Computational Materials Science Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he lead efforts to investigate the microstructural stability of structural materials in nuclear environments. In 2002 he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley as an Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. He has received a number of awards, including the 2007 Fusion Power Associates David J. Rose Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award and the 2003 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Professor Wirth’s research investigates the performance of nuclear fuels and structural materials in nuclear environments. This research will improve predictions about the longevity of nuclear reactor components and ultimately lead to the development of high-performance, radiation resistant materials for advanced nuclear fission and fusion energy power plants. Our research approach involves an integrated and multi-disciplinary combination of computational multiscale materials modeling with experimental processing and characterization of materials structure and properties from the nanometer to continuum length scales to elucidate the dynamics of materials behavior. Our research is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences and the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences; the National Science Foundation; and the Department of Homeland Security.  Prof. Wirth has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers in world known journals and conference proceedings, as well as organized/co-organized many national and international conferences.


M.J. Demkowicz, P. Bellon and B.D. Wirth, "Atomic-scale design of radiation-tolerant nanocomposites", Materials Research Society Bulletin 35 (2010) 992-998.

D. Xu and B.D. Wirth, "Modeling Spatially Dependent Kinetics of Helium Desorption in BCC Iron Following He Ion Implantation", Journal of Nuclear Materials 403 (2010) 184-190.

J. Marian, E. Martinez, H.-J. Lee, and B.D. Wirth, "Micro/meso-scale computational study of dislocation –stacking – fault tetrahedron interactions in copper", Journal of Materials Research 24 (2009) 3628-3635.

G.R. Odette, M.J. Alinger and B.D. Wirth, "Recent Developments in Irradiation-Resistant Steels", Annual Review of Materials Research 38 (2008) 471-503.

J.S. Robach, I.M. Robertson, H.-J. Lee, and B.D. Wirth, "Dynamic observations and atomistic simulations of dislocation – defect interactions in rapidly quenched copper and gold", Acta Mat 54 (2006) 1679.

B.D. Wirth, G.R. Odette, J. Marian, L. Ventelon, J.A. Young and L.A. Zepeda-Ruiz, "Multiscale Modeling of Radiation Damage in Fe-based Alloys in the Fusion Environment", Journal of Nuclear Materials 329-333 (2004) 103.

A. Arsenlis, B.D. Wirth and M. Rhee, "Dislocation density-based constitutive model for the mechanical behavior of irradiated Cu", Philosophical Magazine 84(2004) 3617.

M.K. Miller, B.D. Wirth and G.R. Odette, "Precipitation in Neutron Irradiated Fe-Cu and Fe-Cu-Mn Model Alloys: A Comparison of APT and SANS Data", Materials Science & Engineering A 353 (2003) 133.

G. R. Odette, B. D. Wirth, D. J. Bacon and N. M. Ghoneim, "Multiscale-Multiphysics Modeling of Radiation-Damaged Materials: Embrittlement of Pressure Vessel Steels", MRS Bulletin, 26 (2001) 176.