Kochunas, Brendan | Faculty
Nuclear Energy | Renewable Energy |
Assistant Research Scientist, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
» Renewable Energy
» Nuclear Energy
Professor Kochunas’s research focuses on computational modeling of nuclear power systems and high performance computing. He received his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2013, a master’s from UC Berkeley in 2008, and his Bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in 2006. As a PhD student Prof. Kochunas started development of the Michigan Parallel Characteristics Transport Code (MPACT), and continues to be one of the principle developers. MPACT has become part of a larger software suite for the Virtual Environment for Reactor Analysis (VERA) that received an R&D 100 in 2016, and has been used to improve the simulation and analysis of over 150 different nuclear reactor operating cycles. Additionally, MPACT has been used within industry to support the safe start-up of Watt’s Bar Unit 2 (May 23, 2016) and the first two AP1000 reactors in the world to reach criticality (June/August 2018). Prof. Kochunas’s interests include next generation nuclear reactor design and operation, computational methods for reactor physics, and hybrid energy systems (e.g. nuclear-renewable) modeling.