Dr. David Chandler is a Senior Research and Development Professional Staff member in the Research and Test Reactor Physics Group (RTRPG) within the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate's Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division. Prior to joining the RTRPG in 2021, he was an R&D member in the Neutron Science Directorate's Research Reactors Division, where he was the Reactor Analysis and Modeling Team Lead supporting the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). Before joining ORNL full time in 2011, he completed several cooperative education rotations at Westinghouse Electric Company as a Core Engineer and performed his M.S. and Ph.D. reactor physics-based research at ORNL. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2008, and then he earned his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2011.
David is the HFIR Sustaining and Enhancing Neutron Science (SENSe) core physics lead, where he supports reactor scientific mission and infrastructure enhancements that will enable HFIR to sustain its world-class performance for decades to come. He is the reactor physics team lead for the high-enriched uranium to low-enriched uranium fuel conversion project and also contributes to heat transfer and safety analyses. He supports in-core irradiation experiments, such as those producing Pu-238 to power NASA's deep-space missions, and the safe, reliable, and high-performance operation of HFIR through reactor analysis, modeling, and simulation. He supports efforts to enhance, design, and deploy domestic research and test reactors to enable high-impact neutron science-based research, such as neutron scattering, materials and fuels irradiation research, and radioisotope production. He enjoys designing and analyzing advanced reactor concepts such as molten salt and TRISO-fueled high-temperature gas reactors.
He is an executive committee member of the ORNL Nuclear Resources Analysis and Modeling Portfolio (ONRAMP) and an active member of the American Nuclear Society. David also enjoys mentoring students and early career staff and reviewing technical journal articles and conference papers. David's primary research interests include reactor core design and optimization, performance and safety metric analysis, depletion analysis, spent fuel characterization and source term analysis, and reactor physics code validation. Outside of work, David enjoys spending time with his family, playing soccer, coaching youth soccer, running, boating/water sports, hiking, and wood working.
📐 UT-Battelle Award for Mission Support in 2021
🏅 UT-Battelle Award for Mission Support in 2019
🚀 UT-Battelle Award for Engineering Research and Development in 2013