Elena Tajuelo Rodriguez

R&D Staff Member

Elena Tajuelo Rodriguez is an R&D Staff Member at the Nuclear Structures and Construction Group. She is a Physicist and an experimentalist with a general interest in Materials Science. She received her Bachelor's in Physics from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain), her Master's in Materials Physics and Nanotechnology from Linkopings Universitet (Sweden), and her PhD in Materials Science (Cement Chemistry) from the University of Leeds (UK). She joined ORNL as a postdoc in 2016 to investigate the effects of irradiation (gamma rays and neutrons) on concrete components. She continues pursuing research within this area as a staff member, participating in an extensive network of collaborations and projects with Universities, the NRC, and the DOE Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program (LWRS). She has been a recipient of multiple Nuclear Science User Facilities RTE proposals to study the effects of gamma rays on calcium silicate hydrates or the main cement components, and neutron irradiated aggregates of varied mineralogy. She also collaborates in two LRDR projects related to carbon capture via mineralization using CaO and MgO. Her experimental skills are wide including synthesis of calcium silicate hydrates and minerals via wet methods, and characterization using techniques such as XRD, XRF, (U)SAXS, BET, TGA, He pycnometry, TEM (Imaging, EDX and SAD), SEM (Imaging and EDX), RUS, mechanical fracture tests, and nanoindentation. She holds managerial responsibilities as the Deputy Path Lead of the Materials Research Pathway of the LWRS program, the manager of an NRC sponsored project on the effects of irradiation on concrete-steel bond, and as the point of contact for Irradiated Concrete work done in collaboration with Japan under the Civil Nuclear Working Group (CNWG) framework. She is the Technical Area Coordinator for Harvesting and Characterization for the International Committee on Irradiated Concrete, and belongs to the YPN+1 Committee at the American Ceramics Society.