Rose Montgomery joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2016 after spending more than 23 years in the civilian nuclear industry. She has extensive experience in the development and testing of spent and fresh fuel transportation packaging; the design of fuel and fuel assemblies for commercial power reactor operation; and testing and post-irradiation examinations of used fuels supporting burnup extension, power uprates, and interim dry storage.
At ORNL, Rose leads the Used Fuel and Nuclear Material Disposition group, which is focused on solving problems related to the storage, transportation, disposal, and reprocessing of nuclear materials and radioactive wastes. Rose is the lead investigator for the “Sibling Pin” project, a part of the High Burnup Spent Fuel Data Project sponsored by the US Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy. The project is examining 25 high burnup commercial spent fuel rods. The detailed examinations are providing essential information on the physical state of high burnup rods after reactor operation, and separate effects testing provides data on potential changes in the fuel rods resulting from interim dry storage activities. Rose currently Chairs the ANS-57.5 working group, Light Water Reactors Fuel Assembly Mechanical Design and Evaluation.
Rose has extensive management experience with highly innovative technical projects. She has commercial-industrial experience in addition to her R&D experience at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Prior to moving to ORNL, Ms. Montgomery worked most recently for the Tennessee Valley Authority, one of the largest nuclear power producers in the U.S. She has also worked for each of the three primary domestic nuclear providers in the areas of thermo-mechanical fuel design, design testing, and post-irradiation examinations. She developed post-irradiation predictive models for rods and assemblies and provided input to new fuel rod and assembly designs. Ms. Montgomery spent many years as a consultant in nuclear packaging design. She has been active in several DOE development initiatives, include the development of accident tolerant fuel, the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of LWRs (CASL), Electric Power Research Institute Fuel Reliability Program, and American Nuclear Society Top Fuel program.
Rose is also the President of ORNL’s Women’s Alliance Council, an employee resource group that works with ORNL management to promote policies that improve morale, recruitment, and retention of all employees at ORNL. The Council is working with other National Laboratory women’s groups and university women’s groups across the US. In 2022, Rose was honored to receive a YWCA Tribute to Women Honoree award in Science, Technology, and Environment for her innovated work in spent fuel research and her dedicated support of women working in science and engineering.
Rose received her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of South Carolina and is registered professional engineer in the state of Tennessee. In her spare time, Rose enjoys sewing and knitting and is an accomplished portrait painter.