Dr. Tyler Gerczak joined the Nuclear Fuel Materials Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in November 2013 and is currently a Research and Development Staff member. Dr. Gerczak’s primary interest in is understanding nuclear fuel evolution and fission products transport. His work involves both light water reactor fuel systems and tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) coated particle fuel development for advanced nuclear reactor applications. His research interests primarily focus on applying advanced post-irradiation examination characterization techniques to irradiated fuel systems.
Dr. Gerczak’s work is heavily focused in support of the Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Qualification and Development program, which aims to demonstrate the capability to produce high quality TRISO fuel for advanced reactor concepts and ultimately facilitate the deployment of these reactor concepts utilizing TRISO fuel. In this effort, an understanding of as-fabricated TRISO fuel and irradiated fuel performance subjected to normal and off-normal conditions is generated. Other areas of interest include separate effects testing of fuel components to isolate the impact of specific variables impacting fuel performance and to provide critical data for fuel performance models as well as utilization of fuel fabrication techniques to develop fuel concepts with improved performance. Dr. Gerczak’s additional research interests include grain boundary engineering and radiation-enhanced diffusion in ceramics and oxides.
Dr. Gerczak is actively involved in science outreach. He has organized the internationally attended 2016 Modeling Experimentation and Validation (MeV) Summer School and is currently the ORNL MeV Summer School Dean. Additional areas of outreach include serving as Scientific Program Chair for the 4th and 5th Workshops on HTGR SiC Material Properties.
Prior to joining ORNL, Dr. Gerczak was a Research Assistant at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Materials Science in 2013.