Elia Merzari named fellow of American Nuclear Society

November 20, 2023

By Mariah R. Lucas

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The American Nuclear Society (ANS), an organization of nuclear science and technology professionals, recently named Elia Merzari, professor of nuclear engineering at Penn State, a fellow.

According to ANS, fellows have advanced the science or art of nuclear technology by significant contributions to research, scientific or technical leadership, teaching, or safety and operations. The grade of fellow is the highest membership grade of the society and just a few are elected each year.

Merzari was honored for his research contributions to the understanding of the effects of fluids flow and heat transfer in advanced reactors, according to ANS, as well as his efforts in developing high-resolution multiphysics models and codes, which have paved the way for the next generation of thermal-hydraulic computing.

An ANS member for 14 years, Merzari currently serves as chair of the national program screening committee. Previously, he served as chair of the thermal-hydraulics division, chair of the program committee of the thermal-hydraulics division and chair of the young members group. He has received the following ANS awards: Thermal Hydraulic Division Best Paper Award, Young Member Excellence Award, Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award and Sehgal Memorial Award.

Merzari joined Penn State in 2019 after spending time as a researcher at the Argonne National Laboratory. He received a doctorate in nuclear engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan as well as a bachelor’s degree in engineering of energy systems and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering, both from the Politecnico di Milano in Milan.

Merzari’s research centers on studying simulations of turbulence to design safer and more efficient energy systems, including nuclear reactors; the thermal-hydraulics modeling of advanced reactors; and digital twin applications to advanced reactors. He is affiliated with Penn State's Institute for Computational and Data Sciences.

“We look forward to Elia’s continued leadership in nuclear science as he guides Penn State strategically in this domain,” said Vijay Narayanan, associate dean for innovation in the Penn State College of Engineering.

Merzari accepted the award on Nov. 13 during the opening plenary of the 2023 ANS Winter Conference and Expo in Washington, D.C.


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