December 18, 2020
Staff Accomplishment

Devanathan Leads Pioneering Review at the Forefront of Multiscale Modeling

Review bridges disciplines to predict the behavior of materials under unexplored conditions


Featured: Ram Devanathan, computational materials scientist

(Composite image by Donald Jorgensen | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Ram Devanathan, a computational materials scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), co-led a state-of-the-art review on multiscale modeling related to nuclear materials with Veena Tikare, a computational materials scientist at Sandia National Laboratories.

The “State-of-the-Art Report on Multi-Scale Modelling Methods” uses current scientific understanding to predict the behavior of nuclear materials under unexplored conditions to support the development of new nuclear materials. Dr. Devanathan’s broad technical background in modeling nuclear materials, multiscale computer simulations, data analysis, and materials characterization equipped him to play a pivotal role in spearheading the report.

“The goal was to provide to the nuclear energy community an overview of models and computer simulation methods for materials used in current and proposed nuclear energy technologies,” said Devanathan.

This multi-year effort was in support of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is an intergovernmental economic organization with 37 participating countries and a goal to stimulate economic progress and world trade. The OECD’s Nuclear Energy Agency commissioned the report with a focus on better understanding multiscale modeling methods related to nuclear fuels and structural materials.

“This comprehensive resource blends our most advanced scientific understanding of nuclear materials with multiscale modeling to help predict how materials behave in the extreme operating conditions encountered in advanced reactors,” said Devanathan.

Devanathan inspired entirely voluntary participation from researchers around the globe. This included chapters written by experts in the United States, Canada, and Europe, with expertise ranging from electronic structure calculations at the nanometer scale to thermo-mechanical models of irradiated nuclear fuel at the meter scale.

“Given the scope of this effort, it has taken an international team of experts to do justice to this subject,” said Devanathan. “These broad scientific perspectives provide a path to predictive understanding and performance of materials used in nuclear reactors.”

The report will serve as a resource for practitioners in the field of condensed matter physics, computational chemistry, materials science, and nuclear engineering.