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  • NSIRC PhD Student Shines at IAEA LMP Programme in Idaho, USA

NSIRC PhD Student Shines at IAEA LMP Programme in Idaho, USA

Tue, 07 November, 2023

NSIRC PhD student Funke Dacosta-Salu has participated in the second cohort of the IAEA Lise Meitner Professional (LMP) Programme.

Funke was one of the 11 participants from different countries selected for the programme, which took place at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho, USA.

The LMP Programme aims to encourage the career progression of women in the nuclear energy sector. This particular cohort focused on modelling and simulation skills, providing the participants with technical knowledge to use different simulation software.

The programme included visits to local nuclear reactors, providing an incredible opportunity for the participants to meet professional women in the nuclear industry. These women shared their stories on how they have been able to grow, both professionally and personally.

Funke's participation in the IAEA LMP Programme is a testament to her commitment to career development and her drive to succeed in the nuclear energy sector.

"It was a great opportunity to meet professionals who are doing exceptionally well in the nuclear industry", said Funke. "My highlight of the programme was the emphasis on the benchmarking of numerical results, as this is an important way of validating simulation outcomes. It was also very interesting to learn about integrated energy systems, which is a method of combining green energy sources in the most economical way."

The IAEA LMP Programme is an important initiative, as it provides a platform for women to gain new skills, meet industry professionals, and learn about the latest developments in the nuclear energy sector.

It is encouraging to see organisations such as the IAEA taking proactive steps to promote gender diversity in the industry, and we congratulate Funke on her participation in the IAEA LMP Programme and wish her continued success.

Funke has a background in Mechanical Engineering, having studied it at Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria, before joining Loughborough University, United Kingdom for her Masters. After graduating, she worked as a Mechanical Engineer in the Building service sector for two years, followed by a move to the Oil and Gas sector, where she worked as a senior subsea and pipeline engineer and technology development lead for three years.

Funke started her PhD with NSIRC and Coventry University in 2021, with PhD Studentship funded by Lloyds Foundation Register.

Her research at NSIRC focuses on thermal-mechanical analysis of mixing points in nuclear power plants.

Fluids need to be transported at high temperatures and pressures in industries such as Oil & Gas and Nuclear. This process is critical, but it can cause problems. When flows at different temperatures mix, it can create temperature gradients, and the shape of pipes, like elbows and T-junctions, can cause cracking and increase thermal stress.

To solve this problem, Funke's research aims to use Computational Fluid Dynamics to study the thermal mixing process near mixing points. This will identify factors that cause high thermal stress and create a rule matrix that engineers can use to identify high-risk mixing points.

The research has the potential to help reduce the need for inspections and make sure people and property stay safe.

Funke Dacosta-Salu presenting at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Photo: Funke Dacosta-Salu
Funke Dacosta-Salu presenting at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Photo: Funke Dacosta-Salu