‘Without de Boisblanc’s inspiration, we wouldn’t be where we are today’

June 12, 2020

By INL Media Relations

INL welcomes first Deslonde de Boisblanc distinguished postdoctoral appointees

Idaho National Laboratory is pleased to welcome Dr. Thomas V. Holschuh II and Abdalla Abou Jaoude as the first two Deslonde de Boisblanc distinguished postdoctoral appointees.

The appointments are competitively awarded to early career researchers who embody the spirit of ingenuity of de Boisblanc and who have leadership potential. Deslonde de Boisblanc is most well-known for designing the Advanced Test Reactor’s famous clover-leaf core. His unique design allows multiple nuclear fuels and materials to be tested at the same time in the same reactor at different power levels. The appointment is designed for early career scientists and engineers to perform leading-edge research and development for advanced power reactor design and development and to support ongoing studies at INL research reactor facilities.

“The arrival of the first two Deslonde de Boisblanc Distinguished Postdoctoral appointments will help inspire our research and bring fresh perspectives to INL – something that will leave a lasting impact. Without de Boisblanc’s inspiration, we wouldn’t be where we are today.” said Dr. Kelly Beierschmitt, INL deputy laboratory director for science and technology and chief research officer.

Holschuh graduated from Oregon State University with a doctorate in nuclear engineering in June 2017. His doctoral research evaluated using a new detecting method, the Cherenkov Radiation Assay for Nuclear Kinetics (CRANK) system, to accurately determine reactor kinetics parameters. Holschuh will be using the same technique to perform observations of INL’s Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) under the guidance of his future mentor, Dan Wachs, who leads the transient testing experimental program.

Dr. Thomas V. Holschuh II

“We’ve been working with Tommy for several years and are looking forward to his return to INL,” said Dr. David Chichester, an INL directorate fellow and Holschuh’s mentor during his graduate internship. “With key skills in reactor physics and radiation science, he’s going to be making important contributions to our nuclear energy and nuclear nonproliferation research programs.”

The second appointee, Abdalla Abou Jaoude, is scheduled to begin his appointment in January 2018 following the completion of his doctorate in December 2017. Abou Jaoude is currently a doctoral candidate in nuclear and radiological engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His doctoral research focus is neutronics, core design, simulation methods and nuclear nonproliferation. When his appointment begins, he will work with mentor Gilles Youinou on the design and evaluation of a mixed-spectrum molten chloride test reactor.

Abdalla Abou Jaoude

“Abdalla has an exceptional ability to see the big picture when it comes to a reactor design. He has all it takes – motivation, scholarship and talent – to become a leader in advanced reactor development,” said Dr. Anna Erickson, Abou Jaoude’s supervising professor at GIT.

INL’s first distinguished postdoctoral appointee, Dr. Cheng Sun, was named to the Russell L. Heath distinguished postdoctoral appointment in October 2016.

“Appointing two excellent researchers to the first de Boisblanc postdoc positions reflects on the high caliber of the applicants in a very competitive selection process. These individuals will help define a new standard of excellence in advanced reactor design and application at INL,” said Dr. Sean O’Kelly, associate laboratory director for the Advanced Test Reactor.



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About Idaho National Laboratory

Battelle Energy Alliance manages INL for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy. INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development, celebrating 75 years of scientific innovations in 2024. The laboratory performs research in each of DOE’s strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and the environment. 

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Posted June 12, 2020

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