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Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. George Mesina

Acting manager for Thermal Fluids Systems, Methods & Analysis

Dr. George Mesina earned his PhD in Applied Mathematics in 1988 from the University of Pittsburgh. He has served as the RELAP5-3D Code Architect for 25 years. He is the acting manager for INL’s Thermal Fluids Systems, Methods, and Analysis department, responsible for the RELAP5-3D code analysts and developers and leading the RELAP program.

Dr. Mauricio Tano Retamales

Staff Scientist

Dr. Mauricio Tano-Retamales is a Staff Scientist in the Thermal Fluids Systems and Methods Analysis group at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He currently leads efforts for high- and intermediate-fidelity modeling and simulation of multiphysics phenomena in advanced nuclear reactors, which include the development of models coupling between neutronics, thermal-hydraulics, thermomechanics, salt chemistry, and corrosion. Additionally, Dr. Tano-Retamales is an active developer of INL’s coarse-mesh computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code Pronghorn and INL’s MOOSE-based subchannel code for advanced nuclear reactors. Dr. Tano-Retamales leads the coupling between RELAP5-3D and CFD codes and performs nuclear reactor analyses using RELAP5-3D.

Dr. Robert Kile

Advanced Reactor Research and Development Engineer

Dr. Robert Kile is an Advanced Reactor Research and Development Engineer at Idaho National Laboratory. His work focuses on code validation for gas-cooled reactors. Dr. Kile is also the coordinator for the Depressurized Conduction Cooldown problem of the OECD-NEA HTTF Benchmark.

Dr. Jan Vermaak

Senior Nuclear Multiphysics Engineer

Jan Vermaak joined INL in 2022 as a Senior Nuclear Multiphysics Engineer. He has 14 years of diverse experience in reactor engineering ranging from nuclear safety analysis to managing reactor engineering at the Texas A&M University TRIGA reactor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s and PhD in nuclear engineering. Jan’s current work is focused on code development and analysis in the fields of neutronics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), thermal-hydraulics, mechanical stress, and nuclear fuel performance.

Dr. Carlo Parisi

Nuclear Engineer

Dr. Carlo Parisi holds a MSc and PhD in nuclear engineering from Pisa University, Italy. He joined INL in 2015, and since then he has worked on Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) program, Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) and improved Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) concepts, and the sTREAT sodium loop. Since 2020 he is responsible for the thermalhydraulic design of the MARVEL microreactor. He has 20 years’ experience using RELAP5-3D and is a member of the RELAP5-3D development team.

Dr. SuJong Yoon

Senior Staff Research Scientist

SuJong Yoon, Ph.D., is a Senior Staff Research Scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). After receiving his PhD from Seoul National University in South Korea in 2012, he joined the Idaho National Laboratory in 2013 and has since been involved in various R&D programs of the U.S. Department of Energy (US-DOE), working as a subject matter expert in the field of thermal hydraulics. Particularly, he is an expert in the field of nuclear thermal hydraulics, especially in computational fluid dynamics and the analysis of system thermal hydraulic codes. He is currently conducting research on core thermal-hydraulic-mechanical analysis of the MARVEL microreactor and is working on validating the performance of the RELAP5-3D code, INL's system thermal hydraulic analysis code, for molten-salt heat transfer calculations. Additionally, He is currently spearheading a project focused on developing artificial intelligence/deep machine learning technologies for a nuclear applications. He has published 31 peer-reviewed journal publications, including 7 h-index publications, 59 peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and holds two U.S. patents.

Dr. Paolo Balestra

Methods Lead for the Advanced Reactor Technology

Dr. Paolo Balestra obtained his master’s degree in energy engineering in 2012 and his Ph.D. in energy and environment with focus on nuclear engineering in 2017 at the “La Sapienza” University of Rome. He is currently the Methods Lead for the Advanced Reactor Technology - Gas Cooled Reactor (ART-GCR) DoE Program at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He is also work package manager of INL’s High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) area of the multiphysics section of the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) program. His research efforts are focused on two areas: the analysis and optimization of the new generation of advanced reactor design and the development and validation of dedicated advanced reactor designs simulation tools.

Brandon Cox

Engineer & Software Developer

Brandon Cox is an engineer and software developer in the Thermal Fluid System Methods & Analysis Department at Idaho National Laboratory. In 2019 he graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He has experience developing engineering software and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). He is currently a RELAP5-3D Developer and Analyst. In this capacity, he participates in various RELAP5-3D updates and development activities and corrects user errors. He also performs engineering calculations and analyses using RELAP5-3D and CFD. He has experience using Python, Fortran, Linux, and OpenFOAM. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with family and many outdoor activities including hiking, hunting, fishing, and photography.

Dr. Victor Coppo Leite


Dr. Victor Coppo Leite is a researcher at Idaho National Laboratory who recently earned a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He also holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in the same field from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His interests include incorporating machine learning methods into thermal hydraulic problems and multi-physics modeling. Currently, he applies his expertise to contribute to the development of RELAP5-3D, while also engaging in activities to maintain the code and conduct analyses.

Dr. Lise Charlot

Computational Scientist

Lise Charlot is a computational scientist at Idaho National Laboratory. She holds a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Ecole Polytechnique of Montréal. She started her career as a nuclear engineer developing thermal hydraulics codes and methods for boiling water reactor safety analysis for a fuel vendor. At INL, she is a developer of several MOOSE-based applications for thermo-fluid modeling. She is also working on multiphysics modeling of advanced reactor concepts.