Abstract: Computational tools are essential in the modeling, design, and study of innovative nuclear technologies, especially in the stages of research and development before they can be licensed and built. Each stage of computational tool development—from implementing numerical methods to modeling and analysis—has unique design requirements. In this talk, Dr. Munk will discuss a breadth of computational tools that she has implemented in her research, including a coupled neutronics/structural mechanics method using MCNP and COMSOL; FW/CADIS-Ω, a hybrid method for deep-penetration neutron transport; and widgyts, a tool to interactively explore volumetric data. Dr. Munk will show how each tool both provides expanded insight into, yet limits the knowledge we can glean from, our data—demonstrating opportunities for future growth in computational methods development for nuclear engineering applications.
Bio: Dr. Madicken Munk is a Research Scientist in NPRE at UIUC and is the current lead of the Advanced Reactors and Fuel Cycles research group. Previously, Dr. Munk was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Data Exploration Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at UIUC. There, she worked on developing scalable tools for data analysis and visualization for multidimensional data. She earned her PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017. Her dissertation work was performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and in residence as a member of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. During that time, she focused on developing, implementing, and studying an angle-informed hybrid method that was designed for highly anisotropic, deeply-penetrating shielding problems. Dr. Munk’s work lies at the intersection of reactor physics, radiation transport, and high performance computing. In addition to her work in nuclear engineering, Madicken is an active participant in the SciPy and Software Carpentries communities, where she works to make computing accessible to users of all levels. Madicken is a member of the NumFOCUS committee for Diversity and Inclusion in Scientific Computing; a maintainer of the git novice lesson for Software Carpentry; a developer, maintainer, and release manager of the yt project; and serves on the yt project steering committee.