College of Sciences

Department of Physics and Astronomy


Doctoral Student


Katherine Montoya

Katherine Montoya
PhD candidate in Department of Physics and Astronomy

Concentration: Nuclear fuel materials physics
Dissertation Project: "Microstructural Analysis of TRISO and Matrix Graphite in High Temperature Oxidizing Atmospheres"



My dissertation work is focused on the investigation and characterization of tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) fuel particles and surrounding graphite matrix material oxidation response under various off-normal reactor conditions. Investigating the oxidation behavior provides insight on the reliability of the fuel form for the Generation IV, high temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactor design. I have acquired a broad skill set that is well suited for materials characterization and testing.


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