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Majdi Radaideh, Stephen Raiman, and Yang Zhang join NERS faculty

The new additions to the department point to a positive future and offer a breadth of educational and research experience.


Majdi Radaideh (RAD)

Assistant Professor (January 2023)

Research Areas: Fission Systems & Radiation Transport

Prof. Majdi Radaideh (RAD) focuses his research on the intersection between nuclear reactor design, multiphysics modeling and simulation, advanced computational methods, and machine learning algorithms to drive advanced reactor research and improve the sustainability of the current reactor fleet. He has extensive skills in the development and usage of nuclear codes, programming experience, parallel computing, software engineering, and machine learning algorithms. Prof. RAD will establish the Artificial Intelligence and Multiphysics Simulations lab (AIMS).

Before coming to NERS, Prof. RAD was a Machine Learning Engineer for Analysis & Control of Complex Systems, Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. He has also held positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Research Scientist and Idaho National Laboratory as a Lead Instructor for the 2021 MIT-INL Machine Learning Summer Symposium.

“NERS people have set the tone since day one by being welcoming, supportive, and very respectful of my intellect and what I can bring to the table,” said Prof. RAD. “I already feel assimilated into the environment. I am very excited to work with our brilliant leadership, faculty, staff, and students to bring advanced computing and artificial intelligence to NERS research and classroom to support the nuclear industry.”

Prof. RAD’s full biography.

Stephen Raiman Portrait

Stephen Raiman

Assistant Professor (January 2023)

Research Areas: Materials & Radiation Effects

Prof. Stephen Raiman is interested in understanding the corrosion and degradation of materials in extreme environments, including high-temperature corrosion, radiation effects in materials, environmentally assisted cracking, materials compatibility with molten salts, and mechanical behavior of materials.

Before coming to NERS, he was an assistant professor of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University. He also spent four years as a staff researcher in the Materials Science and Technology Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. 

“Coming back to Michigan is like coming back home,” said Prof. Raiman. “I’m excited to continue our department’s excellence in nuclear materials research while expanding into new research areas relevant to corrosion and degradation in advanced nuclear reactors. Our students make NERS what it is, and I look forward to working with the next generation of leaders in our field.”

Prof. Raiman’s full biography.

YZ portrait

Yang Zhang (YZ)

Professor (September 2022)

Research Areas: Fission Systems & Radiation Transport, Materials & Radiation Effects, Plasmas & Nuclear Fusion, Robotics

YZ’s research can be summarized into two words: Matter and Machine. On the basic science side, his group synergistically combines and pushes the boundaries of accelerated molecular simulations, statistical and stochastic thermodynamic theories, and neutron scattering experiments, with the goal of significantly extending our understanding of a wide range of long timescale phenomena, rare events, and far-from-equilibrium properties of materials from the atomic and molecular level. Particular emphasis is given to the physics and chemistry of liquids and complex fluids, especially at interfaces, driven away from equilibrium, or under extreme conditions. On the applied research side, leveraging their expertise in materials and modeling, his group advances the development of swarm robots and collective intelligence, robots in extreme environments, soft robots and human-compatible machines, and understandable artificial intelligence, which can lead to immediate societal impact. 

YZ’s research interests lie within several research areas. Three areas are within NERS, Fission Systems & Radiation Transport, Materials & Radiation Effects, and Plasmas & Nuclear Fusion, and another is Robotics. One of his goals is to strengthen the connection between these different research areas.

Before joining the NERS faculty, YZ was a faculty member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for ten years. He’s also held positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. 

On joining the department, YZ said he was, “Humbled, inspired, elevated, and grateful! I am honored to join the amazing NERS department at UMich. I look forward to following in the footsteps of a great legacy and contributing to the growth and scientific excellence of NERS.”

Prof. YZ’s full biography.

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