Miriam Rathbun

  • Program Year: 1
  • Academic Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Field of Study: Computational Reactor Physics
  • Academic Advisor: Benoit Forget
  • Practicum(s): Practicum Not Yet Completed
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Engineering Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2016

Summary of Research

High fidelity modeling and simulation remains a contemporary challenge of the nuclear industry. It is difficult to directly observe physical phenomena within nuclear reactors, thereby making virtual models a necessity for reactor analysis. High accuracy models can reduce dependence on experiments, cutting a great deal of cost and risk at laboratories. Such high fidelity models include multiphysics solvers that account for multiple physical phenomena that are coupled together, for instance, neutron flux and fuel depletion. Neutron flux is governed by the radiation transport equation, which requires information about nuclide densities. The neutron flux distribution, in turn, dictates the rate at which nuclides transmute. Depletion problems therefore require tight coupling between a radiation transport solver and an isotopic depletion solver. The mechanics of code coupling have ample room for improvement in efficiency and accuracy, namely in space and time discretization schemes.


Miriam A. Rathbun, David P. Griesheimer "Effect of Delayed Energy Release on Power Normalization in Reactor Depletion Calculations" ANS Transaction (2017)


-ANS Commendation for Leadership and Service, Madison WI, 2016
-George Washington Prize for most outstanding senior, University of Pittsburgh and Engineers' Society of Western PA, Pittsburgh PA, 2016
-Second place undergraduate winner, ANS Winter Meeting poster session, Washington DC, 2015: M.Rathbun and B.Forget “Uncertainty quantification in BEAVRS project"
-Selected participant of Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation, Washington DC, 2014

-DOE Nuclear Energy University Programs scholarship, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
-Nuclear Regulatory Commission scholarship, 2014-2016
-ANS scholarships, 2014, 2015, 2016