Dr. Wei Ji

Dr. Wei Ji
After receiving his BS degree in engineering physics from Tsinghua University at Beijing, China in 1999, Dr. Ji went on to earn a MS in the area of nuclear technology and its application from the same institution in 2002. He then came to the U.S. to enter the Ph.D. program in Nuclear Engineering at the University of Michigan, earning his MS in 2004 and Ph.D. in 2007. During this period, Dr. Ji had participated in several DOE funded projects on the research, development and demonstration of Very-high Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors, one of the promising candidates for Next Generation Nuclear Power Plant. He had been a research specialist at General Atomics and Argonne National Laboratory in 2005, working on the advanced fuel cycle designs using deep-burn gas cooled reactors. After receiving his Ph.D. at Michigan, Dr. Ji joined RPI as an Assistant Professor in January 2008. He was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in July 2015. At RPI, Dr. Ji leads the Rensselaer Nuclear Engineering Advanced Modeling and Simulation Group (R-NEAMS), focusing on the development of advanced computation methodologies that are applied to the areas of nuclear energy, medical physics, and nuclear criticality safety. These methods include Monte Carlo modeling of radiation transport in stochastic media, on-the-fly sampling of thermal inelastic scattering reaction at any temperature based on S(alpha, beta) nuclear data, multi-physics models for coupled granular flow and fluid flow simulations in pebble-bed reactors, and new algorithms on heterogeneous parallel CPU-GPU-Coprocessor architectures to accelerate Monte Carlo simulations. Dr. Ji has been leading or co-leading research projects funded by Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy, National Institute of Health, and National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He has authored over ninety peer-reviewed publications and served on the program and organizing committees of various national and international professional societies, workshops and conferences.
Dr. Ji’s Home Page

Jaron Senecal

Jaron Senecal
Coming from Olathe, Kansas, Jaron started his doctoral studies in fall 2013. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Walla Walla University (2013). His research includes high-temperature tolerant fuels for use in existing nuclear reactors. He is also studying methods of coupling separate physics solvers (e.g. heat transfer and neutron transport) to create unified multiphysics simulations. He is a licensed Senior Reactor Operator at RPI’s Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility. He enjoys travel and the outdoors.

Matthew Eklund

Matthew Eklund
Matthew finished his work at the University of Utah for a Master’s of Science in Nuclear Engineering in 2015. He also earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the same institution in 2013. His research focuses on modelling multiphysics experiments using the DOE state-of-the-art modeling tools PROTEUS and NEK5000.

Mathieu Dupont

Mathieu Dupont
Mathieu started his PhD in Fall 2015 after completing a Master’s degree in Nuclear Instrumentation and 2 years of working as a Nuclear Measurement Engineer in France. His areas of expertise are radiation detectors and gamma spectroscopy. Now, he is working on designing multi-physics experiments at the RCF, as a part of a multi-year DOE project. His passions are online gaming, soccer, running, and eating good food.

Joey McPherson

Joey McPherson
Joey obtained his Master’s of Science in Physics in 2015 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is working towards his PhD in Nuclear Engineering. He received his Bachelor’s of Science in Physics from Rhodes College in 2014.

Samuel Walker


Originally hailing from the piney woods of east Texas, Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics from LeTourneau University in 2014. After spending a year teaching abroad in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with his wife, Sam joined the NEAMS research group at RPI in Fall of 2016.

His research focuses on computational simulations of the Gen. IV molten salt reactor (MSR). Sam was awarded the DOE NEUP fellowship in May 2017 and hopes to develop multi-physics models for MSR safety and transient analysis.

Peter Kowal

Peter Kowal
Peter graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering at RPI in May 2017. He has also earned an A.S. in Engineering Science from Hudson Valley Community College before transferring into the Nuclear Engineering program. His research focuses on the effects of radiation on semiconductor devices in high radiation environments such as space. This work will amount to a comprehensive simulation of both energy deposition and electrical effects induced by the radiation. Along with research, he is undergoing training to be a licensed Senior Reactor Operator at the Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility.

Kurt Dominesey


Kurt obtained his Bachelor’s of Science in Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2017, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering. His current research includes integration of the neutronics codes MCNP and Proteus into the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Engineering Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) toolkit.

Former R-NEAMS Members