Education

  • Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011
  • M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008
  • B.S., Oregon State University, 2006

Research Areas and Descriptors

Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Medical Physics: Advanced radiation detection, nuclear security and safeguards, advanced nuclear systems design and analysis with emphasis on safety and performance.

Bio

Prof. Anna Erickson earner her M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2008 and 2011, respectively. Her research is focused on bridging a critical gap between the reactor engineering and nuclear nonproliferation communities by integrating theoretical reactor analysis and design and experimental detection. Dr. Erickson is the Director of the Consortium for Enabling Technologies and Innovation, a $25M Consortium sponsored by DOE National Nuclear Security Administration and composed of twelve institutions of higher education and twelve national laboratories with an objective to create a research and education environment to support cross-cutting technologies across three core disciplines: the umbrella of (1) computer and engineering science research specifically in a form of machine learning and high performance computing will support and enhance (2) advanced manufacturing and (3) nuclear detection technologies. She is a co-author of Active Interrogation in Nuclear Security: Science, Technology, and Systems, published by Nature Springer in 2018, and over a hundred of journal publications, conference proceedings and presentations. 

Research

Nuclear and radiological branches of engineering have traditionally been divided into nearly self-contained disciplines. Nuclear nonproliferation has recently brought a new and unique class of research problems that demand a balance of understanding of nuclear reactor design and radiation detection. While classical problems of nuclear security and safeguards may focus on plant protection or identification of materials of interest, the contemporary nonproliferation requires a wider approach, including deep understanding of policy in addition to fundamental and applied aspects of both, nuclear and radiological engineering. Laboratory for Advanced Nuclear Nonproliferation and Safety is a multidisciplinary team with a novel approach to solving most current nuclear nonproliferation issues by integrating theoretical reactor analysis and design and experimental detection, involving faculty and students from Aerospace Engineering, the School of Chemistry, the Sam Nunn School of International Studies, and Mechanical Engineering. This approach enables in-depth understanding of nonproliferation-by-design, a new direction in nuclear engineering spanning seemingly unrelated areas summarized as two thrust areas below:

  • Thrust 1: Advanced reactor analysis and design was created in response to the needs for expansion of safe, reliable and proliferation-resistant nuclear energy of as outlined in the roadmap by the Department of Energy. Nuclear reactor analysis is also a critical part of many basic science and safeguards-related projects, especially related to antineutrino physics and spent fuel isotopic signature analysis.
  • Thrust 2: Radiation detection is the “sixth” sense of nuclear engineers, allowing in-depth understanding of the physics of nuclear processes. It is also an integral part of the security and safety strategy of the Department of Homeland Security to protect the borders and National Nuclear Security Administration and Defense Threat Reduction Agency to find and identify weapons of mass destruction.
  • Named Woodruff Professor, 2019
  • 2016 Lockheed Dean's Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Participant in 2015 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, National Academy of Engineering, September 2015
  • American Nuclear Society Graduate Scholarship Award, 2006 and 2009
  • Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship, 2008-2011

Representative Publications

  • I. Jovanovic and A. Erickson. Active Interrogation in Nuclear Security: Science, Technology, and Systems. Springer, 2018. ISBN: 978-3-319-74466-7
  • W. C. Gillis, A. J. Gilbert, K. Pazdernik and A. Erickson, “A Partial-Volume Correction for Quantitative Spectral X-Ray Radiography,” IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science, vol. 67, no. 11, pp. 2321-2328 (2020) doi: 10.1109/TNS.2020.3028009.
  • A. Lim, J. Arrue, P. Rose, A. Sellinger, A. Erickson, “Polysiloxane Scintillators for Effi- cient Neutron and Gamma-Ray Pulse Shape Discrimination”, ACS Appl. Polym. Mater., 2, 36573662 (2020).
  • A. B. Balantekin, H. R. Band, C. D. Bass, et al. (PROSPECT Collaboration), “Nonfuel antineutrino contributions in the high flux isotope reactor”, Phys. Rev. C 101, 054605 (2020).
  • J. Harms, L. Maloney, J. Sohn, A. Erickson, Yu. Lin, R. Zhang, “Single-imager time-gated proton radiography for a proton pencil-beam scanning system”, Phys. Med. Biol. 2020 Jun 4; doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ab9981 (2020).
  • N. Kaffezakis, S. Terlizzi, C. Smith, A. S. Erickson, S. K. Yee, D. Kotlyar, “High Temperature Ultra-Small Modular Reactor: Pre-conceptual Design”, Annals of Nuclear Energy 141, 15, 107311 (2020).
  • J. Ashenfelter, A. Balantekin, C. Band et al. (PROSPECT Collaboration), “The radioactive source calibration system of the PROSPECT reactor antineutrino detector”, Nuclear Instru- ments and Methods in Physics Research Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 944, 162465 (2019).
  • J. Ashenfelter, A. Balantekin, C. Band et al. (PROSPECT Collaboration), “Measurement of the Antineutrino Spectrum from 235U Fission at HFIR with PROSPECT”, Phys. Rev. Lett., 122, 251801 (2019).
  • C. Stewart, A. Abou Jaoude and A. Erickson. “Employing Antineutrino Detectors to Safeguard Future Nuclear Reactors from Diversions.” Nature Communications 10, 3527 (2019).
  • J. Harms, L. Maloney and A. Erickson, “Low-dose material-specific radiography using monoenergetic photons.” PLoS ONE 14(9): e0222026 (2019).
  • J. Ashenfelter, A. Balantekin, C. Band et al. (PROSPECT Collaboration), “A low mass optical grid for the PROSPECT reactor antineutrino detector”, J. Instrumentation 14, P04014 (2019).
  • J. Nattress, T. Nolan, S. McGuinness, P. Rose, A. Erickson, G. Peaslee, and I. Jovanovic, ”High-contrast material identification by energetic multiparticle spectroscopic transmission radiography”, PHYSICAL REVIEW APPLIED 11, 044085 (2019).
  • J. Ashenfelter, A. Balantekin, C. Band et al. (PROSPECT Collaboration), “Lithium-loaded liquid scintillator production for the PROSPECT experiment”, J. Instrumentation 14, P03026 (2019).
  • A. Abou Jaoude, N. Stauff and A. Erickson, “Performance and Safety Evaluation of a Mixed-Spectrum Reactor Design”, Annals of Nuclear Energy, 26, 33-42 (2019).
  • A. Abou Jaoude, A. Erickson, and N. Stauff, “Design of a Mixed-Spectrum Reactor With Improved Proliferation Resistance for Long-Lived Applications”, Journal of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology, 16 (3), 355-363 (2018).
  • P. B. Rose, Jr. and A S. Erickson, “High-energy γ rays resulting from low-energy nuclear reactions in light nuclei”, Phys. Rev. C 97, 064305 (2018).
  • B. Littlejohn, A. Conant, D. Dwyer, A. Erickson, I. Gustafson, and K. Hermanek, “Impact of fission neutron energies on reactor antineutrino spectra”, Phys. Rev. D 97, 073007 (2018).
  • A. Bernstein, N. Bowden, and A. S. Erickson, “Reactors as a source of antineutrinos: the effect of fuel loading and burnup for mixed oxide fuels”, Phys. Rev. Applied 9, 014003 (2018).
  • J Ashenfelter, A B Balantekin, C. Baldenegro et al. (PROSPECT Collaboration), “First Search for Short-Baseline Neutrino Oscillations at HFIR with PROSPECT”, Phys. Rev. Letters, 121, 251802 (2018).
  • M. Robel, B. Isselhardt, E. Ramon, A. Hayes, A. Gaffney, L. Borg, R. Lindvall, A. Erickson, K. C., T. Battisti, A. Conant, B. Ade, H. Trellue, C. Weber, “A composite position inde- pendent monitor of reactor fuel irradiation using Pu, Cs, and Ba isotope ratios”, Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 195, p. 9-19 (2018).
  • J Ashenfelter, A B Balantekin, H R Band et al. (PROSPECT Collaboration), “Performance of a segmented 6Li-loaded liquid scintillator detector for the PROSPECT experiment”, J. Instrumentation 13 P06023 (2018)
  •  J. Harms, P. Rose, and A. S. Erickson, “Characterization of γ-ray Cross Talk in Cherenkov- based Detectors for Active Interrogation Imaging Applications”, IEEE Sensors, 17, 6707-6715 (2017).
  • E. Redd, A. Erickson, “Computationally-Generated Nuclear Forensic Characteristics of Early Production Reactors with an Emphasis on Sensitivity and Uncertainty”, Annals of Nuclear Energy, Vol. 110C, 941-947 (2017).
  • A. Conant, A.S. Erickson, “Sensitivity and Uncertainty Analysis of Plutonium and Cesium Isotopes in Modeling of BR3 Reactor Spent Fuel”, Nuclear Technology, Vol. 197, 12-19; dx.doi.org/10.13182/NT16-88 (2017).
  • J Ashenfelter, A B Balantekin, H R Band et al, “The PROSPECT physics program”, Jour- nal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, 43, 11 (2016); http://stacks.iop.org/0954- 3899/43/i=11/a=113001.
  • P. Rose and A.S. Erickson, “Cherenkov detectors for spatial imaging applications using discrete-energy photons”, Journal of Applied Physics, 120 (2016); DOI: 10.1063/1.4960778
  • C. Struebing, J. Y. Chong, G. Lee, M. Zavala, A. Erickson, Y. Ding, C.-L. Wang, Y. Diawara, R. Engels, B. K. Wagner, and Z. Kang, ”A Neutron Scintillator Based on Trans- parent Nanocrystalline CaF2:Eu Glass Ceramic,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 108, 153106 (2016); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4945999
  • P. Rose, A. Erickson, M. Mayer, J. Nattress, I. Jovanovic, ”Uncovering Special Nuclear Materials by Low-energy Nuclear Reaction Imaging”, Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, 24388; doi: 10.1038/srep24388 (2016).
  • A. Abou Jaoude, C. Thomas and A.S. Erickson, “Neutronic and Thermal Analysis of Composite Fuel for Potential Deployment in Fast Reactors”, Nuclear Engineering and Design 303, 50-57 (2016).
  • C. Stewart and A.S. Erickson, “Antineutrino Analysis for Continuous Monitoring of Nuclear Reactors: Sensitivity Study”, Journal of Applied Physics, Vol. 118, no. 16, 164902 (2015).
  • P.B. Rose Jr., A.S. Erickson, “Calibration of Cherenkov Detectors for Monoenergetic Pho- ton Imaging in Active Interrogation Applications”, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, 799, pp99-104 (2015).
  • W. M. Stacey, C. L. Stewart, J.-P. Floyd, T. M. Wilks, A. P. Moore, A. T. Bopp, M. D. Hill, S. Tandon, and A. S. Erickson, “Resolution of Fission and Fusion Technology Integration Issues: An Upgraded Design Concept for the Subcritical Advanced Burner Reactor,” Nuclear Technology, 187, 1 (2014).