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.

Background

Anna Erickson is a leader of Advanced Laboratory for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Safety and an Assistant Professor of Nuclear & Radiological Engineering in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. She received her MS and PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she was a NNSA’s Stewardship Science Graduate Fellow. Prior to her position at Georgia Tech, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the Advanced Detectors Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.  Dr. Erickson's research focuses on advanced nuclear reactor design and nuclear security and nonproliferation, connected by the current need for proliferation-resistant nuclear power. Her group is involved in large-array imaging applications for homeland security, antineutrino detection and nuclearized robotics for safety and security applications.

Research

The research interests of Dr. Erickson focus on nuclear reactor design and national security, connected by the current need for proliferation-resistant nuclear power. She has been involved with fast reactor design including primary and secondary thermal hydraulic systems using RELAP5/ATHENA code, core design and optimization using REBUS-3 suite of codes, and accident analysis.

Since one of the major obstacles to expanding the nuclear power today, especially fast breeder reactors, is considered to be the concern of proliferation, her research also involves design, development and analysis of non-traditional nuclear security detectors. At LLNL, her focus is on sensitivity limits of antineutrino detection as applied to nuclear reactor monitoring. Often, detection and monitoring of special nuclear materials requires extensive knowledge of reactor design and principles of operation, as in case of using antineutrinos produced in a reactor to monitor its fuel cycle. In addition, reactor design could benefit from knowledge of potential proliferation risks.

  • 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

  • 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", Physical Review Applied 9, 014003 (2018).
  • J. Harms, P. Rose, and A. S. Erickson, "Characterization of gamma-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", Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics, 43, 11 (2016); http://stacks.iop.org/09543899/43/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 Transparent 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", Scientic 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 Photon Imaging in Active Interrogation Applications", Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, 799, pp99-104 (2015).
  • Erickson, A. Galaitsis, R. Lanza, M. Hynes, A. Bernsteinand Br. Blackburn, "Design and Fabrication of Cherenkov Counters for the Detection of SNM", AIP Conf. Proc. 1412, 137 (2011)
  • B. Yildiz, A. Erickson (Nikiforova), S. Yip, "Metallic interfaces in harsh chemo-mechanical environments", Nucl. Eng. Technol. 41, 1, 21-38 (2009)
  • A. Erickson (Nikiforova), P. Hejzlar, N.E. Todreas, "Lead Cooled Flexible Conversion Ratio Fast Reactor", Nucl. Eng. Des. 239, 2596-2611 (2009)
  • P. Hejzlar, N. E. Todreas, E. Shwageraus, A. Erickson (Nikiforova), R. Petroski, M. J. Driscoll, "Cross-comparison of fast reactor concepts with various coolants", Nucl. Eng. Des. 239, 2672-2691 (2009)