Technology Team

Dr. T.J. Trapp, PhD
Director of Engineering

Dr. Trapp has spent over 25 years working with nuclear technology, including more than 15 years with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). His roles with LANL included Program Manager for Nuclear Materials, where he was responsible for the safe handling of all nuclear materials, and Principal Deputy Associate Director for Experimental Physical Sciences, where he oversaw four divisions that execute the core of the experimental programs at LANL. Dr. Trapp received a BS in Nuclear Engineering and an MS in Nuclear Engineering from Mississippi State University, as well as a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from Oregon State University.

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Key Technical Staff Working on the Gen4 Module:

Patrick McClure is the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) project lead for the Gen4 Module design. Mr. McClure’s expertise is in nuclear safety and licensing having served as a safety analyst for the DOE, NRC and LANL on conventional light water reactors, advanced nuclear systems and DOE nuclear facilities. Currently, he is also leading an internal laboratory project for a mega-watt scale heat pipe reactor and serving as LANL’s point of contact to DOE’s Small Modular Reactor program. Mr. McClure received his MS in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of New Mexico.

Dr. Robert S. Reid is a technical staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory and has a PhD in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Reid’s areas of knowledge include: passive thermal power extraction from high temperature fast reactor cores for space nuclear power systems; material and fabrication issues related to the corrosion and life prediction for high temperature alkali-refractory metal systems, design, fabrication, test, and analysis of heat pipe systems ranging in temperature from 80 K to 1550 K; thermoacoustic refrigeration and power conversion for gas and alkali metal cooled reactors; design and component level testing for heat exchangers and secondary radiator systems for Brayton power conversion; lunar surface reactor shield thermal management; cooling of hypersonic structures; characterization of porous media (Columbia Accident Investigation); and spacecraft thermal design and analysis (ALEXIS, GGS Polar, Cibola Flight Experiment).

Susan Voss has over 30 years’ experience in the nuclear field. She has been an integral member on several nuclear reactor design projects and in the field of independent nuclear safety assessment. She received her BS and MS in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico. Since graduating in 1985 she began working at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the reactor design group and in the field of nuclear nonproliferation until 2008 when she left to establish an engineering consulting firm. Today she is part of the Gen4 Module design and analysis team providing in-depth review into the fuel design and safety analysis. She has also published extensively in her field.

Dr. Jinsuo Zhang is a staff member in International Nuclear System Engineering at Los Alamos National Laboratory and has a PhD in mechanics from Zxhejiang University. Dr. Zhang is a nuclear engineer and material scientist with research interests focusing on nuclear materials and advanced nuclear technology. He has over 10 years of research and project development expertise in structural material degradation, coolant/structural/fuel materials compatibility and system modeling for advanced liquid metal (lead, lead-bismuth, sodium and sodium potassium)/liquid salt-cooled nuclear reactor systems. He has developed analytical and numerical simulation models and experiments in areas of materials, advanced fuel cycle and coolant technology. Dr. Zhang has also published extensively in academic and scientific literature.

Edward A. Rodriguez, P.E. is a registered professional engineer with 35 years’ experience in mechanical and structural engineering, with a focus in the nuclear energy field. His areas of expertise include: structural dynamics, hydrodynamics, shock-physics, explosives engineering, fracture mechanics, high-velocity penetration mechanics, and pressure vessel design to ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code. Mr. Rodriguez has published extensively in his field of expertise, having recently received the Outstanding Paper Awards in High-Pressure Technology at the 2009 and 2010 ASME Pressure Vessel and Piping Conference in Prague and Seattle, respectively. Mr. Rodriguez received his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Massachusetts and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut.

Dr. DV Rao has been in charge of the Decision Applications (D) Division, at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 2005. Dr. Rao received his master of technology from the Indian Institute of Technology and his PhD in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico. He is the recipient of an Exceptional Performance Award from the NRC for nuclear-power reactor safety.

Richard J. Kapernick is a staff engineer for the Los Alamos National Laboratory space power design effort and responsible for the mechanical and thermal-hydraulic design and performance of these small reactor systems (~1 MWt fast reactor, cooled with gas, liquid metal or heat pipes). He is also responsible for the mechanical and thermal-hydraulic designs of various small reactors for commercial power applications (up to ~250 MW, fast and thermal reactors). Mr. Kapernick worked part-time as a consultant to Technology Insights as part of their design support for the Areva gas-cooled reactor project. He holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

Dr. David I. Poston is the Team Leader of the small reactor design team. This team is responsible for the design and development of special purpose nuclear fission reactors for civilian, NASA, and defense applications. Prior to joining the Los Alamos National Laboratory team Dr. Poston worked for General Electric (GE). He has a doctorate and two masters degrees in the nuclear energy field. In addition, he has received many honors and awards for excellence.

David Dixon is a PhD candidate at the University of Tennessee and a staff member at Los Alamos National Laboratory on the small reactor team. His expertise is nuclear and mechanical design, and power conversion systems.