Oak Ridge National Laboratory

 

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Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations
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ORNL's Muhlheim wins Mark Mills Award for dissertation research

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Jan. 22, 1997 — Michael Muhlheim, a staff member with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), recently won the 1996 Mark Mills Award from the American Nuclear Society (ANS) for best technical paper.

Muhlheim, who has been with ORNL since 1991, is editor-in-chief of Nuclear Safety Journal, an international technical journal that covers all aspects of nuclear safety. He is also project manager of the Accident Sequence Precursor project, one of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's programs that focuses on the evaluation of commercial nuclear plant operational data from a risk standpoint.

Muhlheim received the award for his paper based on his dissertation that was completed in 1995 at the University of Tennessee. The award, established by ANS in the late 1950s, honors the late Mark Mills, a nuclear engineer who made significant contributions to nuclear science.

Muhlheim's paper was selected for the Mark Mills Award for being the best original technical paper contributing to science and engineering related to the atomic nucleus. His research centers around a semi-analytical mathematical technique, specifically the moments method, for solving the Boltzmann transport equation which describes the behavior of neutron and photon particles. Since the early 1950s, only the total number of particles per second at various distances into a radiation shield could be calculated using the moments method. Muhlheim's research provides a solution for the moments method for calculating the number of particles per second at various distances by the scattering angles of the particles.

Before joining ORNL, Muhlheim performed reliability and risk assessments for JBF Associates in Knoxville as well as radiation, shielding, criticality and source term calculations for H&R Technical Associates in Oak Ridge.

He received all three of his degrees - bachelor's, master's and doctorate - in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1980, 1984 and 1995, respectively.

He and his wife, Michele, reside in Farragut with their son, Mitchell, 10, and daughter, Jennifer, 6.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corp.