NPRE graduate student receives Illinois Student Government’s Teaching Excellence Award
Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at Illinois PhD candidate Tatsuya Sakurahara, a member of NPRE Assistant Professor Zahra Mohaghegh’s research team, is a recipient of the Illinois Student Government (ISG) 2016-2017 Teaching Excellence Award.
Sakurahara has been recognized for his dedication as a teaching assistant in two NPRE courses on Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA), NPRE 461 (Probabilistic Risk Assessment) and NPRE 498/598 (Advanced Risk Analysis), which Mohaghegh instructs. The ISG awards five Teaching Excellence Awards each year to recognize excellence in teaching and to show appreciation for outstanding University of Illinois instructors.
Since June 2013, Sakurahara has been a graduate research assistant in the Socio-Technical Risk Analysis (SoTeRiA) Laboratory, which Mohaghegh directs. His research focuses on the development of a new spatio-temporal PRA framework for fire risk assessment by integrating the CFD-based fire physics code, Fire Dynamic Simulator, with the PRA of nuclear power plants. He is also working on the development of a Global Importance Measure analysis to rank the critical physical and design parameters in fire risk models. Sakurahara received a bachelor’s in 2011 and a master’s in 2013 from the University of Tokyo, Japan.
The SoTeRiA Laboratory in NPRE is advancing PRA for conventional nuclear power plants and advanced reactors by explicitly incorporating the underlying science of accident causation into risk scenarios. PRA is a key pillar of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s risk-informed regulatory framework and, following its lead, a growing number of governmental agencies in the U.S. (e.g., Department of Energy, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Department of Defense) have begun to utilize PRA for policy setting.
The SoTeRiA Laboratory has integrated the classical PRA with simulation-based methods that are equipped with uncertainty quantification, leading to the development of a “spatio-temporal” PRA. This new multi-level PRA platform is quantified using state-of-the-art big data analytics. For more information on the ongoing research of the SoTeRiA Laboratory, visit http://soteria.npre.illinois.edu/research/