Grunloh joins NPRE as microreactor research scientist

11/29/2022 Phillip Kisubika

Written by Phillip Kisubika

Grunloh joins NPRE as microreactor research scientist

Dr. Timothy Grunloh is NPRE’s newest hire, as he was recently named the principal research scientist for the department’s microreactor project.

“Dr. Grunloh brings experience acquiring, managing, and executing advanced R&D projects,” said NPRE associate professor Caleb Brooks, who also serves as the director of the Illinois Microreactor RD&D Center. “His time working with US nuclear companies who have been developing microreactor designs brings real work experience to the university deployment project with USNC. As the Associate Director of the Illinois Microreactor RD&D Center, Dr. Grunloh will assist in managing the growing RD&D portfolio and accelerate UIUC leadership in nuclear power research.”

Before taking his position at NPRE, Grunloh worked as a computational fluid dynamics analyst at X-Energy, a reactor engineer at Oklo, Inc., and a senior research scientist at Illinois Rocstar.

Grunloh received his B.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois in 2011, followed by M.S. (2013) and Ph.D. (2016) degrees from the University of Michigan.  

“Since completing my undergraduate degree at Illinois, I’ve maintained a deep respect for the institution,” Grunloh said. “The excitement that recent years have imparted on the nuclear industry has been driving a variety of unique opportunities. Among these opportunities is, of course, Illinois’ efforts to establish a research reactor on campus. When I saw the opportunity to contribute to this project, in my own community and with my alma mater, I simply could not pass it up.”

In addition to working on the development and implementation of the microreactor, Grunloh will be working with some of the department’s grad students on meeting their research goals.

“This project offers an opportunity to make a real impact on the future of nuclear energy,” Grunloh said. “Many industry participants are seeking to establish, among many considerations, licensing pathways, supply chains, and construction experience to usher in the next phase of advanced nuclear power plants. The University of Illinois microreactor project effort offers an innovative approach to demonstrate key aspects of all these challenging components. I am very excited to have a chance to help drive this forward to make a lasting impact on the future energy portfolio of the country and global community.”

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This story was published November 29, 2022.