Purdue NE welcomes Stylianos as faculty member

Stylianos Chatzidakis will join the School of Nuclear Engineering faculty as assistant professor in January 2021.


An alumnus, he earned his PhD in nuclear engineering from Purdue in 2016. He holds a Dipl. Eng. in mechanical engineering (2006) from National Technical University of Athens, Greece, and an MSc. in energy physics (2007) from Grenoble Institute of Technology, France.

Stylianos’ research interests focus on the development of next-generation radiation imaging and nuclear sensing technologies to address challenges associated with nuclear nonprolifera-tion, digital instrumentation and control, advanced reactor monitoring, and the long-term safe-ty and security of the nation’s spent nuclear fuel.

“My goal is to exploit recent advances in quantum computing, 3D printing, and scientific ma-chine learning. This will improve our fundamental understanding on particle-matter interac-tions and develop tunable radiation sources and radiation-resistant sensors to accelerate safe deployment of advanced nuclear reactors, and at the same time, secure nuclear materials from unauthorized use that may pose a threat to national security,” Stylianos said.

He is finishing up his work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he has been an R&D staff member and Weinberg Distinguished Fellow since 2016. While there, he contributed to several research projects and provided R&D support to Department of Energy (DoE) spent fuel management programs.

“I focused on developing new solutions for inspecting spent nuclear fuel storage containers with cosmic ray muon tomography, a new imaging technology that exploits small invisible high-energy particles called muons that shower the earth’s surface,” Stylianos said. “I also produced the first research showing that muon momentum measurements could yield inspection images that are of higher quality and obtained in less time than was previously possible. I also per-formed the first 3D neutron residual stress mapping of a spent fuel canister at ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor neutron diffraction facility, and I led the development of the Mobile Examina-tion and Remediation Fixture (MERF) prototype for remote and automated remediation of spent nuclear fuel containers."

Stylianos is looking forward to beginning his higher education teaching career “and having the unique opportunity to work together with exceptional Purdue students and internationally re-nowned faculty and staff on high-risk/high-reward research projects on nuclear energy and be-yond.”

He notes that the PUR-1 nuclear reactor offers an exclusive research scope, adding that it “opens doors for exciting teaching and research opportunities not possible elsewhere” and has the potential “to positively impact our energy future.”