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Joe Ryan Bio

For 10 years, Joe Ryan has been part of the Radiological Materials and Detection Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), working to develop and test ceramic, metal, and glass nuclear waste forms using traditional, sol-gel, and even thin film synthesis techniques. Ryan earned Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and a Bachelor of Science in Glass Engineering Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Alfred University. 


Ryan specializes in the study of the structure and properties of glass and ceramic materials, with a focus on surface-related techniques and effects. He is currently using this approach to develop a mechanistic understanding of the long-term corrosion of nuclear waste forms. His focus is on the use of targeted experiments and novel characterization techniques to probe the impact of individual corrosion mechanisms on the overall performance of glass. These understandings are then integrated into models that will feed the long-term performance calculations for these waste forms. He is the U.S. organizer for a six-nation collaborative group seeking a technical consensus on the glass corrosion rate.


Ryan is also involved in the development of novel alternative waste forms for the sequestration of problem radionuclides such as iodine, krypton, cesium, and strontium. These forms are being produced by a variety of processing techniques, including bulk ceramic processing, traditional glass melting, non-oxide and other specialty glasses, and sol-gel routes. He is also involved in the design, synthesis and characterization of thin film materials for use in optoelectronic, infrared, tribological, and barrier applications.


Ryan is an active member of the American Ceramic Society, having served as program chair for the annual meeting on the science of glasses and other optical materials. He has published in multiple areas of materials science and characterization with 40 journal articles, 25 government reports, one book chapter, and two patents.



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