CNEFS News and Events

  • In October 2022, research faculty Dr. Saran Bodda, postdoctoral scholar Dr. Harleen Kaur Sandhu, and doctoral students Parth Patel, Gunay Gina Aliyeva, and Mrinal Mahanta presented their research at the DOE/NRC Natural Phenomena Hazards Meeting 2022.

  • In September 2022, postdoctoral scholar Harleen Kaur Sandhu and doctoral student Gunay Gina Aliyeva received student sponsorship to attend the 2022 U.S. Women in Nuclear (WIN) Region II Conference in Wilmington, NC.

  • On May 12, 2022, Dr. Abhinav Gupta and Dr. Harleen Kaur Sandhu, presented “Digital Twins for Infrastructure Systems and Components to Diagnose and Predict Structural Degradation” at the 2022 CoE Lightning Presentation Workshop organized by NCSU. The purpose of the workshop was to promote awareness of current AI research activities and engagement among faculty interested in pursuing collaborations.


  • In April 2022, Doctoral Students Doyun Lee and Yajie Liu are awarded the Mentored Teaching Fellowship (MTF) for the Fall 2022 semester. In addition to their usual teaching assistantship pay, the College of Engineering offered them an additional stipend of $1000 for the semester.


  • In April 2022, Doctoral Student Doyun Lee and Postdoctoral scholar Dr. Harleen Kaur Sandhu are awarded the prestigious “Thomas G. Coffey” award from the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, NCSU in recognition of their excellence and academic contribution.



  • On 10th March 2022, Doctoral Student Doyun Lee presented his research on “Real-time and Automatic Detection of Welding Joints Using Deep Learning” at the ASCE Construction Institute (CI) and Construction Research Council (CRC) Joint Conference 2022, Arlington, VA, March 9-12.


  • On February 25th, 2022, CNEFS students excelled at presenting their research at the 26th Structural Engineering & Mechanics Symposium, NCSU. Parth Patel won the “Best in session” Award for his research titled “Modeling Chloride Attack Degradation in Reinforced Concrete and Developing Artificial Neural Network Framework for Detection”.


  • In February 2022, CNEFS organized a collaboration workshop with Électricité de France (EDF) to share the scope and status of current activities and identify possible future actions of common interest. Some topics of discussion included seismic issues and other hazards, APC, constructability, V&V, AI & machine learning, BIM, Bayesian approaches, and PRA and deterministic approaches.


  • On November 05th, 2021, Doctoral Student Rachel Son presented “Image Acquisition Planning for Image-based 3D Reconstruction Using a Robotic Arm” at the 38th International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction (ISARC 2021) Dubai, UAE (Virtual).
  • In October 2021,  the Center (CNEFS) organized a two-week-long training session “Advanced Seismic Analysis – ESI Coupled Analysis” for Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) engineers.


  • On October 1st, 2021, Doctoral Student Harleen won the best presentation award and people’s choice award for her presentation at Energy Research: Sparks Talk event. Her presentation was on “Artificial Intelligence-based Health Monitoring of Nuclear Safety Piping System.”


  • In September 2021, Dr. Pragya Vaishanav is awarded the Zia Graduate Fellowship in Structural Engineering for her contributions to increasing the stature of North Carolina State University and the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering



  • In June 2021, the Center (CNEFS) organized a two week long training session “Short Course On: Fundamentals of Structural Dynamics and Seismic Qualification” for Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) engineers.


  • In May 2021, Doctoral Student Harleen and Dr.Bodda attended the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit to present their work on “Digital Twin: Condition Monitoring of Nuclear Power Plant Safety Systems.”


  • In February 2021, CNEFS students excelled at presenting their research at the 25th Structural Engineering & Mechanics Symposium, NCSU. Parth Patel won the “Best in session” Award for his research titled “Simulating Tornado Missile Impact on RC Structures”. Harleen Sandhu, Serena Sauers, and Ashton Stuart received Honorable mentions in their sessions. The presentations by our students exposed the depth and breadth of various research conducted by CNEFS.


  • What do 60 Minutes, Bill Gates, and NC State’s Center for Nuclear Energy Facilities and Structures have in common?

Dr. Abhinav Gupta, along with Dr. Nam Dinh, were the two main contributors to the recent awards made by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to TerraPower, LLC (Bellevue, Washington) and GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) located in Wilmington, North Carolina. The DOE awards will fund the building of two advanced nuclear reactors. Bill Gates, who founded TerraPower, has spent the most time and money pursuing a breakthrough in nuclear energy — arguing it is a key to a zero-carbon future. Bill Gates, in his “60 minutes interview,” says that he is a big believer in the wind and solar and thinks it can one day provide up to 80% of the country’s electricity, but Gates insists unless we discover an effective way to store and ship wind and solar energy, nuclear power will likely have to do the rest. Energy from nuclear plants can be stored, so it is available when the sun is not shining and the wind is not blowing.                                                                         

More details can be found out here →


  • We are saddened by the loss of our beloved colleagues and friends Dr. David Tung and Bonnie Diaz.
In Memoriam: Professor David Tung → In Memoriam: Ms. Bonnie Diaz →


  • CNEFS work features in CCEE Newsletter:

Can virtual reality gaming platforms be used to better manage the construction of nuclear power facilities?

Can gaming engines originally designed for entertainment be useful in the construction of nuclear power plants? DRS. ABHINAV GUPTA and KEVIN HAN think so. Gupta brings experience in structural engineering, while Han’s expertise lies in construction engineering management. They have a common interest in computational modeling and the desire to diminish risk and avoid unneeded costs and delays on construction projects. The virtual performance management system they’re developing is targeted to the nuclear energy industry, but is applicable to any industry. With the use of 3-D Building Information Modeling (BIM), engineers and contractors now have the ability to compare ‘as-planned’ models with ‘as-built’ models. The technology that Gupta and Han are developing takes it one step further by capturing the progress and quality of fabricated components that are manufactured at off-site facilities. “There is no current technology that incorporates manufacturing progress as part of construction progress,” Han says. “By capturing performance of the supply chain, there is opportunity for digital record generation and management.” This is especially relevant to nuclear energy facilities where there is a heavy burden on documentation of progress and quality. This requirement for documentation has been an ongoing challenge and burden for smaller companies. “Imagine that you are having a very large steam turbine manufactured in Japan for a nuclear plant being built in the U.S. It is massive, weighs many tons, and will be expensive to ship to the construction site. We can use virtual reality to bring it to the site and confirm it fits properly,” Gupta explains.

First image: Building components are scanned off-site, and then their construction fit can be examined virtually, long before they arrive on-site. Second image: Drs. Kevin Han and Abhinav Gupta have been researching and developing this technology since 2018 with funding from the Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program and Idaho National Labs where they work in partnership with a Versatile Test Reactor team. In mid-2020, Han and Gupta applied for and received a disclosure for patent for their virtual performance management system.



  • On February 24th, 2020, Harleen won the People’s Choice Award for her presentation in the 3-Minute Thesis Competition hosted by the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at NCSU.


  • In February 2020, Alexis, Pragya, and Sangwoo presented their research at the 24th Structural Engineering & Mechanics Symposium.



  • Saran Bodda received one of the three Shibata Early Career Awards for his paper entitled “Risk Informed Validation Framework of External Flooding Scenario.” Bodda’s research aims to develop and demonstrate a data-driven methodology for validation of advanced computer models used in nuclear power plant safety analysis.


  • Saran and Ankit are awarded the Zia Graduate Fellowship in Structural Engineering for their contributions to increasing the stature of North Carolina State University and the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, and to honor the contributions of structural engineers in general.



  •  With support from the Office of Continuing Education, the Center (CNEFS) hosted the 25th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology from 4th – 9th August, 2019, at Charlotte. For more details, please visit: SMiRT 25



  • In May 2019, CNEFS organized a weeklong training session for Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP) engineers.


  • In March 2019, CNEFS formally signed a research collaboration agreement with Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power (KHNP). CNEFS will assist in KHNP’s initiative to enhance the seismic resilience of nuclear structures and systems in South Korea. The KHNP delegation was led by Mr. Know Heon-Woo. The signing ceremony was held at D.H. Hill Library on NCSU campus.


  • The Center faculty, Drs. Kevin Han and Abhinav Gupta, receive support from the U.S. Department of Energy to implement BIM for VTR i.e. to investigate various ways to integrate design, construction, and testing processes for the successful implementation and deployment of a new nuclear test reactor at a national laboratory. Through this integrated approach, all stakeholders have shared resources of knowledge to help identify and minimize risk during design, construction, and operation and maintenance phases.


  • In 2018, CNEFS received the ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy – U.S. Department of Energy) research award for exploring Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions in the design of advanced nuclear reactors.


  • In October, 2018, the Center hosted the SMiRT 25 planning meeting at James B. Hunt Jr. Library on NCSU campus. It also included guided tours of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library and the Constructed Facilities Lab (CFL) on NCSU campus.


  • In October, 2018, the Center students, Saran Srikanth Bodda and Ankit Ramanand Dubey, travelled to the Dominion Energy office in Richmond VA, to give a short course on ANSYS – Modeling and Dynamic Analysis of Equipment and Piping.


  • Giovanni Vargas-Rivera joined CNEFS as an Undergraduate Research Assistant under the RISE summer 2018 internship program.


  • Faculty, family and students of CNEFS collectively volunteered for the annual citywide day of service – Service Raleigh, on April 14, 2018.


  • CNEFS hosted the 25th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology. More details can be found at: SMiRT 25.


  • Professor Nam Dinh received the 2016 ANS Annual Technical Award.