Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne engineer receives prestigious medal

By Joan KokaAugust 18, 2016

Argonne nuclear engineer Elia Merzari has been awarded the George Westinghouse Silver Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

The George Westinghouse Silver medal, named after the 29th president of ASME, recognizes “eminent achievement or distinguished service in the power field of mechanical engineering” among individuals 45 years of age or younger, according to the society. The silver medal award will be presented to Merzari during the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition hosted in Phoenix, Arizona, held November 11-17, 2016.

Merzari was nominated by his peers for his “dedicated leadership and tireless support of ASME technical committees and conferences; and for outstanding contributions to the simulation of complex thermal-hydraulic phenomena in advanced nuclear reactor fuel bundles to enhance the safety and efficiency of next-generation advanced reactor designs.”

“I am very thankful to my division and directorate for nominating me,” Merzari said.  “ASME is a great organization with over 100,000 members. Being selected to receive such recognition among so many talented professionals is a great honor.”

Merzari, a researcher with Argonne’s Nuclear Engineering and Mathematics and Computer Science divisions, combines high-performance computing with real-world engineering practices to develop predictive, large-scale simulations of turbulence. His work aims to build our understanding of complex flows and improve the safety and efficiency of energy systems such as nuclear reactors. Among other things, his expertise has contributed to the development of the Simulation-based High-efficiency Advanced Reactor Prototyping (SHARP) suite, a collection of software that enables high-fidelity simulations of a nuclear reactor core.

“Dr. Merzari’s technical accomplishments in computational analysis and nuclear design are accompanied by a rapidly expanding record of leadership and service to the nuclear community,” said Temitope Taiwo, the deputy director of Argonne’s Nuclear Engineering Division. “He is an exceptionally talented and dedicated early-career professional.”

Merzari has authored over 80 papers and conference proceedings, and has held various leadership roles within his field. He currently serves as the chair of an ASME technical committee and sits on the editorial advisory board for the journal Nuclear Engineering and Design.

Merzari’s contributions to nuclear engineering have also been recognized by the American Nuclear Society, which awarded him the Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award in 2014, the Young Member Excellence Award in 2012 and the Thermal Hydraulic Division Best Paper Award in 2010.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit the Office of Science website.