Organizer Biographies

NPIC&HMIT Honorary Chair

Richard T. Wood, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering, The University of Tennessee

Richard Wood is a professor of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. From 1986-2015, he was a senior research engineer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His expertise and research experience includes digital instrumentation and control (I&C) technology, nuclear power plant I&C architectures, safety system regulation, systems engineering, controls, surveillance and diagnostics, and simulation.

Dr. Wood is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and Don Miller Award recipient from the ANS Human Factors, Instrumentation and Controls Division (HFICD). In support of ANS, he served as HFICD Chair for two terms. He is Chair of the Technical Working Group on Nuclear Plant I&C for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In addition, he is Chair of Subcommittee 45A of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Nuclear Power Engineering Committee.

As a professor, Dr. Wood conducts research for DOE and NRC into common-cause failure of digital I&C systems, application of digital twins for operational control and advice, cybersecurity, electromagnetic compatibility, and regulatory treatment of intelligent I&C devices. During his career at ORNL, Dr. Wood served as program lead and principal investigator for numerous nuclear power I&C research projects sponsored by DOE, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He has conducted training and information seminars for the U.S. DOE, NRC, Korean nuclear regulatory and research organizations, and Russian research organizations.

Under the primary sponsorship of the NRC, Dr. Wood has conducted regulatory research addressing safety-related applications of advanced I&C technology at commercial nuclear power plants. His research has involved issues such as identification and assessment of emerging I&C technologies, diversity strategies for avoidance of common-cause failure, design practices for field programmable gate arrays, reliable digital communications for highly integrated control rooms, environmental qualification of digital I&C equipment, electromagnetic compatibility of I&C systems, lightning protection of power plants and ancillary structures, international licensing experience with digital I&C systems, wireless technologies for nuclear plant I&C system communication, aging of I&C equipment and components, and safety system functional architectures for advanced light-water reactors. Dr. Wood’s research findings have established the technical basis for several NRC regulatory guides.

Throughout his career, Dr. Wood has conducted technology development research for DOE Programs such as Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI), International NERI (partnering with research organizations from Korea and Brazil), and Advanced Small Modular Reactor (AdvSMR). Before his retirement from ORNL, Dr. Wood served as the Technology Area Lead for Instrumentation, Controls, and Human Machine Interfaces (ICHMI) under the DOE Advanced SMR (AdvSMR) and Advanced Reactor Technologies (ART) R&D programs. Dr. Wood is also a founding member of a team of ICHMI experts that have developed research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) roadmaps for several DOE initiatives. In addition, Dr. Wood served as senior technical researcher for I&C system RD&D in support of space reactor development programs sponsored by NASA and DOE. In particular, he has served as principal investigator for the conceptual definition of autonomous space reactor control for both the Prometheus and Space Nuclear Propulsion programs.

Finally, Dr. Wood has been involved in the planning and execution of every ANS International Topical Meeting on Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation, Control, and Human-Machine Interface Technologies (NPIC&HMIT) since the series was initiated in Oak Ridge (1993). In particular, Dr. Wood was General Chair of the 6th NPIC&HMIT in Knoxville (2009) and co-Program Chair for the 3rd NPIC&HMIT in Washington (2000).

NPIC&HMIT Honorary Chair

Joseph A. Naser II

Dr. Joseph Naser was a Technical Executive with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Nuclear Power Sector in the Plant Technology Department. Prior to that, he was the manager of the EPRI Nuclear Power Sector’s Instrumentation and Control Program. He was with EPRI for 41 years working in a number of different areas. His major emphases were in the areas of control and protection systems; human-system support systems; human factors engineering aspects of digital systems; control rooms; modeling and simulation; productivity improvements; visualization; and artificial intelligence. He was the EPRI lead on the Joint DOE/EPRI Light Water Reactor Sustainability Program and EPRI Long-Term Operation Program for the topic area of Advanced Instrumentation, Information and Controls Technologies. He was responsible for over 140 EPRI technical reports.

Before coming to EPRI, he worked at the Argonne National laboratory in low energy physics and later in fast reactor physics. One year while at EPRI he taught Nuclear Physics part-time at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Naser has worked on several projects with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) contributing to twenty-one nuclear power plant reports. He has over 300 publications and major conference presentations.

He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), recipient of the ANS Don Miller Award, and past Chairman of the ANS Human Factors, Instrumentation, and Controls Division (HFICD). The ANS HFICD established the Joseph Naser Undergraduate Scholarship.

Dr. Naser has a Bachelor of Science from Northwestern University in Science Engineering. He has a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He received a Master of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University. Dr. Naser is retired. In addition to several hobbies, he is keeping up with some of the advances in nuclear reactor technology, artificial intelligence, as well as NASA and other space technology advances.

PSA Honorary Chair

George F. Flanagan


BS Nuclear Engineering, Iowa State University (1966)

MS Nuclear Engineering, Iowa State University (1967)

PhD Nuclear Engineering, Iowa State University (1969)

Professional Society and Other Related Activities

Charter and founding member of the Society of Risk Analysis.

Former editorial board member for the Journal of Risk Analysis.

Served on the National Board of Directors of the American Nuclear Society (ANS); served as chairman, program chairman, and executive board member of the ANS Nuclear Reactor Safety Division; and two terms as chairman of the Oak Ridge Section of the ANS. Involved in ANS speaker bureau and given lectures on nuclear reactor safety at several universities and civic clubs in the southeast. General Chairman of the 1985 and 1997 ANS International Topical Meeting on Fast Reactors. General Chairman of the 2008 ANS international Topical Meeting on Probabilistic Risk Assessment.

Chairman of the ANS standards working group on Nuclear Safety Criteria and Design Process for Sodium-Cooled Reactor Nuclear Power Plants.

Subcommittee Chair on Nuclear Technology and Design (SC-6) of the ISO Nuclear standards committee (TC 85).

Prior adjunct professor in the Nuclear Engineering Dept. of University of Tennessee teaching graduate courses in Breeder Reactor Safety.

Lecturer at several South Eastern Universities (UT, NC State, and Georgia Tech) on space nuclear reactor safety.

Member of the executive committee of the Southeastern Universities Nuclear Reactors Institute for Research and Education (SUNRISE)

American Nuclear Society Standards Board Chairman 2012-2018, currently a member of the ANS Standards Board

Chairman of the American Nuclear Society Research and Advanced Reactor Standards Consensus Committee

Fellow of the American Nuclear Society

Winner of the ANS Tommy Thompson Award for contributions to nuclear safety

Winner of the ANS Standards Service Award

Technical highlights

Member of the team that provided information to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on their Safety Goal Policy

Risk Analysis for numerous types of reactors (HFIR, Space Reactors such as JIMO and nuclear propulsion) , Aqueous Homogenous Reactor, Molten Salt Reactors, Sodium Cooled Reactors)

IAEA Instructor for inspectors of test reactors

Safety Analysis and Risk Analysis of Clinch River Breeder Reactor and Fast Flux Test Facility Designs

Lecturer on reactor safety at the University of Tennessee and several other universities

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