John Mattingly

Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University Faculty Scholar

I lead the RADIANS research team, which involves graduate and undergraduate students and post-doctoral scholars.  All our projects apply modeling and simulation to analyze nuclear radiation measurements for nuclear security applications, including arms control, safeguards, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, emergency response, and forensics. Our team’s website, radians.ne.ncsu.edu, provides an overview of our research activities.

Before joining the NCSU NE faculty, I worked for 15 years at two national laboratories, Oak Ridge and Sandia. I conducted experiments with Category I (weapons-usable) special nuclear material (SNM), nuclear weapons components, and fully-assembled nuclear weapons at nearly all of the facilities in the US Nuclear Weapons Complex, and at international facilities including UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) facilities in Aldermaston and Burghfield, UK, Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique (CEA) Valduc facility, and the Russian Institute of Experimental Physics (VNIIEF) facility in Sarov, Russia.

At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, my colleagues and I developed measurement systems and analysis methods for active neutron interrogation of special nuclear material (SNM) for nuclear materials control and accountability (NMC&A), safeguards, arms control, and nonproliferation applications.  Our research, which we conducted jointly with VNIIEF, focused on developing active neutron interrogation methods that employed time-correlation signatures using fast organic scintillators.  The principal objective was to estimate bulk SNM properties like fissile mass and multiplication to enable monitoring and surveillance of SNM production, use, storage, movement, and disposition activities to help foster transparency in NMC&A, safeguards, arms control, and nonproliferation.

At Sandia National Laboratories, I became one of the two lead developers of GADRAS, the Gamma Detector Response Analysis Software.  My principal research activities included developing the deterministic radiation transport engine in GADRAS and creating inverse radiation transport methods to simultaneously analyze gamma spectroscopy and neutron multiplicity counting measurements.  At Sandia, I also conducted experiments at several US and international facilities.  The principal objective was again to estimate a wide variety of SNM properties, like isotopic composition, geometric configuration, fissile mass, and multiplication to support nuclear nonproliferation, counterterrorism, and emergency response applications.

At Sandia, I also served as a 24/7 on-call analyst for the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  I learned how to rapidly analyze gamma spectroscopy and neutron multiplicity measurements to assess the potential threat posed by a radiation source discovered in the stream of commerce and other settings.  That particular job helped me hone my skills as a radiation analyst.  More importantly, it made me recognize that the ability to develop and use tools to rapidly analyze radiation measurements is crucial to the future of international nuclear security, and that we need to develop a program to train new professionals in those essential skills.

Education

Ph.D. 1998

Nuclear Engineering

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

M.S. 1995

Nuclear Engineering

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

B.S. 1992

Nuclear Engineering

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Research Description

The students in my research group and I conduct applied research in radiation measurement and analysis methods for nuclear security applications, including arms control, safeguards, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, emergency response and forensics. Visit our team's website, http://radians.ne.ncsu.edu/, for an overview of our work. These applications address the full spectrum of problems facing international nuclear security, from helping sovereign nations transparently monitor and control SNM production, use, storage, movement, and disposition to deterring the use of those materials in weapons, including state-sponsored weapons and improvised nuclear devices (INDs) and radiological dispersion devices (RDDs) devised by would-be nuclear terrorists. In other words, I’m interested in developing technologies that help maintain openness and security across the entire lifecycle of nuclear materials, in order to enable the continuing development of peaceful applications of nuclear materials while safeguarding against their surreptitious or open use for war or terrorism. I need the help of students and post-docs with skill and interest in the following areas: Gamma spectroscopy measurement systems Neutron multiplicity and fast time-correlation measurement systems Neutron and gamma radiation imaging systems Advanced digital signal processing techniques for radiation detector data acquisition and analysis Coupled neutron and gamma radiation transport models, including stochastic and deterministic models I invite students and postdoctoral scholars with skill and interest in experimentation and analytical programming for nuclear security applications to contact me.

Publications

Accessing new physics with an undoped, cryogenic CsI CEvNS detector for COHERENT at the SNS
Barbeau, P. S., Belov, V., Bernardi, I., Bock, C., Bolozdynya, A., Bouabid, R., … Zaalishvili, A. (2024), PHYSICAL REVIEW D, 109(9). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.109.092005
A hybrid multi-particle approach to range assessment-based treatment verification in particle therapy
Meric, I., Alagoz, E. B., Hysing, L., Koegler, T., Lathouwers, D., Lionheart, W. R. B., … Ytre-Hauge, K. (2023), SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-33777-w
Measurement of Electron-Neutrino Charged-Current Cross Sections on 127I with the COHERENT NaIνE Detector
An, P., Awe, C., Barbeau, P. S., Becker, B., Belov, V., Bernardi, I., … Zderic, A. (2023), PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 131(22). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.131.221801
COHERENT constraint on leptophobic dark matter using CsI data
Akimov, D., An, P., Awe, C., Barbeau, P. S., Becker, B., Belov, V., … Zettlemoyer, J. (2022), PHYSICAL REVIEW D, 106(5). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.106.052004
Convolution-based frequency domain multiplexing of SiPM readouts using the DRS4 digitizer
Mishra, M., & Mattingly, J. (2022), NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION A-ACCELERATORS SPECTROMETERS DETECTORS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT, 1025. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2021.166116
A hierarchical Bayesian model for background variation in radiation source localization
Michaud, I. J., Schmidt, K., Smith, R. C., & Mattingly, J. (2021), NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION A-ACCELERATORS SPECTROMETERS DETECTORS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT, 1002. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2021.165288
Radiation Source Localization Using Surrogate Models Constructed from 3-D Monte Carlo Transport Physics Simulations
Miles, P. R., Cook, J. A., Angers, Z. V., Swenson, C. J., Kiedrowski, B. C., Mattingly, J., & Smith, R. C. (2021), NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY, 207(1), 37–53. https://doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2020.1738796
Recovery of coincident frequency domain multiplexed detector pulses using sequential deconvolution
Mishra, M., & Mattingly, J. (2021), JOURNAL OF INSTRUMENTATION, 16(3). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/16/03/P03011
Application of Neutron Multiplicity Counting Experiments to Optimal Cross-Section Adjustments
Clark, A. R., Mattingly, J., & Favorite, J. A. (2020), NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING, 194(4), 308–333. https://doi.org/10.1080/00295639.2019.1698267
Characterization of stilbene's scintillation anisotropy for recoil protons between 0.56 and 10 MeV
Weldon, R. A., Jr., Mueller, J. M., Awe, C., Barbeau, P., Hedges, S., Li, L., … Mattingly, J. (2020), NUCLEAR INSTRUMENTS & METHODS IN PHYSICS RESEARCH SECTION A-ACCELERATORS SPECTROMETERS DETECTORS AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT, 977. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nima.2020.164178

View all publications via NC State Libraries

Grants

Advanced Critical and Subcritical Experiments
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(7/27/22 - 6/01/27)
Associated-Particle Imaging Algorithms for Material Identification
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(4/07/20 - 12/31/23)
Single-Volume Scatter Camera Development
National Nuclear Security Administration(12/06/17 - 10/31/21)
Rapid Characterization of Fresh Nuclear Fallout Using Full-Spectrum Inverse Transport Methods
Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)(2/09/16 - 9/30/21)
Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(7/31/14 - 9/30/20)
Consortium for Verification Technology
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(9/01/14 - 8/31/20)
Oak Ridge National Laboratory Nuclear Safeguards Workshop
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(2/22/17 - 9/30/17)
Accurate Holdup Calculations with Predictive Modeling and Data Integration
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(10/01/12 - 12/31/16)
Design, Evaluation, and Testing of a High-Efficiency Single-Volume Neutron Scatter Camera
Sandia National Laboratories(1/30/14 - 9/30/16)
Development of a New Course on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Safeguards
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(2/22/13 - 6/30/16)