Presentation: Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Zaijing Sun

Krishnakumar Nangeelil and Zaijing Sun  (both Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) recently gave oral presentations at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society(HPS AM 2023) in National Harbor, Maryland. Nangeelil’s talk is titled “Comparison of GEANT 4 Simulation and Experimental Measurements of CosmicGuard Background Reduction System,” and Sun’s talk is titled “Developing a Remote Gamma Spectra Collection System for Nuclear Sciences.” Sun also served as the session chair in the instrument session of the conference. 

Presentation: Zaijing Sun

Dr. Zaijing Sun (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) recently gave a seminar titled “Developing a Remote Gamma Spectra Collection System (RGSCS) for Online Teaching in Radiation Sciences” at East Carolina State University. The project he discussed serves as a platform, especially for minority students, for studying software design, data acquisition, instrumental control, and prototype testing in real-time scenarios of radiation detection. It improves educational and research endeavors online, diminishes the needs of laboratory personnel, and significantly reduces the cost of education.

Christina Passed Her Thesis Defense

Christina Jiang successfully defended her thesis entitled “Applying Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) to Acess Air Pollution with Spanish Moss (Tillandsia Usneoides) as a Bioindicator in the Low Country of The Savannah River Basin” on March 16th, 2023.

In this study, samples of Spanish moss were collected from the Savannah River Basin area. After the samples were irradiated with reactors, radioisotopes were measured by High Purity Germanium detectors, and gamma spectra were collected using Canberra’s Genie 2000 software. The experimental results indicate that: (1) Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis can accurately determine the heavy elements in Spanish moss; (2) The concentrations of heavy metals in the samples of Spanish moss have clear correlations with local sources of air pollution in the region of the Savannah River Basin which proves that Spanish moss can serve as an effective bioindicator of air pollution.

The committee includes Dr. Zaijing Sun (chair), Dr. Steen Madsen, Dr. Carson Riland, and Dr. Alexander Barzilov.

Christina will start her new job as a research scientist at the Remote Sensing Laboratory of the Nevada National Security Site next week. Congratulations to Christina!

Published: Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, Zaijing Sun

Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences), Shichun Huang (Currently faculty at UTK, a former member of the Department of Geosciences at UNLV), and Mayir Mamtimin (Halliburton) published an article entitled “Preliminary Study on Forgery Identification of Hetian Jade with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis” in Applied Radiation and Isotopes. The study indicates that INAA can be applied qualitatively to identify similarities and differences in the elemental composition and quickly distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine Hetian jade. Peter Dimpfl is a recent master graduate in Medical Physics.

Presentation: Zaijing Sun, Krishnakumar Nangeelil

Zaijing Sun and Krishnakumar Nangeelil (both Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) recently gave oral presentations at the 26th International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry in Denton, Texas. Sun’s talk is titled, “Developing a Remote Gamma Spectra Collection System for Radiation Sciences at UNLV,” and Nangeelil’s talk is titled, “Determination of heavy elements in water and sediment along the Savannah river using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis.”

Published: Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Christina Hall, Zaijing Sun

Krishnakumar NangeelilChristina Hall, and Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) and their collaborator, Wesley Frey at the McClellan Nuclear Research Center of the University of California Davis, published an article titled, “Biomarker response of Spanish moss to heavy metal air pollution in the low country of the Savannah River basin,” in the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry.

The neutron activation of this study was done at the UC Davis reactor, the most powerful TRIGA reactor in universities. The results indicate that Spanish moss is an ideal biomarker for air quality monitoring, and there is a significant enhancement of heavy metal concentrations for Spanish moss living in high-traffic zones. Nangeelil is a postdoctoral scholar in the School of Integrated Health Sciences, and Hall is a graduate student majoring in environmental health physics.

Peter Dimpfl passed his thesis defense

Peter Dimpfl successfully defended his thesis entitled “Monte Carlo Simulation of Thallium-Bromide Semiconductor Detector for Range Verification of a Carbon Ion Radiotherapy Beam Through Prompt Gamma-Ray Detection” on June 17, 2022. In this study, Monte Carlo simulations were completed to evaluate TlBr performance in the detection of prompt gamma rays generated from the irradiation of a Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantom with carbon ions. TlBr was able to detect the prompt Gamma-Ray profiles of three different materials (cortical bone, adipose tissue, PMMA) with correlation to actual simulated Bragg peaks. The committee includes Dr. Yu Kuang (chair), Dr. Zaijing Sun, Dr. Steen Madsen, and Dr. Hui Zhao.

Published: Biswaljit Biswal and Zaijing Sun

Zaijing Sun (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences of UNLV) and his collaborators,  Biswajit Biswal (Mathematics and Computer Sciences of SCSU), and Andrew Duncan (Material Sciences and Technology of SRNL) published an article “ADA: Advanced Data Analytics Methods for Abnormal Frequent Episodes in the Baseline Data of ISD” in the Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Technology. In this study, Advanced Data Analytics (ADA) methods are applied to the big data generated by the In-situ Decommissioning (ISD) Sensor Network Test Bed at the Savannah River Site. Advanced analytics engine, a framework of data analytics, feature engineering, and machine learning, is introduced to discover abnormal frequent episodes in the big datasets, which lead to the early indicators of ISD system failures.