Dr. Peter Yarsky, Senior Reactor Systems Engineer, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, will talk on "A Nuclear Engineer's Approach to Modeling the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic," REGISTER HERE

January 29, 2021

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The simplest epidemiological model of pandemic progression is the SIR model, or the Susceptible [S], Infected [I] and Removed [R] model. This basic model, when expanded, is useful in predicting the spread of an infection through a population, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. In reviewing the literature, the speaker noticed many parallels between epidemiological modeling and the equations of nuclear reactor systems analysis. The seminar will discuss these parallels and how insights from reactor systems modeling can be applied to epidemiological modeling to improve predictions and to gain insights about mitigation and containment strategies.

Dr. Peter Yarsky is a senior reactor systems engineer in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. His current research interests include coupled thermal-hydraulic, neutronics, and fuel thermal mechanical analysis and complex transient simulation methods. After contracting COVID-19 in March 2020, Dr. Yarsky spent a great deal of his personal time using these skills to develop epidemiological models of the novel coronavirus pandemic for the US. He first published his work on this topic in the Journal of Global Health Reports in July 2020.

Prior to his appointment in the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, Dr. Yarsky worked in the NRC Nuclear Performance and Code Review Branch for four years with a focus on boiling water reactor safety analysis methods. Dr. Yarsky holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with research on gas-cooled fast reactor physics; a S.M. in Nuclear Engineering also from MIT with research on nuclear power for space applications; and a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics with a minor in Economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.