JFA’S MANAGEMENT TEAM:
JFA’s President, CEO and founder, Julie Foster, has over twenty years in the energy and construction fields. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and earned her Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree from Idaho State University in her hometown of Pocatello, Idaho. She is a recognized team leader and business manager both in the government and private sectors of the energy industry.
Ms. Foster has managed nuclear facility upgrade projects, including the reactivation of a pressurized water loop in the Advanced Test Reactor; nuclear research and irradiation projects, with both university and international collaborators; engineering projects; and construction projects. All projects managed included environmental, safety, quality, and nuclear safety components. She currently consults for commercial nuclear customers providing project management for fuel development, irradiations, post-irradiation examinations, and seismic analysis
Gerry McCormick joined the JFA team in 2017 to assist with business and proposal development, and as a direct consultant to our DOE clients. He brings over 33 years of managing engineering and technical divisions/projects in both, NRC and DOE regulated environments. Over his career, he has been in senior management roles at BWXT Lynchburg, Hanford, Rocky Flats, and most recently at the Idaho National Lab where he ended his 17 year tenure there as division director with the restart of the Transient Test Reactor. He brings along a strong reputation of maintaining very high integrity and ethical standards, while actively leading highly effective teams within friendly, trusting environments.
George Marts joined the JFA team in 2015 as a consultant and subject matter expert. He brings 35 years’ experience in nuclear operations, instrumentation and controls. George worked as an operator for the ATR reactor console and experiment loops and has extensive experience with troubleshooting hardware and software for various types of controls. He participated in providing information for research on various operating systems, including those at Brookhaven National Laboratory. George provided engineering services for the Expert Elicitation for Bayesian Belief Networking model and evaluating software development and V&V attributes of the Loop Operating and Control System of the Advanced Test Reactor. His knowledge is unsurpassed on control systems for nuclear reactors. He is experienced in leading teams and providing training, engineering and technical support on various components of hardware and software systems. George has managed distributed control systems that process over 5000 points with 25 computers.
Barry O’Brien joined JFA’s team as a senior consulting engineer in 2018 and brings extensive experience as a registered Professional Engineer in Chemical Engineering. He has worked on a variety of technical projects and spent many years at the Idaho National Laboratory. Barry has 33 years’ experience in chemical process engineering including design, development, startup, pilot plant operations and plant operations support for a wide variety of chemical processes. His expertise includes fluidization engineering, evaporation/distillation, aqueous nitric acid/metal nitrate waste processing, coal and biomass conversion to synthetic gas and liquid fuels, process modeling, process instrumentation/industrial control system, hazardous waste handling and disposal and air emissions permitting. Barry has nine years’ experience in cyber security support and training, specializing in cyber security for industrial control systems, chemical facilities and nuclear facilities.
Thomas Clements joined JFA’s team in 2018 as a consultant and subject matter expert with over 30 years’ experience in transuranic waste and INL site conditions. Tom has significant historical knowledge of ARP and SRP activities. He has worked key roles in the TRU program throughout his career and has a thorough understanding of the ES&H requirements, conditions and impacts. Tom has designed, managed and completed major waste cleanup projects within the DOE complex. He understands the current landscape and mission of the U.S. DOE Environmental Management program and has demonstrated experience providing solutions that cater to the needs of that mission. His experience includes management, planning and execution of programmatic activities leading to the approval of multiple RH and CH waste streams for disposal at WIPP generated from exhumation of buried waste at the ARP, processing stored legacy waste at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Facility and treatment and repackaging of legacy RH waste at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center hot cells.
DR. GRAY CHANG
Dr. Gray Chang joined JFA in 2019 as Nuetronics Consultant. He was a consulting Engineer / Scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) from 1990 to 2013. He retired in July 2013. He has 25 years’ experience in reactor physics analysis for the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) irradiation test assembly design and as-run physics analysis and has work experience in nuclear power reactor testing and advanced fuel cycle performance analysis. Dr. Chang has numerous publications on Monte-Carlo Coupling with ORIGEN2.2 (MCWO) BASH scripts for the advanced fuel experiment burnup analysis in ATR and successfully completed neutronics as-run analyses for the advanced fuel testing and actinide Np-237 experiments. He also has numerous publications on Monte-Carlo MCWO methodology for proliferation resistance fuel burnup analysis. Dr. Chang used the developed MCWO in the advanced fuels testing in ATR and ATR Low Enrichment Uranium (LEU) conversion neutronics analysis. He is currently working on the MCNP Coupling ORIGEN2.2 BASH-Script (MCOS) for the application in the commercial power reactor fuel cycle analysis. He currently has academics interested in using the MCOS to validate the high burnup and mixed oxide fuels xenon oscillation controllability in PWR, BWR, CANDU, and VVER. Dr. Chang had critical input in the following projects: ATR Reactor advanced fuel Irradiation test loop performance analysis and safety review; neutronics as-run analyses for the Weapons-Grade MOX fuel testing and PPP experiment in the ATR; RERTR, AGR, and AFC-1, 2, 3 advanced fuels testing in ATR; evaluation and assessment of the INL experiment process to support the advanced fuel experiments planned for irradiation in the ATR.
ROBERT W. RICE, PH.D., P.E.
Dr. Rice is a licensed professional engineer who has provided technical and management support for over 30 years of work in the environmental field. He prepared compliance documentation for the vitrification of high-level and low-activity waste at the Hanford Site Waste Treatment Plant and completed a performance assessment for the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center Tank Farm Closure. Other work involved conducting performance assessments and preparing documentation for the Yucca Mountain Project on behalf of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Center for Nuclear Regulatory Analyses, including developing computer code, testing and completing code validation, conducting probabilistic and baseline risk assessments for Department of Defense and Department of Energy clients, and participating in surveillance of above-ground and below-ground facilities at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site. For these projects, he performed all aspects of fate and transport modeling in air, soil, and groundwater media for hazardous and radioactive contaminants, performed GOLDSIM benchmarking, and completed statistical analyses of data.
For the Department of Defense, Dr. Rice was project manager of an IDIQ contract at Fort Bliss, TX providing environmental services to the Directorate of Environment including programs for air quality, compliance oversight of lead and asbestos management, water quality, waste water, pollution prevention, spill response, hazardous waste management, starting and maintaining the new single-stream recycling program, and implementing the Environmental Performance Assessment System and the Environmental Management System. Dr. Rice managed and performed the annual survey and NMOC gas emissions determinations at the Fort Bliss landfill to meet TCEQ reporting requirements. At other landfills, his work supported landfill site certifications and monitoring well placement. Additionally, he has managed and supervised hazardous waste and lead removal/abatement, air monitoring, maintenance, and proper waste disposal for the El Paso Sector Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Border Patrol facilities and firing ranges.
DR. JOHN D. BESS
Dr. John D. Bess joined JFA’s team in 2022 as a Sr. Project Engineer. Previously he worked at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) from 2008 to 2021, leaving his term there as a Distinguished Researcher in the Reactor Physics Analysis & Design Department. Dr. Bess served as Chairman for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) sanctioned technical working groups, the International Reactor Physics Experiment Evaluation Project (IRPhEP) and the International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP), from 2014 to 2021, leading international collaborations to enable neutronics validation of modern nuclear data and simulation of nuclear-fueled systems. He led the reactor physics component for nuclear systems analyses and design supporting experimentation in the Transient Reactor Test (TREAT) Facility. His additional reactor physics characterization efforts include evaluation of nuclear facilities such as the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF), the High Temperature Test Reactor (HTTR), the (High Temperature Reactor) HTR-PROTEUS, the Neutron Radiography (NRAD) Reactor, experiments in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) and its critical facility (ATR-C), various historic critical experiments, and research and development for space and terrestrial microreactor designs. Dr. Bess has experience with several nuclear engineering codes such as Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP), SCALE code system (KENO, TSUNAMI, and ORIGEN), Serpent, and NJOY 99. He is most proficient with reactor and experiment design using MCNP, including perturbation analyses to establish benchmark specifications in support of nuclear code and data validation. Dr. Bess is actively engaged in American Nuclear Society (ANS) technical committees, conference planning, and ANSI/ANS-19 standards working groups. Prior to his employment at INL, he worked at the Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) supervising interdisciplinary teams addressing various space nuclear topics, and the Center for Excellence in Nuclear Technology, Engineering and Research (CENTER) at the University of Utah engaged in radiochemistry, irradiation testing, test reactor operations, dose reconstruction, and uncertainty analyses for quality assurance under the JCCRER Russian dosimetry programs.
Mie Hiruta joined the JFA team in 2018. Her career started as R&D engineer with M.S. in Nuclear Engineering and continues in accounting/business management area at JFA. She manages JFA’s contracting with Federal agencies. She is ANS member and was a presenter at ANS meetings to present the study for JFA’s team. Over her unique career, she has been an R&D engineer in Japan and U.S. She carries two patents, trained NQA-1 Overview, GOTHIC; thermal-hydraulics software package, and Quick Books; accounting software package. She is adept at utilizing technical tools to optimize engineering project procedures and ensure alignment with standards and protocols.
DR. PATRICK MOO
Dr. Patrick Moo is an R&D Engineer with over 15 years of materials fabrication experience. Patrick holds a PhD in nuclear engineering from the University of Florida and has spent his research career focused on advanced manufacturing processes for nuclear materials. While at the University of Florida, Patrick participated in the AREVA accident tolerant fuels campaign where he assisted in the development of SiC and nano-diamond composite UO 2 fuels for ATR irradiation using the spark plasma sintering (SPS) technique. He also developed SPS processes for fabricating a variety of other ceramics including high density B 4 C, HfC, and HfB 2 control materials. Patrick finished his academic career on an extended internship at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) where he studied digital light processing (DLP) additive manufacturing of ceramics and metals for his doctoral dissertation. During his time with INL, Patrick produced the world's first known 3D printed UO 2 structure, as well as developing methods for 3D printing heat pipes, zeolite ion-exchanging media, heterogeneous nuclear fuels, solid-oxide fuel cells, and ceramic in-core instrumentation. By the end of his internship, Patrick became a leading expert of advanced manufacturing processes at INL, participating in nearly two dozen research projects and several invention disclosure records. Upon completion of his graduate studies, Patrick joined JFA in 2022. Patrick enjoys the strong collaborative, innovation-driven working environment amongst the JFA team and looks forward to finding advanced material solutions to our most challenging problems.