Vishal Patel

Dr. Patel is nuclear engineer working as Chief Engineer of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion. He was one of the first researchers in 2014 to show nuclear thermalpropulsion with LEU fuel can achieve similar performance as HEU fuel, which kicked off a decade of interest in NTP in the private sector, NASA, and DOD. Hedeveloped methods to generate optimal NTP cores based on desired constraints. He has also been involved in almost every NASA design since as a reactorphysicist and thermal hydraulics expert while working at the Center for Space Nuclear Research at the Idaho National Laboratory (2014-2017) and USNC-Tech (2017-). He has contributed to USNC’s MMR re-designs based on FCM fuel designs and has investigated various nuclear electric propulsion and space powerconcepts. Dr. Patel is also the lead developer of USNC-Tech’s multi-physics analysis tool for NTP which was funded by NASA SBIRs ($1.2 m) and continues to analyze various NTP and space power concepts. While at USNC-Tech, Dr. Patel has been an NTP consultant for Aerojet-Rocketdyne, General Atomics, and the Aerospace Corporation and a reactor physics consultant for the Idaho National Laboratory. He has appeared in media from the DOE and NPR for hiscontributions to space nuclear.