Brent J Heuser

Brent J Heuser
Brent J Heuser
(217) 333-9610
111B Talbot Laboratory

For More Information


  • The University of Michigan, Ph.D., Nuclear Engineering, 1991
  • The University of Michigan, M.S., Nuclear Engineering, 1989
  • The University of Michigan, B.S., Nuclear Engineering, 1983


Brent Heuser is a Professor in the Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering Department at the University of Illinois. He has been a member of the UIUC faculty since 1994. His research interests involve nuclear materials, hydrogen phase behavior in metals, and the application of advanced neutron scattering techniques, X-ray scattering, and microanalytical analysis techniques to materials research. He currently has research projects related to irradiation-assisted stress corrosion cracking of LWR structural alloys, corrosion and fission gas behavior in molten salts for advanced reactor concepts, and accident tolerant LWR fuel (doped urania) and cladding (coatings on Zr-based alloys). Experimental facilities in his laboratory include a reactive-gas magnetron sputtering facility dedicated to physical vapor deposition of metal and ceramic coatings for nuclear materials research, a recirculating loop autoclave with a 50kN load frame for LWR immersion studies, a static FLiNaK molten salt corrosion/sparging apparatus, a NETZSCH Jupiter simultaneous thermal analyzer, a Zeiss optical microscope with DIC capability, and HV two Sievert’s systems for hydrogen loading.

Academic Positions

  • 9/2018-2020, Associate Head for Undergraduate Academic Programs, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 8/2012-present, Professor, Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Teaching Statement

Teaching interests include foundational nuclear reactor/nuclear engineering concepts, basic materials science concepts, nuclear materials concepts, mechanical property measurements, radiation detection and analysis experimental concepts, particle scattering analysis of materials.

Research Statement

Research interests include the study of LWR cladding materials, enhanced accident tolerance of LWR fuel, novel moderator materials, advanced reactor materials, hydrogen phase behavior in materials, the study of nuclear fuel matrices using advanced characterization techniques, and the growth and characterization of thin films using physical vapor deposition.

Graduate Research Opportunities

Graduate research opportunities in the areas of nuclear materials.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research opportunities in area of nuclear materials.

Research Interests

  • Numerical simulation of neutron transport; spallation source moderator performance, performance of other sub-critical systems.
  • Thin-film structures; growth and characterization of metal and ceramic overlayers.
  • Neutron scattering techniques; application to the study of defects in solids and the behavior of hydrogen in metals; technique development.
  • Hydrogen/metal systems; defect trapping interactions, perturbed phase behavior, characterization of hydride structures.
  • Nuclear fuel matrices; transport phenomenon and the influence of radiation damage.
  • Modifications of LWR cladding for enhanced accident tolerance.

Research Areas

  • Fuel performance modeling
  • Hydrogen in metals
  • Ion bombardment
  • LWR fuel
  • Neutron and X-ray scattering
  • Nuclear Materials
  • Reactor Physics
  • Structural LWR components

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Li, Zhen, Xun Zhan, Xian-Ming Bai, Shao-Chun Lee, Weicheng Zhong, Benjamin J. Sutton, and Brent J. Heuser. "Modified microstructures in proton irradiated dual phase 308L weldment filler material." Journal of Nuclear Materials: 548 (2021): 152825.
  • Zhong, W., Lin, J., Chen, Y., Li, Z., An, K., Sutton, B.J., and Heuser, B.J., Microstructure, hardness, and residual stress of the dissimilar metal weldments of SA508-309L/308L-304L, Metallugical and Materials Transactions A: 52 (2021) 1927-1938.
  • Feng, Lin, Sarah C. Finkeldei, Brent Heuser, Shen J. Dillon, and Andrew T. Nelson. "Grain Boundary and Lattice Fracture Toughness of UO 2 Measured Using Small-Scale Mechanics." Journal of Metals: (2020): 1-7.
  • Prisk, Timothy R., Alexander I. Kolesnikov, Garrett E. Granroth, Jun-Li Lin, and Brent J. Heuser. "Vibrational modes and quantum zero-point energy of hydrogen in ZrH0. 0155 and ZrH2." Journal of Alloys and Compounds 818 (2020): 152832.
  • Zhong, W., Liu, X., Mouche, P.A, Lin, J.L., Park, D., Elbakhshwan, M.S., Gill, S.K., Ren, Y., Stubbins, J.F., and Heuser, B.J., "Dissolution of Intermetallic Second-Phase Particles in Zircaloy-2 in High-Temperature Steam." Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: 50 (2019): 1-11.
  • Heuser, B.J., Prisk, T.R., Lin, J., Dax, T.J., Zhang, Y., "Direct measurement of hydrogen diffusivity and solubility limits in Zircaloy 2 (formula unit of ZrH0.0155) using incoherent quasi-elastic neutron scattering," Journal of Nuclear Materials, v 518, p177-189 (2019).
  • Zhong, W., Mouche, P.A., and Heuser, B.J., "Response of Cr and Cr-Al coatings on Zircaloy-2 to high temperature steam." Journal of Nuclear Materials, v 498, pp 137-148 (2018).
  • Park, D., Mouche, P.A., Zhong, W., Mandapaka, K.K., Was, G.S., and Heuser, B.J., "TEM/STEM study of Zircaloy-2 with protective FeAl (Cr) layers under simulated BWR environment and high-temperature steam exposure." Journal of Nuclear Materials, v 502, pp 95-105 (2018).
  • LAN, K‐C., W. Zhong, P. A. Mouche, H‐M. TUNG, H. Lee, B. J. Heuser, and J. F. Stubbins. "The challenge of acquiring a satisfactory EBSD result of CWSR Zircaloy‐4 cladding tube." Journal of Microscopy: 272, (2018): 25-34.
  • Lin, J.L., Zhong, W., Bilheux, H.Z. and B.J. Heuser. "Azimuthally anisotropic hydride lens structures in Zircaloy 4 nuclear fuel cladding: High-resolution neutron radiography imaging and BISON finite element analysis." Journal of Nuclear Materials, v 496, pp 129-139 (2017).
  • Strehle, M.S., Heuser, B.J., Elbakhshwan, M.S., Han, X.C., Gennardo, D.J., Pappas, H.K., and Ju, H., "Characterization of single crystal uranium-oxide thin films grown via reactive-gas magnetron sputtering on YSZ and sapphire," Thin Solid Films, v 520, pp 5616-5626 (2012).
  • Ju, H., Heuser, B.J., Abernathy, D.L., and Udovic, T.J., "Comparison of FANS and ARCS incoherent inelastic neutron scattering measurements of hydrogen trapping at dislocations in deformed Pd," Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, v 654, pp 522-526 (2011).
  • Heuser, B.J. and Hyunsu Ju, "Small-angle Neutron Scattering Measurements of Hydrogen and Deuterium Trapping at dislocations in Deformed Single-Crystalline Pd at Low Temperature, Physical Review B (Condensed Matter and Materials Physics), v 83, n 9, p 094103 (8 pp.) (2011).
  • Pappas, H.K. Heuser, B.J., and M.M. Strehle, "Measurement of radiation-enhanced diffusion of La in single crystal thin film CeO2," J. Nuclear Materials, v405, p118 (8 pp.) (2010).
  • Heuser, B.J., Udovic, T.J. and Ju, H., "Vibrational Density of States Measurement of Hydrogen Trapped at Dislocations in Deformed PdH0.0008," Physical Review B (Condensed Matter and Materials Physics), v 78, n21, p 214101 (5 pp.) (2008).
  • Lipson, A.G., Heuser, B.J., Castano, C.H., Lyakhov, B.F. and A. Yu Tsivadze, "Magnetic Characterization of a Hydrogen Phase Trapped inside Deep Dislocation Cores in a Hydrogen-Cycled PdHx (x~4.5x10^-4) Single Crystal," Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Physics, v 103, n 3, p 385-397 (2006)
  • Heuser, B.J., King, J.S., and Chen, W.C., "Small-Angle Neutron Scattering Measurements of Deuteride Formation in Single Crystal Pd." J. Alloys and Compounds, v292, p134 (14pp) (1999).
  • Munter, A.E. and B.J. Heuser, “Deuterium Phase Behavior in Thin-Film Pd.” Phys. Rev. B, 58, 678 (1998).

Recent Courses Taught

  • NPRE 100 - Orientation to NPRE
  • NPRE 247 - Modeling Nuclear Energy System
  • NPRE 431 (NPRE 330) - Materials in Nuclear Engrg
  • NPRE 432 - Nuclear Engrg Materials Lab
  • NPRE 451 - NPRE Laboratory
  • NPRE 531 - Nuclear Materials