Jackson Wagner earned a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in May of 2021. He worked with Dr. Craig Marianno on developing a method to predict the ambient neutron count rate in detection systems commonly used in nuclear security scenarios. Using these detectors to determine the presence of an illicit source requires the knowledge of the detectors’ ambient responses, which is relatively simple for gamma rays, but it is more difficult for neutrons. A method to estimate the ambient neutron response applies an observed correlation between the neutron detector response and the gamma detector’s high energy response in many scenarios. The improved knowledge of the ambient neutron detector response that this method would provide will make it easier for these systems to locate neutron sources (which is generally indicative of special nuclear materials). Wagner received a Bachelors of Science in Engineering degree in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from the University of Michigan — Ann Arbor in 2016. In 2020, Wagner was selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) SMART Scholarship-for-Service Program, and upon graduation he joined the US Department of Defense.
- J.N. Wagner, "The Development of a Method to Predict the Background Neutron Response in Nuclear Security Systems", Ph.D. Dissertation, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2021).
- J.N. Wagner C.M. Marianno, "Identification of the Ambient Response Relationship in Neutron Counting and Scintillation Measurement Systems", Radiation Science and Technology, 7,1, (2021).
- J.N. Wagner, C.M. Marianno, T. McCullough, "Parking Garage Measurements Indicating a Gamma Spectrometer-Neutron Counter Background Correlation", International Journal of Nuclear Security, 6:1 (2020).
- M.M. Mendoza, A.A. Sagadevan, J.N. Wagner, S.S. Chirayath, E.D. Kitcher, H. Rysz, L. Anuar, A. Perry, A. Maldonado, M. Ramirez, D. Mulyana, A. Edwin, S. Martinson, "Advanced Reactor Safeguards Workshop at Texas A&M University", Poster. 60th Annual Meeting of the Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), Palm Desert, California, 14-18 July 2019.
- J. Wagner, D. Peplow, "Validation of the Shift Monte Carlo Code--Neutron Field Measurements in a Concrete Labyrinth", 2019 American Nuclear Society Annual meeting Minneapolis, MN, 9-13 June 2019.