Paul Mendoza was a Ph.D. student with NSSPI who worked with Dr. Chirayath on a multi-year, multi-thrust project to develop new methods to determine the reactor origins of weapons-grade plutonium. His project looked at a forensics methodology that uses destructive analysis to investigate the trace contaminants in plutonium recovered using the PUREX process, which could give clues to the conditions under which the plutonium was produced. This methodology was verified through both experimental and computational means. Mendoza graduated with a B.S. in engineering physics from Biola University. He successfully defended his dissertation in October of 2017 and received his Ph.D. degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M in May of 2018. He currently works as a postdoctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory working with neutron list mode data collected with active and passive systems on fresh and spent fuel.
- P. Mendoza, "Experimental Characterization of Pu Separation by PUREX Process on a Low-Burnup, Pseudo-Fast-Neutron Irradiated DUO2 for Product Decontamination Factors and Nuclear Forensics", Ph.D. Dissertation, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2018).
- P. Mendoza, S.S. Chirayath, C.M. Folden, "Fission Product Decontamination Factors for Plutonium Separated by PUREX from Low-Burnup, Fast-Neutron Irradiated Depleted UO2", Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 118 (2016).
- T.K. Bhardwaj, P. Mendoza, R. Du, M. Bencomo, J. Allred, M. Swinney, C. Folden, S.S. Chirayath, "Determination of decontamination factor for various radioisotopes during the PUREX process of irradiated DUO2", 249th American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition, Denver, CO, USA, March 22-26, 2015.
- T.K. Bhardwaj, J. Allred, K. Jones, P. Mendoza, R. Du, C. Folden, S.S. Chirayath, "Nuclear forensics program at Texas A&M University", 248th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA, August 10-14, 2014.
- M. Smith, C.M. Marianno, T. Coles, D. Custead, S. Horowitz, T. Lancon, and P. Mendoza, "Determining Location of a Radiation Source in a Box", 59th Annual Meeting Health Physics Society, Baltimore, Maryland, 13-17 July 2014.