Vlad Podgurschi

Vlad Podgurschi

PhD Candidate

Imperial College London

Former Project: Iodine stress corrosion cracking of zirconium

Vlad has completed his MEng in Materials with Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College London in 2016. He continued his research on nuclear materials during his PhD. The aims of the PhD project was to investigate the effects that iodine and other halogens have on the stress corrosion cracking process in pressurised water reactor fuels. The exact chemistry of the attacking species is not known. In addition, there is debate surrounding the role of oxygen in the presence of iodine and whether it inhibits or enhances the I-SCC process. The project examined the fracture process of Zirconium and how iodine and oxygen affect that process.

Existing techniques of investigating fracture processes use either empirical potentials for describing the interaction between limited types of atoms in large systems or use quantum mechanics techniques that allow chemical accuracy but are limited to very small systems. Using a recently developed hybrid quantum mechanics molecular mechanics technique, the investigation of large systems is possible while maintaining high chemical accuracy at crack tips via density functional theory (DFT) calculations. Various types of fracture simulations including molecular statics, molecular dynamics and nudged elastic band simulations were performed in order to determine what the effect of iodine is on the process.

Vlad completed his PhD in 2021.

Selected Publications

  1. T.A. Haynes, V. Podgurschi, M.R. Wenman [The impact of azimuthally asymmetric carbon deposition upon pellet-clad mechanical interaction in advanced gas reactor fuel] ( https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022311518311486?dgcid=coauthor) Journal of Nuclear Materials. 2019.


  • MEng in Materials with Nuclear Engineering, 2016

    Imperial College London