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Ed Waller, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Ed Waller, PhD Ed Waller, PhD

Professor, Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Global counterterrorism and health physics expert protects nuclear energy workers, population and environment from overexposure to radiation



Counterterrorism expert Ed Waller, PhD, has dedicated his career to protecting the safety and security of Canadians by innovating ways to reduce the threat of radiation exposure from nuclear disaster. One of the world’s leading radiation experts, he is a Professor in the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science, and has been a Natural Sciences and Engineering and Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering (UNENE ) Industrial Research Chair in Health Physics and Environmental Safety since 2008.

His research focuses on nuclear safety, security and safeguards to secure nuclear radiation sources including counterterrorism measures, emergency response and environmental effects associated with nuclear power plants in Canada. In the area of health physics, Dr. Waller conducts risk-based analyses of radiation exposure and investigates ways to ensure exposure is as low as reasonably achievable. Environmentally, his research also explores the impact of low doses of radiation on non-human species.

A prominent five-year delegate with the NATO working group investigating radiation bioeffects and countermeasures, Dr. Waller has been researching radiological dispersal devices and their effects for more than 15 years. He developed a novel Radiation Triage Mask to rapidly identify and assist with treatment strategies for those who have been exposed internally to radioactive isotopes generated by dirty bombs. The patented RTM determines the type of exposure and amount inhaled, providing first responders the ability to quickly establish a course of treatment and save lives.

Globally, Dr. Waller is part of a research team to design a novel sensor for an improved landmine detection system, an invention that is currently being used in countries where landmines are prevalent. Notably, he is the first Canadian academia delegate appointed to United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, and works closely with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

He joined UOIT in 2003 as Associate Professor, was appointed Professor in 2009 and named Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in 2011. In 2015, Dr. Waller served as Dean of Graduate Studies, then Dean of the Faculty. Previously, he spent 15 years with Science Applications International Corporation dealing with threat assessment, health physics and applications of radiation.

Industry Expertise (6)




Public Safety


Environmental Services

Areas of Expertise (8)

Applied Health Physics

Environmental Impact of Radionuclides

Internal and External Dosimetry

Non-Intrusive Investigation

Nuclear Safety and Security

Radiation and Threat Detection

Emergency Response

CBRN Counterterrrorism

Accomplishments (10)

Distinguished Achievement Award, Canadian Radiation Protection Association (professional)


Dr. Waller is the recipient of this 2017 award for his outstanding contributions to knowledge, practice and advancement of the field of radiation protection.

Certified Health Physicist (CHP), American Board of Health Physics (professional)

Accredited by the Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards.

Certified Associate Industrial Hygienist (CAIH), and Diplomat of the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (professional)

Certified by the world's largest organization for Industrial Hygiene (Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety).

Certificate of Appreciation, International Atomic Energy Agency (professional)


In recognition of Dr. Waller's outstanding contribution to nuclear security education.

Certification in Science and Engineering for Nuclear Security (professional)


Certified by the World Institute for Nuclear Security Academy.

Editorial Board, International Journal of Nuclear Security (IJNS) (professional)


Published by the University of Tennessee Institute for Nuclear Security, the IJNS is an open, international, scholarly discussion about nuclear security issues and insights among scholars, students, practitioners, and experts from academia, government, industry, and the private sector—as well as from the intelligence, military, and law enforcement communities.

Senior Researcher Excellence Award, UOIT (professional)


Awarded for excellence in nuclear and health physics research.

Adjunct Professor, McMaster Institute of Applied Radiation Sciences, McMaster University (professional)


In this role, Dr. Waller is supervising graduate student research.

Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training (MERRTT) Certified Instructor (professional)


Certified by the Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program of the U.S. Department of Energy.

Education and Communication Award, Canadian Nuclear Society (professional)


Recognized for his significant efforts in improving the understanding of nuclear science and technology among educators, students and the public.

Education (4)

Technische Universiteit Delft: MiNS, Masters in Nuclear Security 2014 2014

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: PhD, Nuclear Engineering and Science 1997

University of New Brunswick: MScE, Chemical Engineering 1990

University of New Brunswick: BSc (Honours), Applied Physics 1988

Affiliations (12)

  • Professional Engineers Ontario
  • American Nuclear Society
  • Canadian Nuclear Society
  • American Board of Industrial Hygiene
  • American Board of Health Physics
  • Health Physics Society
  • Canadian Radiation Protection Association
  • International Radiation Protection Association
  • Nuclear Energy Institute
  • World Institute for Nuclear Security
  • Institute of Nuclear Materials Management
  • Rensselaer Society of Engineers

Media Appearances (6)

Radiation expert recognized for distinguished achievement

UOIT News  online


He is a champion of nuclear safety, security and safeguards and recognized as one of the world’s leading radiation experts. He has dedicated his career to protecting the safety and security of Canadians through innovative ways to reduce the threat of radiation exposure from nuclear disaster. He is also one of the founding faculty members of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

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Distribution of KI Pills in Durham Region

KX96 Durham Radio News  radio


Also on The Rock 94.9 FM, CKDO 107.7 FM and 1580 AM

UOIT researchers: KI pills not the only consideration for nuclear radiation protection

UOIT News  online


Potassium iodide (chemical symbol KI) is a familiar term to many of the hundreds of thousands of Ontarians who live near nuclear power plants. In the unlikely event of a radiation leak from a nuclear facility, KI is a salt pill that, when ingested, inhibits the thyroid gland from absorbing radiation.

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How dangerous is radon gas? UOIT researchers share some facts

UOIT News  online


Two University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) researchers are weighing in on claims made in a recent news report about the prevalence of radon gas in Canadian homes, and a suggestion that radon gas kills more than 3,000 Canadians a year.

Dr. Ed Waller is a Professor in UOIT’s Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science (FESNS), and is currently an NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair Health Physics and Environmental Safety.

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Oshawa university has True Power

Oshawa This Week  print


Ed Waller, associate dean of graduate studies, showed off the aerosol and radiation research lab during the official opening of the new Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre at the new Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology November 28. November 28, 2011.

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Prof's invention granted U.S. patent

The Oshawa Express  online


Radiation Triage Mask needed every EMS toolkit

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Event Appearances (13)

Chair of the 3rd Consultancy Meeting to Clarify Concepts and Strategies Related to the Preparation, Conduct and Evaluation of Security Exercises at Nuclear Power Plants

IAEA  Vienna, Austria


Nuclear Security Alternative Technologies and Consequence for the Management for the Health Physicist

Security Workshop at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  Cambridge, Massachuesetts


Chair of the 2nd Consultancy Meeting to Clarify Concepts and Strategies Related to the Preparation, Conduct and Evaluation of Security Exercises at Nuclear Power Plants

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)  Vienna, Austria


60th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society Professional Enrichment Program Course 'Physical Protection for Nuclear and Radiological Security'

American Board of Health Physics for Certified Health Physicist Continuing Education  Indianapolis, Indiana


Chair of the 1st Consultancy Meeting to Identify Interfaces, Commonalities and Overlaps in the Concepts of Emergency Planning and Contingency Planning

IAEA  Vienna, Austria


Canadian Delegation Lead on Documents R708 Radiation Exposure from Electricity Generation, R707 Methodology for Estimating Human Exposures Due to Radioactive Discharges

United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) 62nd Session  Vienna, Austria


IAEA Report on Assessment and Prognosis in Response to a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency

IAEA  Vienna, Austria


Assessment of a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency Resulting from a Nuclear Security Event

International Experts’ Meeting on Assessment and Prognosis in Response to a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency, IAEA  Vienna, Austria


The Interface of Safety and Security in Response to a Malicious Event

International Experts’ Meeting on Assessment and Prognosis in Response to a Nuclear or Radiological Emergency, IAEA  Vienna, Austria


Professional Development Course Presentation: Nuclear Security for the Health Physicist

International Nuclear Security Education Network 2014 Annual Meeting  Vienna, Austria


Role of the Health Physicist in Nuclear Security

Health Physics Society 59th Annual Meeting  Baltimore, Maryland


59th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society American Academy of Health Physics Professional Development Course 'Nuclear Security for the Health Physicist'

ABHP for CHP Continuing Education  Baltimore, Maryland


Exposure from Cardiac Imaging and Interventional Procedures

Canadian Cardiovascular Society Congress  Toronto, Ontario


Patents (1)

An Orofacial Radiation Detection Device For Rapid Triage of Personnel At Risk of Internal Radionuclide Contamination From Inhalation

US Patent No. 7763860


The present invention provides an orofacial radiation detection device for detection of radionuclide contamination from inhalation.

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Research Grants (2)

Health Physics and Environmental Safety

NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair (IRC) $1072103


In its first four years, the IRC has had a significant impact in the areas of real-time radiation field measurement and characterization, radiation field modeling, dose visualization for as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) dose limitation applications, and radiation field mapping. This major research program will continue to train the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers by providing them with a unique and industry relevant training experience; improve radiation protection science for nuclear energy workers, and expand its capacity in the area of environmental safety.

Radiation Hazard Screening Strategies for Persons Exposed to Radioactive Materials

NSERC Discovery Grant 


This five-year research program examines radiation detection techniques, dosimetry, field characterization and safety and security from nuclear or radiological material present during emergency situations, encompassing exposures from accidents at nuclear facilities and radiation exposures from malicious acts. In addition, the program studies vulnerabilities of radiological sources and simulation assessment techniques. Outcomes will significantly benefit the health physics and emergency response communities, as well as industrial and government agencies that have requirements to protect personnel. The research will enhance the scientific community by adding to the knowledge base of rapid radiation field characterization, phenomenology of aerosol behaviour, in-field and retrospective dose assessment and security vulnerabilities, and by training a number of highly qualified personnel, many of whom will continue in research.

Articles (14)

Operational Testing of a Combined Hardware-Software Strategy for Triage of Radiologically-Contaminated Persons Health Physics


After a radiological dispersal device (RDD) event, it is possible for radionuclides to enter the human body through inhalation, ingestion, and skin and wound absorption. The dominant pathway will be through inhalation.

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A Randomized Controlled Trial of RADIATION PROTECTion with a patient Lead Shield and a Novel, Non-Lead Surgical Cap for Operators Performing Coronary Angiography or Intervention Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions


Interventional cardiologists receive one of the highest levels of annual occupational radiation exposure. Further measures to protect healthcare workers are needed.

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The Role of the Health Physicist in Nuclear Security Health Physics


Cover Article: Health physics is a recognized safety function in the holistic context of the protection of workers, members of the public, and the environment against the hazardous effects of ionizing radiation, often generically designated as radiation protection. The role of the health physicist as protector dates back to the Manhattan Project.

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Experimental Modeling of Wind Driven Bin-by-Bin Resuspension Factors of Freshly Fallen Radionuclides after an Energetic Release from a Radiological Dispersal Device Journal of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science


Published in the inaugural journal, this article covers small-scale experiments carried out to characterize the resuspension factor of radioactive lanthanum oxide powder in an environmentally controlled wind tunnel, with the majority using particle sizes less than 10 μm in order to assess the impact of wind resuspension stresses and surface roughness conditions on resuspension.

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Physical Design of a Nuclear Facility Security Training Environment and Interfacing with Adversary Probability of Interruption Software Journal of Physical Security


Training personnel about physical protection systems at nuclear facilities is difficult as the security systems are in continuous operation, which makes access to these systems for training problematic. An interactive model of a nuclear facility to demonstrate physical protection systems (PPS) can provide instructive and cost-effective training to a wide range of personnel.

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Radiation Protection and Environmental Safety The Essential CANDU


This chapter expands upon the fundamentals of nuclear physics, radioactive decay processes, and radiation interactions with matter and explores the fundamentals of radiation protection and environmental safety, which are of vital importance to the safe operation of CANDU stations. In a holistic sense, the overarching field that deals with radiation protection and environmental safety is the area of health physics.

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Design of a Hybrid Computational Fluid Dynamics–Monte Carlo Radiation Transport Methodology for Radioactive Particulate Resuspension Studies Health Physics


There are numerous scenarios where radioactive particulates can be displaced by external forces. For example, the detonation of a radiological dispersal device in an urban environment will result in the release of radioactive particulates that in turn can be resuspended into the breathing space by external forces such as wind flow in the vicinity of the detonation. A need exists to quantify the internal (due to inhalation) and external radiation doses that are delivered to bystanders; however, current state-of-the-art codes are unable to calculate accurately radiation doses that arise from the resuspension of radioactive particulates in complex topographies.

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Investigation of Internal Radionuclide Contamination from the Analysis of Nasal Swabs and Facial Swipes Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry


Nasal swabs and facial swipes have been used to screen potential internal radioactive contamination for decades. However, the ratio between the lung intake and the activity on a swab or a swipe varies according to the nature of the contaminant involved and the exposure conditions such as particle sizes of the contaminant and the humidity in the air. This paper reports the experimental results using stable La2O3 as an analog for actinide oxides, focusing on the most important parameters such as humidity, plume velocity, and facial condition at a fixed room temperature of 23 ± 2 °C.

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Canadian Cardiovascular Society Position Statement on Radiation Exposure From Cardiac Imaging and Interventional Procedures Canadian Journal of Cardiology


Exposure to ionizing radiation is a consequence of many diagnostic and interventional cardiac procedures. Radiation exposure can result in detrimental health effects because of deterministic (eg, skin reaction) and stochastic effects (eg, cancer). However, with the levels experienced during cardiac procedures these risks can be difficult to quantify. Healthcare providers and patients might not fully appreciate radiation-related risks. Though in many cases radiation exposure cannot be avoided, a practice of minimizing exposures to levels “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA principle) without compromising the utility of the procedure is encouraged. The purpose of this document is to inform health care providers on the key concepts related to radiation risk from common cardiac procedures and provide specific recommendations on ensuring quality of care.

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Intercomparison on Monte Carlo Radiation Transport Codes to Model TEPC Response in Low Energy Neutron and Gamma Ray Fields Radiation Protection Dosimetry


Tissue-equivalent proportional counters (TEPC) can potentially be used as a portable and personal dosemeter in mixed neutron and gamma-ray fields, but what hinders this use is their typically large physical size. To formulate compact TEPC designs, the use of a Monte Carlo transport code is necessary to predict the performance of compact designs in these fields.

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Radiological Contaminants: Triage, Treatment and Medical Management of Exposed Persons CABI Publishing


This book chapter in Disaster Management: Medical Preparedness, Response and Homeland Security reviews injury from exposure to radiation and the radiological disaster management of exposed persons. The chapter describes the disaster categories involving radioactive materials, various radiological exposure scenarios, the personnel resources involved in a radiological disaster response, the phases of a radiological disaster, and the tools required for managing radiological disasters. The chapter then discusses pre-disaster, event response, and post-disaster event considerations related to radiological disasters.

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A Mobile Robotic Platform for Generating Radiation Maps Intelligent Robotics and Applications


The use of mobile robots to collect the sensor readings required to generate radiation maps has the significant advantage of eliminating the risk of exposure that humans would otherwise face by collecting the readings by hand. In this work, a mobile robotic platform designed specifically to collect this information to synthesize radiation maps is presented.

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Teaching Problem-Solving Skills to Nuclear Engineering Students European Journal of Engineering Education


Solutions to problems in high consequence fields of study such as nuclear engineering require rapid and accurate analysis of the problems, design of solutions (focusing on public safety, environmental stewardship and ethics), solution execution and monitoring results. A three-month course in problem solving, modelling and simulation was designed and a collaborative approach was undertaken with instructors from both industry and academia.

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Sources of Radiation in the Environment: Including Natural Radiation, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM), Technically Enhanced Materials, Weapons Tests and Nuclear Accidents Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, Springer


The Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology addresses the grand challenge for science and engineering today. It provides unprecedented, peer-reviewed coverage in more than 550 separate entries comprising 38 topical sections.

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