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Lane Carasik, Ph.D. - VCU College of Engineering. Richmond, VA, US

Lane Carasik, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering | VCU College of Engineering


Dr. Carasik researches computational and experimental thermal hydraulics and is the Director of the FAST Research Group.



Dr. Lane Carasik (He/Him/His) is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Carasik is also the Director of the Fluids in Advanced Systems and Technology (FAST) research group that focuses on thermal hydraulics research in advanced energy systems including nuclear fusion/fission and concentrated solar power. In August 2023, Dr. Carasik was awarded a Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Research Program award through the Fusion Energy Science program. Between January 2021 to June 2021, he was the Director of the VCU High Performance Research Computing core facility as a part-time administrative role providing strategic leadership for growing high performance computing needs. Prior to joining VCU, Dr. Carasik was a Nuclear Thermal Fluids Engineer at Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation and before that, Kairos Power as a CFD & Thermal Fluids Engineer. Dr. Carasik is an Associate Editor of the American Nuclear Society Fusion Science and Technology Journal as well as the current chair of the Diversity and Inclusion in ANS committee, an External Affairs Committee member, and a Thermal Hydraulics Division Executive Committee member. Dr. Carasik has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University and a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Lastly, he was a co-recipient of the 2020 ASME FED Moody and 2018 ASME CFD Best Paper Awards for work completed while employed at Kairos Power on a DOE GAIN Voucher.

Industry Expertise (3)




Areas of Expertise (6)

Experimental Thermal-Fluids

Thermal-Fluids Design

Verification and Validation

Computational Fluid Dynamics

Additive Manufacturing

Clean Energy

Accomplishments (6)

2023 Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Research Program (professional)


"The 2023 Early Career Research Program awardees represent 47 universities and 12 DOE National Laboratories across the country. These awards are a part of the DOE’s long-standing efforts to develop the next generation of STEM leaders to solidify America’s role as the driver of science and innovation around the world." - https://science.osti.gov/-/media/early-career/pdf/FY-2023-DOE-SC-Early-Career-Research-Program-Abstracts.pdf

2022 ANS Thermal Hydraulics Division Excellence in Review Award (professional)


Excellence in Review Award has been established to recognize THD scholars who have performed exceptional review service to our Division and for exceptional review qualities. An awardee must have provided outstanding general review services to the division for either ANS meeting submissions or THD sponsored or co-sponsored meetings.

2022 ANS Social Responsibility in the Nuclear Community Award (professional)


"Lane Carasik, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering in Virginia Commonwealth University’s College of Engineering, has received the Social Responsibility in the Nuclear Community Award from the American Nuclear Society. Carasik was co-honored recently with Kalin Kiesling, Ph.D., from ANL, and Lisa Marshall, from NCSU." - https://news.vcu.edu/article/2023/04/vcus-lane-carasik-honored-by-american-nuclear-society-for-diversity-efforts

VCU Burnside-Watstein LGBTQIA Award, 2021 (professional)


16th annual Burnside Watstein LGBTQIA Awards. The awards were created by Equality VCU at a time when the contributions of the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies often went unrecognized. They were named for Chris Burnside and Sarah Watstein, former co-chairs of Equality VCU and outspoken voices for diversity and inclusivity. - https://news.vcu.edu/article/2021/10/two-vcu-students-and-two-staff-members-receive-burnside-watstein-awards

2020 ASME Lewis F. Moody Award (professional)


Awarded for the paper, "Calculation of Friction Factors and Nusselt Numbers for Twisted Elliptical Tube Heat Exchangers using NEK5000" (FEDSM2018-83477) for being an "Outstanding original paper useful to the practice of mechanical engineering"

ASME Computational Fluid Dynamics Technical Committee Best Paper Award 2018 (professional)


Awarded for the paper, "FEDSM2018-83477 Calculation of Friction Factors and Nusselts Numbers for Twisted Elliptical Tube Heat Exchangers Using NEK5000" by D. R. Shaver, L. B Carasik, E. Merzari, N. Salpeter, and E. Blandford

Education (3)

University of Tennessee, Knoxville: Bachelors of Science, Nuclear Engineering 2012

Texas A&M University: Doctor of Philosophy, Nuclear Engineering 2017

Middle Georgia State University: Associates of Science, Mathematics 2010

Middle Georgia State University was the Middle Georgia College at the time of Dr. Carasik's attendance. Dr. Carasik was a member of the Georgia Academia of Aviation, Mathematics, Engineering, and Science now known as the Georgia Academy of Arts, Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences.

Affiliations (4)

  • American Nuclear Society (ANS)
  • Out to Innovate
  • Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (oSTEM)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Media Appearances (1)

New Year, New Committee, Diversity and Inclusion in ANS

American Nuclear Society (Nuclear Cafe)  online


As I write this, I’m excited to know the future of the American Nuclear Society will involve the activities and efforts of the newly formed Diversity and Inclusion in ANS (DIA) Committee. The DIA Committee was formed after the 2018 Annual Meeting by expanding the Professional Women in ANS (PWANS) committee with the inclusion of Nuclear Pride, a LGBTQA+ nuclear organization. It is dedicated to giving a voice to all underrepresented and marginalized groups within ANS, including, but not limited to, women, persons of color, the LGBTQA+ community, and people with disabilities. This new committee is the result of the combined efforts of several people over several years to ensure all of these groups, named and not named, have a voice. See url for full article.

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Research Grants (3)

Modular Power Fluidics and Online Optical Spectroscopy for Reprocessing Separation Plant Accountancy

Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy $4,714,784 (VCU: $373k)


NuVision Engineering will design, build, commission, and operate an integrated material accountancy test platform that will predict post-process nuclear material accountancy within 1% uncertainty for an aqueous reprocessing plant. Current U.S. reprocessing plants utilize commercial process equipment for pumping, mixing, and sampling that requires regular maintenance and replacement due to radiolytic degradation of seals and other non-metallic components. To reduce reprocessing facility downtime, sampling equipment is often duplicated so that one system can be used while the other is undergoing maintenance. A typical reprocessing plant’s footprint must also accommodate the mechanical handling equipment needed to maintain and replace the sampling process equipment. To address these drawbacks, NuVision will fabricate its accountancy platform as a modular unit integrating power fluidics (PF) and online optical spectroscopy (OOS) systems into the vessel to last an aqueous reprocessing plant’s lifetime. The OOS system facilitates real-time monitoring of uranium and plutonium concentrations. The PF suite will have no moving parts and will include devices to mix, sample, and pump highly radioactive fluids to provide real-time liquid level and density data. This will remove the need for duplication and maintenance equipment thereby significantly reducing the reprocessing plant footprint. Dr. Dave Lashley at NuVision Engineering is the lead PI while Dr. Carasik is the co-PI at Virginia Commonwealth University.

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Statistical Learning Based Multiscale Safety Analysis Framework for Advanced Reactors

Nuclear Regulatory Commission $500,000 (VCU: $210k)


The main objective of this proposed work is to provide n experimentally validated multiscale approach for safety analysis of advanced reactors, that will be valuable in licensing and regulation. Current techniques for system analysis lack capabilities in resolving detailed 3D thermal hydraulic behavior that are critical for the design and performance evaluation of advanced reactor candidates. The risk evaluation and uncertainty envelop of safety features in advanced reactors are highly dependent on complex physics in contrast to probabilistic failure rates of engineered safety features in existing reactors. Therefore, accurate physical depiction in system analysis tools is essential for risk quantification. This project will result in a statistical learning-based coupling mechanism between multiscale models – one-dimensional (1D) system level models and detailed 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of advanced reactor systems for safety analysis. This coupled framework will be implemented with System Analysis Module (SAM) and Nek5000, which are part of NRC’s Comprehensive Reactor Analysis Bundle (BlueCRAB). It will be demonstrated on two test cases relevant to advanced reactors such as liquid metal (sodium fast reactors - SFRs) and high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGRs). The existing experimental capabilities at KSU will be used for validating 1D/3Dcoupled models. KSU will develop closure relations for multiscale coupling and obtain validation grade experimental data, while VCU team will lead the CFD simulations and SAM development scope. Dr. Hitesh Bindra at Purdue University (formerly Kansas State University) is the lead PI while Dr. Carasik is the co-PI.

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Jeffress Trust Award in Interdisciplinary Research

The Thomas F. and Kate Miller Jeffress Memorial Trust, Bank of America, Trustee $104,500


Advanced energy systems such as concentrated solar, nuclear, or geothermal energy use heat transfer equipment (heat exchangers) to transfer heat from heat generation components to power conversion components. Commonly, heat exchangers consist of two working fluids that are separated by tubes, plates, or other surfaces. These surfaces can be modified through heat transfer enhancements (HTE) to increase the heat transfer and overall efficiency of the heat exchanger. Any meaningful increase in the efficiency of heat exchangers can lead to improved economics (capital, operating & maintenance costs) of the advanced energy system. In this project, we will use a combined experimental and computational effort that will integrate state‐of‐the‐art additive manufacturing and mathematical models for investigating new and existing HTEs in tubular molten salt heat exchangers. The experimental effort will build upon our previous work in the integral measurements of heat transfer and pressure drop in heat transfer enhanced tubes through the integration of additively manufactured tubes. The computational effort will involve state‐of‐the‐art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools such as the Department of Energy’s Nek5000 code for predicting integral and whole field information in the HTEs. The results of this work will: (1) expand the design space information (pressure drop & heat transfer) of the selected heat transfer enhancement, (2) integrate additive manufacturing of plastic components and set the foundation for metallic additive manufactured parts, (3) validate methodology for using computational fluid dynamics to predict integral behavior of the selected HTE and (4) provide the foundation for future CFD investigations of additional HTEs made possible through additive manufacturing.

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Courses (4)

EGMN 301 - Fluid Mechanics

Spring 2020 | Spring 2021

EGMN 456 - Reactor Systems and Design

Fall 2020 | Fall 2021 | Fall 2022 | Fall 2023

EGMN 607 - Heat and Mass Transfer Theory and Applications

Spring 2022 | Spring 2023

EGMN 655 - Nuclear Power Plants

Fall 2022

Selected Articles (5)

Coregistered positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) for engineering flow measurements

Nuclear Engineering and Design

Cody S. Wiggins, Arturo Cabral, and Lane B. Carasik


Increasingly, fully 3D experimental measurements of flow in complex engineering geometries are required to validate computational fluid dynamics models that support and inform reactor design and licensing. One barrier to such measurements is the complexity of typical reactor components and subsequent lack of optical access in these systems. To overcome this, the deployment of coregistered positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) is explored for flow measurement in reactor thermal hydraulic components and model (scaled) systems. Through this methodology, fully 3D flow information (via PEPT) and detailed internal geometry (via CT) are captured in opaque systems such as pipes, rod bundles, packed beds, etc. The reconstructed flow field and geometry can then be overlain to reveal detailed flow features around internal structures within a given test section. This is enabled through the use of a combined preclinical PET/CT scanner with overlapping PET and CT fields of view. Such measurements are useful for characterizing flow inside such intricate nuclear thermal hydraulic components as core geometries and heat exchangers, among others, and providing valuable 3D validation data for CFD models. In this work, basic tests of this 3D flow/geometry mapping are presented, and the implications of such measurements are discussed. Preliminary measurements are made with both point sources and flow in a simple pipe flow geometry to evaluate the capabilities of this technique. PEPT and CT features are coregistered with up to 0.1 mm precision, and pipe flow mean velocity and Reynolds stresses are reconstructed with similar accuracy to previous PEPT demonstrations. The utility of PEPT/CT is shown herein, and suggestions for future measurements are made.

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Heat Transfer Performance of Cu-Cr-Zr Tube with Swirl Insert Under Cyclic Thermal Loading in Monoblock Divertor

Fusion Science and Technology

Cody S. Wiggins, Arturo Cabral, and Lane B. Carasik


Development and optimization of the plasma-facing components for the fusion reactors ITER and DEMO are necessary for sufficient heat removal because of the high heat fluxes in these systems. In this work, we consider the heat transfer performance of the Cu-Cr-Zr alloy tube with a swirl (twisted tape) insert within a monoblock divertor experiencing cyclic thermal loading expected during ITER operating conditions. Thermal loading is examined up to 2000 cycles, leading to increased tube surface roughness and decreased tube thermal conductivity. A simplified model of thermal-hydraulic performance is used that accounts for forced convection in the swirled flow, conduction through the Cu-Cr-Zr tube, and tube fouling (surface roughness and thermal conductivity changes). From our work, it is found that the overall heat transfer rate of the tube is enhanced with increased thermal loading over a wide range of Reynolds numbers (i.e., flow rates). This is due to the increase of convective heat transfer from turbulence enhancement induced by increasing surface roughness. However, the increase in surface roughness also leads to an increase in pressure losses in the system, requiring increased pumping power to maintain flow rates. We consider the heat transfer rate at equivalent pumping power (quantified by the overall enhancement ratio) and find it has a complicated dependence on Reynolds number and the number of thermal loading cycles. In particular, we see that for a Reynolds number of 1 000 000, the overall enhancement ratio is decreased by up to 9% at 2000 loading cycles. Such a decrease could meaningfully impact the operations of ITER or DEMO, requiring additional pumping input to maintain sufficient heat removal. This suggests the need for further investigation of the thermal-hydraulic performance of plasma-facing components, including the full monoblock assembly, after many loading cycles.

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Recent advances in positron emission particle tracking: a comparative review

Reports on Progress in Physics

Christopher RK Windows-Yule, Matthew Herald, Leonard Nicusan, Cody Wiggins, Guillem Pratx, Sam Manger, EA Odo, Thomas Leadbeater, Juan Pellico, Rafael de Rosales, Antoine Renaud, Indresan Govender, Lane Carasik, Arthur Ruggles, Tzany Kokalova-Wheldon, Jonathan Seville, and David J Parker


Positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) is a technique which allows the high-resolution, three-dimensional imaging of particulate and multiphase systems, including systems which are large, dense, and/or optically opaque, and thus difficult to study using other methodologies. In this work, we bring together researchers from the world's foremost PEPT facilities not only to give a balanced and detailed overview and review of the technique but, for the first time, provide a rigorous, direct, quantitative assessment of the relative strengths and weaknesses of all contemporary PEPT methodologies. We provide detailed explanations of the methodologies explored, including also interactive code examples allowing the reader to actively explore, edit and apply the algorithms discussed. The suite of benchmarking tests performed and described within the document is made available in an open-source repository for future researchers.

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Investigation of Pressure Drop Calculation for Twisted Tape Swirl Tubes by Conventional Channel Flow Correlations with Fusion Applications

Fusion Science and Technology

Cody S. Wiggins, Arturo Cabral, and Lane B. Carasik


Twisted tape inserts are commonly used for heat transfer enhancement in fusion applications. Although these devices have been extensively studied, existing correlations relating friction factor to Reynolds number and system geometry are applicable only for tight-fitting inserts and cannot account for system roughness and fouling. In this work, we examine pressure losses in twisted tapes of various twist ratios using both a typical twisted tape correlation and a newer formulation that incorporates conventional channel flow correlations. We study flows down to a Reynolds number of 4000 and find that the channel flow treatment predicts experimental outcomes well for turbulent conditions, like those expected in the ITER divertor. For calculations at low Reynolds numbers (expected during start-up and show-down of the divertor), we propose that channel flow correlations be merged with twisted tape correlations. This new, merged correlation is seen to be applicable across all Reynolds numbers observed, although it predicts small divergences among tape pitches at low Reynolds numbers that are not clearly reflected in our experimental data. Experimental and legacy data show that conventional channel flow friction factor correlations can be used under this formulation for pressure drop predictions at Reynolds number above 15 000. We suggest the use of this twisting channel treatment for loose-fitting inserts and systems in which fouling and roughness may be of concern, allowing existing straight channel models to be used for twisted tape pressure drop calculations.

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Calculation of Friction Factors and Nusselt Numbers for Twisted Elliptical Tube Heat Exchangers Using Nek5000

ASME Journal of Fluids Engineering

Dillon R. Shaver, Lane B. Carasik, Elia Merzari, Nate Salpeter and Edward Blandford


DOI: 10.1115/1.4042889

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