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Derek Gaston

Chief Computational Scientist

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Dr. Derek Gaston is the Chief Computational Scientist for the Nuclear Science & Technology Directorate at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). His career at INL began in 2008 when he started the MOOSE Framework, the Multiphysics Object-Oriented Simulation Environment that has become the flagship infrastructure for nuclear modeling and simulation tools in a variety of areas including nuclear fuel performance (BISON), material evolution (Marmot), coupled neutronics (Griffin), thermal fluids (Pronghorn), and many others. MOOSE presented a novel approach to solving multiphysics problems with non-linear solvers which lead to its being honored with an R&D100 award in 2014. He earned his Ph.D. in computational nuclear engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2020, studying under advisors Dr. Benoit Forget and Dr. Kord Smith. He also holds a master of science in computational and applied mathematics from University of Texas and a bachelor of science in computer science from University of Missouri-Rolla (now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology).

A prolific speaker and presenter, Derek has been invited to speak on advanced modeling and simulation tools all over the world including most recently at the American Nuclear Society (ANS) winter conference in 2021, the Collaborative Conference on Computational and Data Science (C3DIS) in 2021, and the ANS annual meeting in 2022. In 2011, Derek was acknowledged by the White House and President Barack Obama as a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) recipient. He has also been awarded several Laboratory Director awards at the annual INL celebration of innovation.

His professional interests include developing unique, efficient approaches to solving complex problems by leveraging collaboration and creativity. To that end, he has worked as a collaborator in a variety of laboratory directed research and development efforts including work on transient multiphysics simulation of spent fuel repositories for pebble-bed reactors and developing INL’s Virtual Test Bed. Dr. Gaston’s career has cultivated leadership skills which he uses to mentor, advise, and champion new and exciting developments in high performance computing and modeling and simulation efforts on a national scale. Currently, Dr. Gaston serves as the Deputy Technical Area Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) program. Within NEAMS, he has helped guide the nation’s modeling and simulation efforts to be more efficient and effective. Derek has authored and contributed to over 100 publications since 2009, including his original paper on MOOSE, which has been cited over 1,000 times. Outside of work, his interests include landscape photography, detailing his Mustang GT, and visiting new and exciting places with his family.

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  • Ph.D. in Computational Nuclear Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2020)
  • M.S. in Computational and Applied Mathematics from University of Texas (2006)
  • B.S. in Computer Science from University of Missouri-Rolla (now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology) (2004)
  • ​Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS)

  • American Nuclear Society (ANS)

  • ​Gaston, Derek, Chris Newman, Glen Hansen, and Damien Lebrun-Grandie. "MOOSE: A parallel computational framework for coupled systems of nonlinear equations." Nuclear Engineering and Design 239, no. 10 (2009): 1768-1778.
  • Permann, Cody J., Derek R. Gaston, David Andrš, Robert W. Carlsen, Fande Kong, Alexander D. Lindsay, Jason M. Miller et al. "MOOSE: Enabling massively parallel multiphysics simulation." SoftwareX 11 (2020): 100430.
  • Gaston, Derek R., Cody J. Permann, John W. Peterson, Andrew E. Slaughter, David Andrš, Yaqi Wang, Michael P. Short et al. "Physics-based multiscale coupling for full core nuclear reactor simulation." Annals of Nuclear Energy 84 (2015): 45-54.
  • Tonks, Michael R., Derek Gaston, Paul C. Millett, David Andrs, and Paul Talbot. "An object-oriented finite element framework for multiphysics phase field simulations." Computational Materials Science 51, no. 1 (2012): 20-29.
  • Gaston, Derek, John Peterson, Cody Permann, David Andrs, Andrew Slaughter, and Jason Miller. "Continuous integration for concurrent computational framework and application development." Journal of Open Research Software 2, no. 1 (2014).

  • 2014 R&D100
  • 2011 President Obama’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
  • 2011 Idaho National Laboratory Director Group Award
  • 2010 Idaho National Laboratory Director Award for Early Career Exceptional Achievement
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Created at 5/12/2015 1:23 PM by David S. Marwil
Last modified at 4/10/2023 3:53 PM by