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Researcher

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Benjamin Spencer, Ph.D.

Technical Staff

Research Areas:

Biography:
Benjamin Spencer brings his computational solid mechanics expertise to the BISON development effort.  He has broad experience developing and applying computational methods for fracture, contact, constitutive modeling, and structural dynamics in massively parallel computing environments.  Prior to coming to INL in 2011, he worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where he developed implicit and explicit solid mechanics codes and simulated nuclear safety-related structures subjected to a variety of natural and man-made insults.  He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2002.

Education:

​Ph.D., Civil Engineering - University of Colorado, Boulder

M.S., Civil Engineering - University of Colorado, Boulder

B.S., Civil Engineering - BrighamYoung University

Publications:

​Y. Hu, H. Chen, B.W. Spencer, and E. Madenci, “Thermomechanical Peridynamic Analysis with Irregular Non-Uniform Domain Discretization”, Engineering Fracture Mechanics Feb. 2018.

 

Z. Zhang, W. Jiang, J. E. Dolbow, and B.W. Spencer, “A modified moment-fitted integration scheme for X-FEM applications with history-dependent material data”, Computational Mechanics Jan. 2018.

 

X.-M. Bai, H. Ke, Y. Zhang, and B.W. Spencer, “Modeling copper precipitation hardening and embrittlement in a dilute Fe-0.3at.%Cu alloy under neutron irradiation”, Journal of Nuclear Materials, vol. 495, pp. 442–454, Nov. 2017.


B.W. Spencer, R. L. Williamson, D. S. Stafford, S. R. Novascone, J.D. Hales, and G. Pastore, “3D modeling of missing pellet surface defects in BWR fuel”, Nuclear Engineering and Design, vol. 307, pp. 155–171, Oct. 2016.


J.D. Hales, M. R. Tonks, F. N. Gleicher, B.W. Spencer, S. R. Novascone, R. L. Williamson, G. Pastore, and D. M. Perez, “Advanced multiphysics coupling for LWR fuel performance analysis”, Annals of Nuclear Energy, vol. 84, pp. 98–110, Oct. 2015.


S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, J.D. Hales, and R. L. Williamson, “Evaluation of coupling approaches for thermomechanical simulations”, Nuclear Engineering and Design, vol. 295, pp. 910–921, Aug. 2015.


J.D. Hales, M. R. Tonks, K. Chockalingam, D. M. Perez, S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, and R. L. Williamson, “Asymptotic expansion homogenization for multiscale nuclear fuel analysis”, Computational Materials Science, vol. 99, pp. 290–297, Mar. 2015.


G. Pastore, L. P. Swiler, J.D. Hales, S. R. Novascone, D. M. Perez, B.W. Spencer, L. Luzzi, P. Van Uffelen, and R. L. Williamson, “Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis of fission gas behavior in engineering-scale fuel modeling”, Journal of Nuclear Materials, vol. 456, pp. 398–408, Jan. 2015.

 

H. Huang, B. Spencer, and J. Hales, “Discrete element method for simulation of early-life thermal fracturing behavior in ceramic nuclear fuel pellets”, Nuclear Engineering and Design, vol. 278, pp. 515–528, Oct. 2014.

 

J.D. Hales, S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, R. L. Williamson, G. Pastore, and D. M. Perez, “Verification of the BISON fuel performance code”, Annals of Nuclear Energy, vol. 71, pp. 81–90, Sept. 2014.

 

G. J. de Fr´ıas, W. Aquino, K. H. Pierson, M.W. Heinstein, and B.W. Spencer, “A multiscale mass scaling approach for explicit time integration using proper orthogonal decomposition”, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering, vol. 97, no. 11, pp. 799–818, Mar. 2014.

 

J.D. Hales, R. L. Williamson, S. R. Novascone, D. M. Perez, B.W. Spencer, and G. Pastore, “Multidimensional multiphysics simulation of TRISO particle fuel”, Journal of Nuclear Materials, vol. 443, pp. 531–543, 2013.

 

J. P. Petti, B.W. Spencer, and H. L. Graves, “Risk-informed assessment of degraded containment vessels”, Nuclear Engineering and Design, vol. 238, no. 8, pp. 2038–2047, Aug. 2008.

 

B.W. Spencer and P.B. Shing, “Rigid-plastic interface for an embedded crack”, International Journal For Numerical Methods In Engineering, vol. 56, pp. 2163–2182, 2003.

Presentations:

​H. Chen, Y. Hu, and B.W. Spencer, “Peridynamics Using Irregular Domain Discretization With MOOSE-Based Implementation”, Proceedings of the ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE2017), IMECE2017-71527, Tampa, FL: ASME, Nov. 2017.


R. L. Williamson, G. Pastore, B.W. Spencer, J.D. Hales, and T. Tverberg, “BISON Validation for LOCA and PCMI Behaviour Using Measurements From the Halden Reactor Project”, EHPG 2017 - The 40th Enlarged Halden Program Group Meeting, Lillehammer, Norway, Sept. 2017.


B.W. Spencer and H. Huang, “Coupled Physics Simulation of Expansive Reactions in Concrete with
the Grizzly Code”, Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Environmental Degradation of Materials in Nuclear Power Systems - Water Reactors, ed. by J. H. Jackson, D. Paraventi, and M. Wright, Springer, Aug. 2017, pp. 131–141.


S. A. Pitts, W. Jiang, H. M. Zbib, and B.W. Spencer, “Comparison of irradiated steel dislocation and
precipitate interaction models within crystal plasticity”, Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference
2017, San Diego, CA, June 2017.


H. Chen, Y. Hu, and B.W. Spencer, “A MOOSE-Based Implicit Peridynamic Thermomechanical Model”, Proceedings of the ASME 2016 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE2016), IMECE2016-65552, ASME, Nov. 2016.


B.W. Spencer, W. Jiang, J. E. Dolbow, and C. Peco, “Pellet Cladding Mechanical Interaction Modeling
Using the Extended Finite Element Method”, Proceedings of Top Fuel 2016, Boise, ID, Sept. 2016.


W. M. Hoffman, M. E. Riley, and B.W. Spencer, “Surrogate Model Development and Validation for
Reliability Analysis of Reactor Pressure Vessels”, ASME Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference,
PVP2016-63341, Vancouver, BC, Canada, July 2016.


P. Chakraborty, B. Spencer, M. Backman, W. Hoffman, X.-M. Bai, and Y. Zhang, “Grizzly: A Multi-Scale and Multi-Physics Tool to Model Aging of Nuclear Power Plant Components”, Embedded Topical Meeting on Nuclear Fuels and Structural Materials (NFSM-2016), ANS Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, June 2016.


H. Huang and B.W. Spencer, “Grizzly Model of Fully Coupled Heat Transfer, Moisture Diffusion, Alkali-Silica Reaction and Fracturing Processes in Concrete”, Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Fracture Mechanics in Concrete Structures (FraMCoS-9), ed. by V. Saouma, J. Bolander, and E. Landis, 194, Berkeley, CA, May 2016.


B.W. Spencer, H. Huang, and G. Cai, “Tightly Coupled Multiphysics Simulation of Alkali-Silica Reaction”, ASCE Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference, Nashville, TN, May 2016.


Y. Zhang, D. Schwen, X. Bai, and B. Spencer, “Coupling Lattice Kinetic Monte Carlo and Phase Field for Solute Precipitation in RPV Steels”, MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit, Phoenix, AZ, Mar. 2016.


M. Backman, B. Spencer, R. Dodds, and B. Wirth,  "Structural Integrity Analysis of Reactor Pressure
Vessel with Lamellar Flaws in Grizzly”, TMS 2016, Nashville, TN, Feb. 2016.


B. Spencer, M. Backman, W. Hoffman, and P. Chakraborty, “Reactor Pressure Vessel Integrity
Assessments with the Grizzly Simulation Code”, Transactions of SMiRT-23, Paper 710, Manchester,
UK, Aug. 2015.


B. Spencer, Z. Zhang, and J. Dolbow, “Extended Finite Element Method in Multiphysics Nuclear Fuel
Simulations”, 13th US National Congress on Computational Mechanics, USNCCM13, San Diego,
CA, July 2015.


B. Spencer, H. Huang, J. Dolbow, Z. Zhang, G. Pastore, and J. Hales, “Discrete Modeling Methods for Fracture In Ceramic Nuclear Fuel”, Halden LOCA Workshop, Aix-en-Provence, France, May 2015.


B. Spencer, M. Backman, Y. Zhang, P. Chakraborty, D. Schwen, W. Hoffman, X. Bai, B. Biner, and H. Huang, “Grizzly: A Simulation Tool for Nuclear Power Plant Component Aging”, SIAM Conference on Computational Science and Engineering, Salt Lake City, UT, Mar. 2015.


F. Gleicher, R. Williamson, J. Ortensi, Y. Wang, B. Spencer, S. Novascone, J. Hales, and R. Martineau, “The Coupling of the Neutron Transport Application Rattlesnake to the Nuclear Fuels Performance Application BISON under the MOOSE Framework”, Proceedings of PHYSOR 2014, Kyoto, Japan, Oct. 2014.


N. Capps, R. Montgomery, D. Sunderland, B. Spencer, M. Pytel, and B. Wirth, “Evaluation of Missing Pellet Surface Geometry on Cladding Stress Distribution and Magnitude”, Proceedings of WRFPM 2014, 100109, Sendai, Japan, Sept. 2014.


B. Spencer, H. Huang, J. Dolbow, and J. Hales,  "Discrete Modeling of Early-Life Thermal Fracture in
Ceramic Nuclear Fuel”, Proceedings of WRFPM 2014, Paper No. 100061, Sendai, Japan, Sept. 2014.


G. Pastore, J.D. Hales, S. R. Novascone, D. M. Perez, B.W. Spencer, and R. L. Williamson, “Analysis of Fission Gas Release in LWR Fuel Using the BISON Code”, 2013 LWR Fuel Performance Meeting – TopFuel, Charlotte, NC, Sept. 2013.


J.D. Hales, D. M. Perez, R. L. Williamson, S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, and G. Pastore, “Nuclear
Fuel Modeling with BISON”, Fuels & Materials Summer School on Principles of Fuel Behaviour Modelling and Practical Applications, OECD Halden Reactor Project, Halden, Norway, Aug. 2013.


J.D. Hales, M. R. Tonks, M. R. Chockalingam, D. M. Perez, S. R. Novascone, and B.W. Spencer, “Multiscale nuclear fuel analysis via asymptotic expansion homogenization”, Transactions of SMiRT-22, San Francisco, CA, Aug. 2013.


S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, R. L. Williamson, D. Andrs, J.D. Hales, and D. M. Perez, “The effects of thermomechanics coupling strategies in nuclear fuels performance simulations”, Transactions of SMiRT-22, San Francisco, CA, Aug. 2013.


J.D. Hales, R. L. Williamson, S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, D. M. Perez, and G. Pastore, “Computational Challenges in Modeling Loss of Coolant Accidents”, 12th US National Congress on Computational Mechanics, USNCCM12, Raleigh, NC, July 2013.


G. Pastore, J.D. Hales, S. R. Novascone, D. M. Perez, B.W. Spencer, and R. L. Williamson, “Modeling of Fission Gas Behavior in Nuclear Fuel Applied to Engineering Scale Analysis”, 12th US National Congress on Computational Mechanics, USNCCM12, Raleigh, NC, July 2013.


B.W. Spencer, J.D. Hales, S. R. Novascone, D. M. Perez, and R. L. Williamson, “Frictional Contact in Nuclear Fuel Simulations”, 12th US National Congress on Computational Mechanics, USNCCM12,
Raleigh, NC, July 2013.


F. N. Gleicher, S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, R. L. Williamson, R.C. Martineau, M. Rose, and T. Downar, “Coupling the core analysis program DeCART to the fuel performance program BISON”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Mathematics and Computational Methods Applied to Nuclear Science and Engineering, Sun Valley, Idaho, May 2013.


S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, D. Andrs, R. L. Williamson, J.D. Hales, and D. M. Perez, “Results
from Tight and Loose Coupled Multiphysics in Nuclear Fuels Performance Simulations using BISON”,
Proceedings of the International Conference on Mathematics and Computational Methods Applied to
Nuclear Science and Engineering, Sun Valley, Idaho, May 2013.


D. M. Perez, R. L. Williamson, S. R. Novascone, T. K. Larson, J.D. Hales, B.W. Spencer, and G. Pastore, “An Evaluation of the Nuclear Fuel Performance Code BISON”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Mathematics and Computational Methods Applied to Nuclear Science and Engineering, Sun Valley, Idaho, May 2013.


J.D. Hales, D. M. Perez, R. L. Williamson, S. R. Novascone, B.W. Spencer, and R.C. Martineau,
“Validation of the BISON 3D Fuel Performance Code: Temperature Comparisons for Concentrically and Eccentrically Located Fuel Pellets”, Enlarged Halden Programme Group Meeting: Proceedings of the Fuels and Materials Sessions, vol. HPR-378, OECD Halden Reactor Project, Storefjell Resort Hotel, Norway, Mar. 2013.


S. R. Novascone, J.D. Hales, B.W. Spencer, and R. L. Williamson, “Assessment of PCMI Simulation Using the Multidimensional Multiphysics BISON Fuel Performance Code”, Proceedings of Top Fuel 2012, Manchester, United Kingdom, Sept. 2012.


B.W. Spencer, J.D. Hales, S. R. Novascone, and R. L. Williamson, “3D Simulation of Missing Pellet Surface Defects in Light Water Reactor Fuel Rods”,  Transactions of Top Fuel Reactor Fuel Performance 2012, Paper A0029, Manchester, United Kingdom, Sept. 2012.


B.W. Spencer and J. E. Dolbow, “Three-dimensional Extended Finite Element Method based on
Nodal Tetrahedra”, International Conference on Computational Modeling of Fracture and Failure of
Materials and Structures (CFRAC 2011), Barcelona, Spain, June 2011.


B.W. Spencer, M.W. Heinstein, K. H. Pierson, and J.D. Hales, “Multiscale Method for Efficient Explicit Dynamic Simulations”, 10th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics, Columbus, OH, July 2009.


J.D. Hales, M.W. Heinstein, and B.W. Spencer, “A Modal Decomposition Algorithm for Explicit Transient Dynamics”, 9th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics, San Francisco, CA,
July 2007.


B.W. Spencer and P.B. Shing, “Strategies for Analysis of Reinforced Concrete with Embedded Cracks”, 9th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics, San Francisco, CA, July 2007.


M.W. Starr, B.W. Spencer, D. J. Segalman, and K. H. Pierson, “Verification Problems for Quasistatic
Frictional Contact Between Deformable Bodies”, 9th U.S. National Congress on Computational
Mechanics, San Francisco, CA, July 2007.


J. F. Dempsey, M. A. Neidigk, W. M. Scherzinger, and B.W. Spencer, “Coupled Thermo-Mechanical Modeling Techniques for Laser Weld Applications”, 7th Biennial Tri-Lab Engineering Conference, Albuquerque, NM, May 2007.


K. H. Pierson, B.W. Spencer, and T. M. Hensley, “Adagio Contact Algorithm Enhancements”, 7th Biennial Tri-Lab Engineering Conference, Albuquerque, NM, May 2007.


B.W. Spencer, J. F. Dempsey, K. H. Pierson, and L. Worrel, “Manufacturing Simulation Using Parallel
Linear Solver and Contact in Adagio”, 7th Biennial Tri-Lab Engineering Conference, Albuquerque, NM, May 2007.


J. P. Petti, B.W. Spencer, and H. L. Graves, “Risk-Informed Assessment of Degraded Containment
Vessels”, Proceedings of ICONE14 International Conference on Nuclear Engineering, Paper ICONE14-89499, Miami, FL, July 2006.


B.W. Spencer, J.D. Hales, and K. H. Pierson, “Recent Developments in the Adagio Solid Mechanics Code”, 6th Biennial Tri-Lab Engineering Conference, Monterey, CA, Sept. 2005.


B.W. Spencer and P.B. Shing, “Performance of Solid Finite Elements with Embedded Interfaces”,
Fracture Mechanics of Concrete Structures 5 (FraMCoS-5) Post-Conference Workshop on Interface
Problems in Cement-Based Materials, Vail, CO, Apr. 2004.


V. K. Luk, B.W. Spencer, S. K. Shaukat, I.P. Lam, and R. A. Dameron, “Sensitivity Analyses of Seismic Behavior of Spent Fuel Dry Cask Storage Systems”, Transactions of the 17th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT 17), Paper K08-3, Prague, Czech Republic, Aug. 2003.


B.W. Spencer, D. M. Kunsman, and H. L. Graves, “Risk-Informed Assessment of Degraded Containment Structures”, Transactions of the 17th International Conference on Structural Mechanics in Reactor Technology (SMiRT 17), Paper D06-1, Prague, Czech Republic, Aug. 2003.


B.W. Spencer and P.B. Shing, “Analysis of RC Members Using Embedded Cracks”, 2002 Structures Congress, American Society of Civil Engineers, Denver, CO, Apr. 2002.


B.W. Spencer and P.B. Shing, “Modeling of shear behavior of RC bridge structures”, Modeling of
Inelastic Behavior of RC Structures under Seismic Loads, ed. by P. B. Shing and T. Tanabe, 2001,
pp. 315–333.


 B.W. Spencer and P.B. Shing, “Stress hybrid embedded crack element for analysis of concrete fracture”, Finite Element Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Structures, ed. by K. J. Willam and T. Tanabe, SP-205, 2001, pp. 323–346.


Other Invited Talks
B. Spencer, “Multiphysics Simulation of Nuclear Reactor Fuel Performance and Component Aging”,
University of Colorado Boulder Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering
Seminar, Jan. 2017.


B. Spencer, “Multiphysics Simulation of Nuclear Reactor Fuel Performance and Component Aging”,
University of Houston Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Seminar, Jan. 2017.

Awards:

​2013 Laboratory Director Award, Idaho National Laboratory, MOOSE Team

Version: 13.0
Created at 5/13/2015 11:26 AM by David S. Marwil
Last modified at 10/1/2019 10:45 AM by Jason D. Hales