Profile Picture

James O'Brien

Senior Research Engineer

Research Areas:


​James O’Brien, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Engineer in the Experiment Programs Department at the Idaho National Laboratory. His current responsibilities include technical and program management of the INL High-Temperature Electrolysis Research Program.  This research is aimed at development of efficient hydrogen production technology based on steam electrolysis using solid-oxide cells.  At INL, Dr. O’Brien has also performed research in heat transfer and fluid mechanics, 2-phase flow and boiling heat transfer, aerosol transport and measurement, severe accident analysis, advanced energy conversion systems, and other topics.

Dr. O’Brien holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota. He has been employed at the INL for 22 years.  Before joining INL, Dr. O’Brien served as a member of the ME faculty at the Pennsylvania State University and as an aerospace research engineer at the NASA Glenn Research Center.  He is the author or co-author of 5 book chapters, 36 journal articles and more than 120 conference papers on a variety of topics in thermal sciences.  Dr. O’Brien has received numerous awards, and is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Dr. O’Brien also serves as a technical consultant for IAEA on non-electric applications of nuclear energy.

Outside of work he enjoys backpacking, canoeing, camping and outdoor photography.

Version: 1.0
Created at 3/23/2018 10:35 AM by Phyllis L. King
Last modified at 3/23/2018 10:35 AM by Phyllis L. King