PhD candidate in structural engineering wins best paper award at international congress on advances in nuclear power plants

By Peter Murphy

Published December 3, 2021

Faizan UI Haq Mir, a PhD student specializing in structural and earthquake engineering won the Best Paper Award at the 2021 International Congress on Advances in Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP 2021). 


His paper, “Validation of Numerical Models for Seismic Fluid-Structure Interaction Analysis of Advanced Reactors” validates commercially available numerical tools for the seismic analysis of advanced nuclear reactors. According to Mir, this research could have a significant impact on the design of nuclear power plants.

“Validating models is important because it gives us the confidence that the components of a nuclear reactor will behave as anticipated in extreme events like earthquakes,” Mir says. 

Faizan UI Haq Mir Best Paper Award ICAPP 2021.

PhD candidate Faizan UI Haq Mir

Mir conducted the unique experiments and simulations associated with this work in UB’s structural engineering and earthquake simulation laboratory. Numerical modeling and simulation can improve efficiency associated with these types of projects, according to Mir.

“Validating models saves us the cost and effort of testing expensive equipment in labs,” Mir says. “If we have a validated computer model, we can run a simulation instead of a physical test and be confident about the results.”

Mir and other researchers working on the project continue to collaborate on this effort with experts in industry, including advanced reactor developers in the United States. The researchers at UB will continue to share data and numerical models with industry representatives for a wider impact.

“The overall goal of the research is to build confidence in numerical tools that can be used for design and risk assessment of nuclear power plants,” Mir says.