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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Kirk Atkinson
PhD

Associate Professor

Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science

Contact information

Energy Systems and Nuclear Science Research Centre (ERC) - Room 4065
North Oshawa
2000 Simcoe Street North
Oshawa, ON L1G 0C5

905.721.8668 ext. 5501

Kirk.Atkinson@ontariotechu.ca


Areas of expertise

  • Nuclear engineering
  • Reactor physics
  • Small modular reactors (SMRs)
  • Radiation science
  • Radiation biophysics
  • Radiation risk assessment
  • Microfocus x-ray spectroscopy
  • High performance computing

Background

Dr Atkinson graduated from the University of London with a BSc in Theoretical Physics in 1999, an MSc in Astrophysics in 2001, and an MRes in Image and X-ray Physics in 2002. He joined the Gray Laboratory in 2002 as a Research Associate and PhD student on a US DOE-funded project on low-dose radiation. After postdoctoral work at the Diamond Light Source, in 2008 he joined the Ministry of Defence as Senior Lecturer in Nuclear Science in the Nuclear Department, the UK’s only dedicated Nuclear Engineering School. He became Technical Lead for Reactor Physics and High Performance Computing in 2012, and for Radiation Physics and Criticality in 2018. Since 2014, in collaboration with Rolls-Royce, he led a multi-million dollar technical effort to develop a high-throughput Gamma Emission Tomography system (EGRET) for imaging and characterisation of spent nuclear fuel. Since 2016 he has been collaborating with Idaho National Laboratory on modelling and simulation of reactors using the MOOSE framework. He has supervised three PhD and over twenty MSc students, and between 2008 and 2015, taught all Royal Navy nuclear engineers. An expert on Small Modular Reactors in the marine context, he served on the Physics Working Group and Science Support Network for the UK Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP), was part of the team assessing nuclear power options for future Royal Navy submarines, and co-authored a report on marine power options for the UK’s chief scientific advisor. A visiting lecturer at the University of Manchester, where he taught on the UK’s NTEC MSc Program, he joined the Faculty of Energy Systems and Nuclear Science at Ontario Tech University as an Associate Professor in January 2019. As naval reactors are the original SMR’s, he is perhaps the only Canadian academic with real-world experience working in a successful program encompassing the design, manufacture, operation and disposal of small pressurised water reactors (PWRs).

Education

  • BSc in Theoretical Physics University of London, UK 1999
  • MSc in Astrophysics University of London, UK 2001
  • MRes in Image and X-ray Physics University of London, UK 2002
  • PhD in Physics University of London, UK 2007