New hires slated to start January 1, 2018

The Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering is excited to announce the hiring of four new faculty members. They will join the Department for the start of the winter academic term, January 2018.

With expertise in Nuclear Materials, Irradiation of Materials and Additive Manufacturing, the new tenure-track hires will provide a significant contribution to the Department and to Queen’s.

“These exceptional researchers have a set of diverse backgrounds and are active in a variety of sub-disciplines within mechanical and materials engineering,” says Chris Mechefske, Interim Head of the Department. “What they all have in common is an extraordinary capacity to enhance the Department’s strengths in key areas of mechanical and materials engineering. They are outstanding, innovative scientists and engineers whom we expect will establish excellent research programs and contribute to the existing high-quality teaching and ongoing commitment to academic and pedagogical excellence in the Department.”

More information follows about each position and the new faculty members:

Nuclear Materials
The Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering has an active nuclear materials research program. The nuclear materials focused faculty hires will be able to take advantage of the accelerator-based irradiation facilities at the Reactor Materials Testing Laboratory (RMTL) ( at Queen’s, and will also have an opportunity to work with the Canadian Particle Astrophysics Research Centre (CPARC), also at Queen’s.

Laurent Karim Béland is about to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds a PhD in physics from the Université de Montréal. He also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Béland employs and develops atomistic computer simulations, with a special focus on radiation damage in materials, as well as on nanoscale and mesoscale modeling of disorded materials, such as cements and shales.

Suraj Persaud is presently a research scientist at Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) (formerly AECL, Chalk River Laboratories). His research area is environmental degradation of nuclear materials, with emphasis on mechanistic studies and applications of modern microscopy. Dr. Persaud completed his doctoral studies at the University of Toronto in 2015, where he investigated mechanisms of stress corrosion cracking in nickel alloys for nuclear applications.

Additive Manufacturing
Vahid Fallah is currently a senior scientist and technical project leader at Alcereco. Dr. Fallah has more than 13 years of experience in academic research and industrial R&D in the fields of additive manufacturing, metals solidification and casting, precipitation hardening of aerospace and automotive aluminum alloys and computational material science. Dr. Fallah earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering-Materials Processing at the University of Waterloo, in 2011, with a focus on laser additive manufacturing of advanced metals and composites. Prior to joining Alcereco in 2015, he served as a postdoctoral fellow and research associate at McMaster University and the University of Waterloo, and collaborated with Novelis Inc. on development of automotive aluminum alloys.

Irradiation of Materials
Levente Balogh is currently a Research Scientist at the Material Sciences Branch at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) in Chalk River, ON. He received a PhD in Physics (Materials and Solid State Physics) from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, and continued as a postdoctoral fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM, USA and Queen’s University. Dr. Balogh’s research is focused on exploring the behaviour of nuclear structural materials relevant to currently operating and next-generation reactor designs when subjected to irradiation under various circumstances, such as in-situ mechanical loading and high temperature. He is particularly interested in developing instrumentation for irradiation experiments, and applying and advancing X-ray/synchrotron and neutron diffraction based techniques to characterize the structure and microstructure of materials, with focus on radiation induced damage in nuclear structural materials such as Zr-alloys and steels.