Dr. Norman C. Rasmussen

Dr. Victor Ransom

Dr. Ransom's engineering career began following his graduation with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Idaho in 1955. America's fasination with flight and space travel made the Aerospace Industry a rapidly growing industry and Vic was recruited by North American Aviation in Canoga Park, California. Their he got his first taste of developing transient simulation methods and computer programs for the analysis of supersonic flow.

In 1959 an opportunity for advancement opened up at the Aerojet General Corporation in Sacramento, California. This new position gave him supervisory responsibility over Aerojet's fluid mechanics and heat transfer groups. Here he developed and directed a large scaled effort in simulation methods for liquid rocket engine systems. To advance his understanding of applied mathematics he began evening courses at Sacramento State; however, by the end of 1965, his interest in applied math and transient simulation lead him to Purdue University.

Under the supervision of Dr. J. D. Hoffman, Vic pursued an investigation into numerical solutions of three-dimensional supersonic flow fields applying the Method of Characteristics. The Method of Characteristics is related to the application and interpretation of eigenfunctions of the mathematical model of interest. His final project was one of the first computer codes for the numerical solution of three-dimensional supersonic flow.

After graduation, Dr. Ransom returned to Aerojet to continue his contribution to supersonic flow. In 1973, after Aerojet Nuclear was award the managing contract of the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. Dr. Ransom jumped at the opportunity to return to his Idaho home and try his hand at the nuclear power plant simulation. Shortly after arriving in Idaho, he, along with Dr. John Trapp and Dick Wagner, began building the foundation of what would become the RELAP5 best-estimate thermal-hydraulic computer code for light water reactor safety analysis.

In 1979, they received formal NRC funding to pursue the development of RELAP5 from its origin as the PILOT code. Over the next six years, RELAP5 would development into a world class systems code. Along the way, Dr. Ransom and Dr. Trapp would contribute to many technical question surrounding the modeling of two-phase flow including: the role of numerical damping, a two-pressure model of two-phase flow, a choked flow model, and the use of Characteristics to develop numerical boundary conditions. After the completion of RELAP5/MOD2 in 1985, Dr. Ransom continued his activity in RELAP5 development as a consultant. At that time he was recognized by the INEL and promoted to Scientific and Engineering Fellow - the highest technical level for an employee at the INEL. In 1991, Dr. Ransom left the INEL to serve as professor and head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Purdue University.

His technical contributions are well documented in the peer reviewed literature and have garnered awards from the NRC (citation for RELAP5 development), the Idaho ANS Section (Fellow), the Society for Computer Simulation (citation), the University of Idaho (elected to the Alumni Hall of Fame), and most recently, elected to fellow grade, American Nuclear Society. He currently serves on the NRC Thermal Hydraulic Experts Committee and regularly consults on two-phase flow fundamentals.

[Biography derived from Dr. Ransom's Resume]