Prof. Rick Holt has been conducting and managing research into the fabrication and behavior of nuclear reactor materials and their in-service performance since 1968. He has worked at Atomic energy of Canada Ltd., the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology and Ontario Hydro. In 2002, he started a new program at Queen’s University as the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Materials, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation Inc., the CANDU Owners Group, and Nu-Tech Precision Metals Inc., through the University Network of Excellence in Nuclear Engineering. The Nuclear Materials Group at Queen’s has since grown from one individual to about 30 researchers including five full-time faculty members. While at Queen’s, Rick also acted as a consultant to the nuclear industry. At queen’s he also conceived, and in collaboration with Prof. Mark Daymond, planned, obtained funding for, and oversaw the construction and commissioning of, a new $17.5M laboratory for testing materials under simulated nuclear reactor core conditions – the Reactor Materials Testing Laboratory (RMTL).
Rick retired from Queen’s in 2012, and is now an Emeritus Professor. In that capacity, he developed licensing and training documentation for RMTL as a Class 2 nuclear facility. He continues to advise the Nuclear Materials Group at Queen’s, and works with industry on the performance of reactor components.
One of Rick’s goals in starting a nuclear materials program at Queen’s University was to provide highly qualified staff for the Canadian Nuclear Industry, and graduates of the nuclear materials program now work at Bruce Power Inc., SNC Lavalin Nuclear, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (formerly Chalk River Laboratories), Kinectrics Inc. and AMEC Foster Wheeler Inc. as well as other, non-nuclear, concerns.
Most of Rick’s research has been on zirconium alloys, with an emphasis on mechanical behavior, radiation effects and in-service deformation, but he has also worked on mechanical behavior of corrosion resistant high-nickel alloys for nuclear steam generators. For his work on zirconium, Rick was awarded the ASTM Russ Ogden award in 1994, and the William J. Kroll Zirconium Medal in 2004.
Rick holds a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Metallurgy and Materials Science from the University of Toronto. He has published more than 200 papers and technical reports.