About Us

The McDonald Research Lab focuses on three primary topic areas: environmental radiochemistry, spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, and WMD Prevention. While these topics may seem quite diverse, they are all interrelated and devoted to our core research philosophy of improving our fundamental knowledge of basic radionuclide material properties to aid in the rapid detection of hostile nuclear materials, remediate and dispose of radioactive materials in an environmentally responsible manner, and develop advanced processes for the recycling of spent nuclear fuel. 
Recent Publications
  • Cuong, L.; Olsen, A.; Schwerdt, I.; Porter, R.; Sentz, K.; McDonald, L.; Tasdizen, T., “A New Approach for Quantifying Morphological Features of U3O8 for Nuclear Forensics using a Deep Learning Model”, Journal of Nuclear Materials (2019).
  • Olsen, A. M.; B. Richards, I. Schwerdt, L. McDonald “Morphological Signatures of U3O8 and UO2 after Ageing at Elevated Temperatures in Controlled Oxygen Environments” Radiochimica Acta (2019).
  • Schwerdt, I. J.; Hawkins, C. G.; Taylor, B.; Brenkmann$, A.; Martinson$, S.; McDonald, L.W., “Uranium Oxide Synthetic Pathway Discernment Through Thermal Decomposition and Morphological Analysis”, Radiochimica Acta (2019).
  • Liu, W.; McDonald IV, L.W.; Wang, X.; Miller, J.D., Bastnaesite Flotation Chemistry Issues Associated with Alkyl Phosphate Collectors. Minerals Engineering (2018), 127, 286-295.
  • Schwerdt, Ian J., Alexandria Brenkmann, Sean Martinson, Brent D. Albrecht, Sean Heffernan, Michael R. Klosterman, Trenton Kirkham, Tolga Tasdizen, and Luther W. McDonald IV. "Nuclear proliferomics: A new field of study to identify signatures of nuclear materials as demonstrated on alpha-UO3." Talanta 186 (2018): 433-444.
  • Olsen, Adam, Ian Schwerdt, Bryony Richards, and Luther W. McDonald. "Quantification of high temperature oxidation of U3O8 and UO2." Journal of Nuclear Materials 508 (2018): 574-582.
  • Schwerdt, Ian J., Adam Olsen, Robert Lusk, Sean Heffernan, Michael Klosterman, Bryce Collins, Sean Martinson, Trenton Kirkham, and Luther W. McDonald IV. "Nuclear forensics investigation of morphological signatures in the thermal decomposition of uranyl peroxide." Talanta 176 (2018): 284-292.
  • Levinthal, Joseph D., Bryony Richards, Mathew S. Snow, Matthew G. Watrous, and Luther W. McDonald IV. "Correlating NORM with the mineralogical composition of shale at the microstructural and bulk scale." Applied Geochemistry 76 (2017): 210-217.
  • Olsen, Adam M., Bryony Richards, Ian Schwerdt, Sean Heffernan, Robert Lusk, Braxton Smith, Elizabeth Jurrus, Christy Ruggiero, and Luther W. McDonald IV. "Quantifying morphological features of α-U3O8 with image analysis for nuclear forensics." Analytical chemistry 89, no. 5 (2017): 3177-3183.
  • McDonald IV, Luther W., James A. Campbell, Thomas Vercouter, and Sue B. Clark. "Characterization of actinides complexed to nuclear fuel constituents using ESI-MS." Analytical chemistry 88, no. 5 (2016): 2614-2621.
  • McDonald IV, Luther W., James A. Campbell, and Sue B. Clark. "Failure of ESI spectra to represent metal-complex solution composition: a study of lanthanide–carboxylate complexes." Analytical chemistry 86, no. 2 (2014): 1023-1029.
  • McDonald IV, L.; Goheen, S.; Donald, P.; Campbell, J., Identification and quantitation of Various Inositols and O-Methylinositols Present in Plant Roots Related to Soybean Cyst Nematode Host Status. Nematropica (2012), 42 (1), 1-8.
  • Vaughan, Pamela P., Paul Novotny, Nicole Haubrich, Luther McDonald, Michael Cochran, Julia Serdula, Raid W. Amin, and Wade H. Jeffrey. "Bacterial Growth Response to Photoactive Quinones." Photochemistry and photobiology 86, no. 6 (2010): 1327-1333.
  • Garland, Shaun, Steven Goheen, Pat Donald, Luther McDonald, and James Campbell. "Application of derivatization gas chromatography/mass spectrometry for the identification and quantitation of pinitol in plant roots." Analytical Letters 42, no. 13 (2009): 2096-2105.