Dr. Rita Baranwal joined Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in 2016 as the Director for the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative and has over 20 years of experience in the nuclear energy industry. She is responsible for providing the nuclear industry and other stakeholders access to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) state-of-the-art research & development (R&D) expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure to achieve faster and cost-effective development, demonstration, and ultimate deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies.
Prior to joining INL, Dr. Baranwal served as Director of Technology Development and Application at Westinghouse. There, she led the creation and development of game-changing technologies and managed characterization and hot cell laboratories to support Westinghouse, its customers and the nuclear power industry. Her previous positions at Westinghouse included director of Core Engineering and manager of Materials and Fuel Rod Design. Prior to joining Westinghouse, she was a manager in Materials Technology at Bechtel Bettis, Inc. where she led and conducted R&D in advanced nuclear fuel materials for US Naval Reactors.
Dr. Baranwal was adjunct faculty at University of South Carolina's nuclear engineering graduate program from 2010-2012. She received her bachelor's degree from MIT in materials science and engineering and her master's degree and Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Michigan. She also completed an executive management program at Duquesne University's Beard Institute in 2009.
Baranwal currently serves as Chair of the Executive Committee of the American Nuclear Society’s (ANS) Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD). Rita sits on Advisory Boards for MIT’s Materials Research Laboratory and UC Berkeley’s Nuclear Engineering Department. She also serves on the Board of Directors for North Hills Community Outreach.