Mark Pierson

Associate Professor of Practice

(540) 231-9112
Collegiate Square, Suite 306 (MC 0710)
460 Turner Street, NW
Arlington, VA 22203


  • PhD, Mathematics, Virginia Tech, 2005
  • MS, Mathematics, Virginia Tech, 2000
  • BA, German, University of California, Davis

Collegiate Square, Suite 306, Arlington, VA (MC 0710) Marker-48


  • Research

    • Nano-nuclear applications and radioisotope batteries
    • Nuclear fuel cycle
    • Medical radioisotope production
    • Nuclear security, nonproliferation and safeguards
    • Radiation transport, and radiation detection and measurement
    • Nuclear power plant operations and safety

  • Professional Affiliations

    • American Nuclear Society (ANS)
    • ANS Professional Divisions: Fuel Cycle and Waste Management; Nuclear Nonproliferation; Radiation Protection and Shielding; Reactor Physics
    • Virginia Local Section of the American Nuclear Society (VA-ANS)
    • American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nuclear Engineering Division
    • Institute for Nuclear Materials Management (INMM)
    • American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)
    • Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Activity Group: Analysis of Partial Differential Equations

  • Publications

  • Professional History

    • 2009-Present, Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech
    • 2007-2009, Research Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering Program, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech
    • 2005-2007, Joint Unmanned Systems Research Project Manager, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech
    • 2005-2005, Deep Underground Science & Engineering Lab Project Manager, Research Division, Virginia Tech
    • 2001-2005, Graduate Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant, Department of Mathematics, Virginia Tech
    • Related, non-academic experience – Served 23 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring at the rank of Commander. Positions included:
    • 1998 – 2001, Deputy Department Head of the Engineering, Materials and Physical Sciences Department and, Program Officer for Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarine Security, Office of Naval Research
    • 1994 – 1997, Submarine Maintenance Program Officer, for the Director of Submarine Warfare, Chief of Naval Operations staff, Pentagon
    • 1992 – 1994, Executive Officer, Second-in-Command, USS Indianapolis, SSN 697 (nuclear submarine)
    • 1989 – 1990, Staff Engineer, for the Director of Naval Reactors, a joint DOD/DOE organization, founded by Admiral Rickover, provided input for the operation and maintenance of all S5W naval nuclear reactors and shipboard radiological controls
    • 1986 – 1988, Chief Engineer, Head of the Engineering Department, USS Henry L. Stimson SSBN 655 (Gold), responsible for operation of the nuclear reactor and qualification of all operators
    • 1983 – 1986, Radiological Controls Officer, USS Canopus, AS 34, responsible for establishing and implementing all radiological precautions for nuclear maintenance on a squadron of submarines
    • 1980 – 1983, Electrical Officer, Reactor Controls Assistant, Assistant Engineer, USS Simon Bolivar SSBN 641 (Gold)

  • Awards & Honors

    • Virginia Tech College of Engineering W.S. “Pete” White Innovation in Engineering Education Award, 2012
    • Virginia Tech College of Engineering Certificate of Teaching Excellence, 2011
    • Virginia Tech College of Engineering Sporn Award for Excellence in Engineering Instruction by the Student Engineer’s Council, 2011
    • Virginia Tech College of Engineering Award for Outreach Excellence, 2008
    • Phi Kappa Phi, All-disciplines Honor Society, 2004
    • Pi Mu Epsilon, Mathematics Honor Society, 2003
    • Beta Gamma Sigma, Business and Management Honor Society, 1992

  • Professional Leadership

    • Chair, National Science Foundation Site Review Panel, for a Science and Technology Center: Integrative Partnership, 2012
    • Technical Program Chair, 4-day Science Teacher Workshop on ‘Science of Nuclear Energy & Radiation,’ 2010 and 2011
    • Co-Chair, Organizing Committee, 1st International Workshop on Accelerator-Driven Sub-Critical Systems and Thorium Utilization, 2010
    • Virginia Local Section of the American Nuclear Society, Executive Committee Member-at-Large, 2008-2012
    • Virginia Tech Student Section of American Nuclear Society, Faculty Advisor, 2008-2012 (initiated the student section at VT in 2008)
    • American Nuclear Society, Reactor Physics Division Executive Committee, 2012-2015
    • Advisory Board Member, Commonwealth Graduate Engineering Program, (state-level board) 2009-2013
    • Alternate Board Member, Southeast Universities Nuclear Reactors Institute for Science and Education (SUNRISE)
    • Chair, Nuclear Engineering Faculty Member Search Committee (2 positions)