Mary Lou earned a B.S. in chemistry in 1987 and began professional life with 7 years of teaching secondary school in the U.S. and U.K. Subsequently, she studied environmental science (M.S.) and nuclear engineering (Ph.D.) at Penn State University (and Argonne National Laboratory – West), USA. From 2004 to present, Mary Lou has been
Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Idaho State University (ISU) with joint appointment as a researcher at the Idaho National Laboratory.
Mary Lou has advised/performed research in waste form development, various aspects of spent fuel pyroprocessing, spent particle fuel qualification, plate fuel development and fuel cycle modeling. She led a team of researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory to perform fuel cycle modeling. Current research focuses on characterization of irradiated graphite with application to waste minimization for Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) reactors. Teaching responsibilities have included introductory nuclear engineering courses (at ISU and at the North-West University of South Africa) and development of new courses in radioactive waste management.
In 2008 and early 2009, Mary Lou worked for Pebble Bed Modular Reactor, Ltd. in reactor physics. Mary Lou also was appointed to the Chemical Eng. Dept. of the Univ. of Pretoria to research treatment of irradiated graphite waste.
Mary Lou lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Since 1992, she has been an active member of the American Nuclear Society at both local and national levels. Currently, she serves as Chair of the Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division of ANS and is faculty advisor for the ISU student section, with joint appointment as a researcher at the Idaho National Laboratory.