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Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Douglas McGregor | University Distinguished Professor

Photo of Douglas McGregorBoyd D. Brainard Departmental Faculty Chair in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Director, Semiconductor Materials and Radiological Technologies Laboratory

Ph.D. – 1993, University of Michigan
Nuclear Engineering
M.S. – 1992, University of Michigan
Nuclear Engineering
M.S. – 1989, Texas A&M University
Electrical Engineering
B.S. – 1985, Texas A&M University
Electrical Engineering

Contact Information:
137F Ward Hall

Professional Experience
McGregor received B.A. (1985) and M.S. (1989) degrees, both in electrical engineering at Texas A&M University. He then received M.S. (1992) and Ph.D. (1993) degrees, both in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan. From 1994 to 1996 he held a post doctoral position at Sandia National Laboratory and then returned to the University of Michigan where he was an assistant research professor from 1997 to 2002. In 2002, he came to K-State as an associate professor and was promoted to professor in 2008. In 2015, he was awarded the rank of University Distinguished Professor and he holds the Boyd D. Brainard Chair in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering.

McGregor's research is focused on the design, development and deployment of novel radiation detectors and detector systems. In particular, he develops systems for measuring various ionizing and non-ionizing radiations based on semiconductor, scintillator, and gas-filled detectors. He specializes in semiconductor device physics, detector physics, semiconductor device designs, and fabrication of various semiconductor devices. Since coming to Kansas State University he and his students have created the Semiconductor Materials and Radiological Technologies (SMART) Laboratory with over 9000 sq. ft. of laboratory space. This facility for the fabrication of various radiation detectors is the largest at any US University.

McGregor is recognized world-wide for inventing several novel radiation detectors, one of the most notable is his invention and development of microstructured semiconductor neutron detectors (MSND). These detectors have been ganged together to form an inexpensive replacement for the very expensive 3He gas tube detectors used at US borders to detect illegal special nuclear materials. Other notable inventions by McGregor include the Frisch collar semiconductor gamma-ray spectrometer, the Li-foil gas-filled neutron detector, and the micro-pocket fission detector (MPFD). For his numerous inventions he and his students have received 16 allowed patents and 22 provisional patents. They also have three patents pending.

Academic Highlights
He and his team involved with the SMART Laboratory have received 44 extramural research awards totaling more than $23 million in the fifteen years McGregor has been at Kansas State University. In addition, he has received more than $4 million in donated or heavily discounted equipment for the SMART Lab. His funding comes from many national agencies and laboratories including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the U.S. Dept. of Defense, Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research, Bettis Atomic Laboratory, National Nuclear Security Agency, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Argonne National Laboratory.

He has published five book chapters on radiation detectors, more than 110 peer reviewed journal articles and more than 85 conference proceedings, which, as of 2017, have resulted in over 3800 citations and an H-index of 32 and i10-index of 99 according to Google Scholar. He and his students have presented more than 120 talks at national/international conferences, universities and workshops. With his unusual innovation and productivity, it is not surprising that McGregor has received many honors over the years. In particular, he and his students have received an unprecedented four R&D-100 Awards, an award for one of the top 100 inventions of the year. He has also received the College of Engineering Frankenhoff Outstanding Research Award (2006) and the CoE Engineering Distinguished Researcher Award (2016). Professor McGregor has directed the completion of 10 Ph.D. dissertations and 11 Master's theses. During the last 15 years, over 100 graduate and undergraduate students have received practical laboratory experience working in the SMART Laboratory.  His undergraduate and graduate students working in his SMART Lab have won more than 20 awards and are highly sought after by national laboratories and industry.

Publications and Awards