Travis W. Knight holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Florida (2000). He joined the Nuclear Engineering Program in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of South Carolina (USC) in Fall 2004 and is currently an Associate Professor and the Program Director for Nuclear Engineering. His research centers on advanced nuclear fuels, fuel cycle analysis, nuclear safeguards, and space nuclear power. Dr. Knight has more than 15 years of experience modeling and experimenting with advanced nuclear fuels for a wide range of applications including high temperature composite, coated particle, and space nuclear fuels. In 2001, Dr. Knight received the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD) Significant Contribution Award for work on mixed carbide fuels. In 2011, he received the Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award given by Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. His fuel cycle research with graduate students at USC has twice been recognized nationally with the 2010 and 2011 Department of Energy, Innovations in Fuel Cycle Research Award. He is the 2012 recipient of the Biedenbach Distinguished Service Award at the University of South Carolina.
At the University of South Carolina, he and his graduate students have built a laboratory for the study of advanced nuclear fuels and is presently studying advanced light-water reactor fuels as part of a program on accident tolerant fuels. Other projects have included coated particle fuels for Very High Temperature Reactors as well as other advanced composite fuel forms for fast reactor recycle. Dr. Knight's teaching includes Reactor Analysis, Fuel Management, Radiation Shielding, Nuclear Fuel Cycles, and Safety Analysis. He was the Principal Investigator or Co-PI on two successful multi-million dollar proposals for SmartState Centers of Economic Excellence related to Nuclear Power at USC.
He is the former chair of the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD) of the ANS, the current Chair (2013-14) of the Education, Training, and Workforce Development Division (ETWDD) of ANS; Chairman of the ANS Student Design Competition; and a member of the Board of Directors of Southeast Universities Nuclear Reactor Institute for Science and Education (SUNRISE), a consortium of SE universities addressing current and emerging issues in research, education, and service to support of the nuclear renaissance. He is Chair of the Technology Development Task Force for the Carolinas' Nuclear Cluster (an energy and economic development cluster for SC/NC). Dr. Knight has been a member of ANS since 1992, a member of the Columbia SC Local ANS Section, CASE (Clean and Safe Energy) Coalition, and Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA). He also serves as the Faculty Advisor of the USC Student Chapter of ANS and is a member of Alpha Nu Sigma and Tau Beta Pi Honor Societies.