Photo of Saya Lee

Saya Lee

Assistant Professor


  • Nuclear Engineering

219 Hallowell Building


Research Website




Saya Lee is an assistant professor in the Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering. Lee earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University and his M.S. in mechanical engineering and B.S. in mechanical and electrical engineering with a minor in computer science from Handong University in South Korea. Lee has expertise in experimental nuclear thermal hydraulics for both light water reactors and advanced reactors and is developing advanced measurement techniques.



Journal Articles

  • Saya Lee and Yassin A Hassan, 2022, "Flow structures of the cross-flow over a five-layer helically coiled steam generator geometry", International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 95, (108950), pp. 22
  • Joseph Seo, Saya Lee, Se Ro Yang and Yassin A Hassan, 2021, "Experimental investigation of the annular flow caused by convective boiling in a heated annular channel", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 376, pp. 111088
  • Michael S. Gorman, Marilyn Delgado, Saya Lee and Yassin A. Hassan, 2019, "Analysis of Velocity Distributions Across a Model Helical Coil Steam Generator", Nuclear Technology, 205, (7), pp. 881-890
  • Elia Merzari, H. Yuan, A. Kraus, A. Obabko, P. Fischer, J. Solberg, Saya Lee, J. Lai, M. Delgado and Y. Hassan, 2019, "High-Fidelity Simulation of Flow-Induced Vibrations in Helical Steam Generators for Small Modular Reactors", Nuclear Technology, 205, (1-2), pp. 33-47
  • Samuel J. Lee, Saya Lee and Yassin A. Hassan, 2018, "Numerical investigation of turbulent flow in an annular sector channel with staggered semi-circular ribs using large eddy simulation", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 123, pp. 705-717
  • Saya Lee and Yassin A Hassan, 2018, "Experimental study of flow structures near the merging point of two parallel plane jets using PIV and POD", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 116, pp. 871-888
  • Marylin M Delgado, Saya Lee, Yassin A Hassan and NK Anand, 2018, "Flow visualization study at the interface of alternating pitch tube bundles in a model helical coil steam generator using particle image velocimetry", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 122, pp. 614--628
  • Rodolfo Vaghetto, Philip Jones, Nolan Goth, Mason Childs, Saye Lee, Duy Thien Nguyen and Yassin A Hassan, 2018, "Pressure measurements in a wire-wrapped 61-pin hexagonal fuel bundle", Journal of Fluids Engineering, 140, (3)
  • Thien Nguyen, Nolan Goth, Philip Jones, Saya Lee, Rodolfo Vaghetto and Yassin Hassan, 2017, "PIV measurements of turbulent flows in a 61-pin wire-wrapped hexagonal fuel bundle", International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, 65, pp. 47--59
  • Huhu Wang, Saya Lee, Yassin A Hassan and Arthur E Ruggles, 2016, "Laser-Doppler measurements of the turbulent mixing of two rectangular water jets impinging on a stationary pool", International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 92, pp. 206--227
  • Huhu Wang, Saya Lee and Yassin A Hassan, 2016, "Particle image velocimetry measurements of the flow in the converging region of two parallel jets", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 306, pp. 89--97
  • Yassin A Hassan, Serdar Osturk and Saya Lee, 2015, "Rheological characterization of buffered boric acid aqueous solutions in light water reactors", Progress in Nuclear Energy, 85, pp. 239-253
  • Saya Lee, Suhaeb S Abdulsattar, Rodolfo Vaghetto and Yassin A Hassan, 2015, "Permeability and compression of fibrous porous media generated from dilute suspensions of fiberglass debris during a loss of coolant accident", Nuclear Engineering and Design, 291, pp. 244--260
  • Saya Lee, Yassin A. Hassan, Suhaeb S. Abdulsattar and Rodolfo Vaghetto, 2014, "Experimental study of head loss through an LOCA-generated fibrous debris bed deposited on a sump strainer for Generic Safety Issue 191", Progress in Nuclear Energy, 74, pp. 166-175
  • Jae-Young Lee and Saya Lee, 2009, "Flow visualization in the scaled up pebble bed of high temperature gas-cooled reactor using particle image velocimetry method", Journal of engineering for gas turbines and power, 131, (6)

Conference Proceedings

  • Matthew Leoschke, Christopher Balbier, Saya Lee and Federico Scurti, 2023, "Fiber-Optic Flow Meter for High-Temperature, Corrosive Nuclear Environments", pp. 1601-1610
  • David Reger, Elia Merzari, Saya Lee, Paolo Balestra and Yassin A Hassan, 2023, "High-fidelity simulation of pebble beds: Toward an improved understanding of the wall channeling effect", pp. 3140-3154
  • Christopher Balbier, Scout Bucks, Matthew Leoschke, Federico Scurti and Saya Lee, , "High Temperature Gas Velocity Profile Measurement Using Fiber Optic Hot-Wire Velocimetry"

Research Projects

  • October 2023 - September 2025, "Development of the Technical Bases to Support Flexible Siting of Microreactors based on Right-Sized Emergency Planning Zones," (Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy).
  • October 2021 - November 2024, "High-Temperature Molten Salt Irradiation and Examination Capability for the Penn State Breazeale Reactor," (Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy).
  • October 2023 - September 2024, "High-Speed X-Ray Imaging System under a Chemically Protected Environment for Advanced High-Temperature Non-Water-Cooled Reactor Experiments," (Sponsor: U.S. Department of Energy).

Honors and Awards


Service to Penn State:

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The Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the top ranked nuclear engineering programs in the United States. The department distinguishes itself with a strong focus on experimental research. The actively growing department leads four educational programs for students pursuing a bachelor of science, a master of science, a master of engineering, or a doctoral degree. The Radiation Science and Engineering Center (RSEC) facilities, including the Breazeale Reactor, are available to nuclear engineering faculty and students at Penn State for research and instruction. RSEC houses the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, the country’s first and longest operating licensed nuclear research reactor. Having access to an operating research reactor is a key strength for the department and enables Penn State to harness research and educational opportunities that are unique in the United States. See how we’re inspiring change and impacting tomorrow at

Department of Nuclear Engineering

206 Hallowell Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-863-6222