Professor Mohamed A. Abdou

Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, UCLA
Director, Fusion Science & Technology Center at UCLA
Director, Center for Energy Science and Technology Advanced Research (CESTAR)


Publications / Presentations


M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering – University of Wisconsin
B.S. – University of Alexandria

Areas of Research

Professor Abdou’s research involves theory, modeling, experiments, design, and analysis. The research includes both basic and applied research. The general area of application is fusion engineering with special emphasis on Fusion Nuclear Technology (FNT). The focus of the basic research has been on uncovering, understanding, and modeling of basic phenomena related to the responses of solids and fluids to the fusion environment. The applied research has aimed to: a) develop predictive capability, b) identify engineering scaling laws for fusion testing facilities, and c) conceptualize and develop innovative designs for FNT components, and fusion reactors.

The research can be divided into 5 areas:

1.      Neutronics

2.      Tritium Behavior & Fuel Cycle

3.      Thermofluids

4.      Thermomechanics

5.      Innovative Designs and Engineering Testing

Key Professional Activities

  • Director, Fusion Science and Technology Center at UCLA (1998–present)
  • Founding President, US Council of Energy Research and Education Leaders (CEREL)
  • Director, Center for Energy Science and  Technology Advanced Research (CESTAR) (2003–present)
  • US Leader, International Test Blanket Module Program for ITER
  • Chairman, International Standing Committee for Fusion Nuclear Technology (1991–1994, 1997–2002)
  • Leader, APEX (Advanced Power Extraction) Project, a multi-national, multi-disciplinary, and multi-institutional project for innovative high power density fusion nuclear technology. (1997–2003)
  • Leader, US-Japan Collaboration on Thermofluids and Thermomechanics (1995–2009)
  • Leader, US-Japan Collaboration on Neutronics and Radiation Shielding, Integral Neutronics Experiments, Codes and data development (1983–1996)
  • Chairman, World Bank International Consultants Committee on Science and Technology (1995–1997)
  • Member, US Environmental Protection Agency delegation to Workshop on Environmentally Conscious Manufacturing in Cairo (1996)
  • Leader, International Energy Agency (IEA) Study on High-Volume Plasma Based Neutron Sources (participants: Europe, Japan, USA, Russia; observers: China) (1994–1995)
  • US Leader for ITER Technology Testing [ITER is the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, a $10 billion collaborative project between the U.S., Japan, Europe, and Russia] (Leader of the International Program, 1987–1989 and 1993–1995; Leader of the U.S. Program 1987–1999)
  • Member, White House Panel on Environmentally Sustainable Development (1990)
  • US Leader of several collaborative Fusion Technology Programs with Europe, Japan, China, Korea, and Russia
  • Leader of FINESSE (The most comprehensive study to date of engineering scaling issues, phenomena, experiments and facilities for Fusion Nuclear Technology) (1983–1987)
  • Leader of several multi-institution, multi-disciplinary system and technology studies (e.g., STARFIRE, Blanket Comparison and Selection Study, INTOR Fusion Technology, FINESSE)
  • Editor-in-Chief, Fusion Engineering and Design (Scholarly Journal published by Elsevier)

Honors and Awards

  • Chinese Government Friendship Award (2018)

China’s highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to the country’s economic and social progress and excellence in various fields that include industry, agriculture, energy, environmental protection, education, science and technology, medical care and public health, culture and sports.

  • Fusion Power Associates Distinguished Career Award (2016)

“In appreciation of many years of dedication to advancing the prospects of fusion power”

  • International Distinguished Scientist Fellowship of the President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2015)
  • “2010 Einstein Professorship” Award from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2010)
  • Top (first) and 4th most cited journal articles in Fusion Engineering since 1996, Elsevier (2008)
  • 9th International Conference for Energy & the Environment Award (2005)

Award given for “his seminal and pioneering contributions to fusion science and technology, and for his dedication to promoting international collaboration in science and technology.”

  • Miya-Abdou Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Fusion Nuclear Technology (2002)

An award founded by the International Steering Committee for Fusion Nuclear Technology (ISFNT) to be given every two years in recognition of Miya and Abdou’s pioneering scholarly research and leadership contributions in laying the technical foundations for and advancing the field of Fusion Nuclear Technology.

  • American Muslim Achievement Award (2000)

Presented annually to recognize American Muslims who have made truly outstanding contributions in their fields of work, and to the world community. Past recipients include Nobel Prize winners, Film Directors, Scientists, and Corporate Chief Executives.

  • University of California “Distinguished Professor” (1999)

Awarded in recognition of being “a scholar and teacher of the highest distinction.”

  • Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award (1996)

“For outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion. In selecting you the Board recognizes the outstanding job you have done over many years to provide vision, leadership and direction to the U.S. and world Fusion technology programs. We recognize both your prolific technical contributions and your leadership of several multi-institutional technical and planning studies.”

  • Leader, International Study on High Volume Plasma-Based Neutron Sources (1994)

Selected by the Heads of the World Programs to lead the study under the auspices of the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 1994-1995. Major participants included Europe, Japan, and the U.S. The study conducted a technical evaluation and recommended a new facility (VNS) at a cost of 2 billion dollars.

  • Fellow, American Nuclear Society (1990)

“For his outstanding contributions to the advancement of nuclear science and engineering. For his outstanding contributions to fusion science and engineering and the development of fusion nuclear technology including pioneering research in fusion neutronics, blanket, and shielding analysis, and for exceptional leadership of several reactor design studies and fusion nuclear engineering research projects.”

  • Fellow, The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (1988)
  • ANS Outstanding Achievement Award (1988)

The Outstanding Achievement Award is the most prestigious award of the Fusion Engineering Division of ANS. It is presented to an ANS member in recognition of exemplary individual achievement requiring professional excellence and leadership of high caliber in the area of fusion science and engineering.

  • US Department of Energy Distinguished Associate Award (1988)

(Most prestigious award by the Secretary of Energy to DOE contractor.) “This award is in recognition of your exceptional leadership of the Technical Program Analysis activity. Your efforts have resulted in the first comprehensive and detailed technical plan for the development of fusion energy. This body of work will serve as a solid foundation for both long-term planning in the U.S. Magnetic Fusion Energy Program, as well as for international.”

  • U.S. Department of Energy Certificate of Appreciation (1988)

“For your dedicated efforts during the International Tokamak Reactor (INTOR) study. Your work has pioneered the process of four-party interactions in fusion research that has opened the way for us to proceed with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor program. Also, your efforts in identifying differences and similarities among the national approaches to the next major device in fusion have set the tone for ITER and allowed us to expect that the ITER work will be successful.”

  • Japan Atomic Energy Association Special Recognition (1985) “For distinguished contributions to the world fusion program.”
  • U.S. Department of Energy Special Recognition of Outstanding Contribution (1984)

“For outstanding contributions toward more effective U.S./Japan fusion cooperation. His internationally recognized stature as a technical authority on the substance of the collaborative program and the leadership which he personally brought to bear…his style of excellence which brings credit to himself and to…UCLA.”

  • American Nuclear Society Young Members Engineering Achievement Award (1982)

“For recognition of outstanding contributions to fusion technology and engineering including pioneering developments in fusion neutronics and shielding analysis, leadership in the STARFIRE tokamak reactor conceptual design, and direction of the nuclear systems and materials analysis for the US Fusion Engineering Device (FED) and International Tokamak Reactor (INTOR) Project.”

  • Invited Keynote Speaker to numerous major international conferences and workshops. Invited Seminar Speaker in various institutions (academic, government, and industry) in USA, Europe, Japan, Russia, Korea, and China.
  • Chaired many scientific review and advisory panels for the US Government, Academy of Sciences, and international organizations.



Over 450 publications in peer reviewed scholarly journals, plus over 140 publications in conference proceedings, and over 60 topical reports on fusion nuclear technology, heat transfer, magnetohydrodynamics, tritium production and processing, particle transport, radiation protection, materials, thermomechanical applications, and renewable energy sources. Research covers design, experiments, modeling, analysis, and prototype testing. Several publications on technical planning of R&D for large national and collaborative international technology projects and facilities.


Presentations, Seminars and Keynote Addresses

Over 400 presentations given at various conferences, symposia, workshops, and planning meetings; invited keynote speaker at numerous highly regarded international conferences; seminars given at leading institutes, government agencies, and universities.


Contact Information

Phone: (310) 206-0501
Office: UCLA, MAE Dept, 44-114 ENG IV
Los Angeles, CA, 90095-1597
E-mail: abdou@fusion.ucla.edu