Dr. Iaroslav Meleshenkovskii: Scientific Project Leader

Dr. Iaroslav Meleshenkovskii is a nuclear physicist who leads the EU funded MAGFAST project at the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) of Forschungszentrum Jülich at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum in Garching.

Herr Meleshenkovskii is leaning against a parapet in a suit for a portrait photo.
Forschungszentrum Jülich

How did you become aware of FZ-Jülich?

I am a nuclear physicist specialising in applied nuclear metrology. Before joining the Forschungszentrum Jülich, I was working at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) on the EU funded project MICADO that addresses an important societal problem of nuclear waste packages characterisation. For me, the essential factor was the opportunity to continue my research activities in the domain that I am passionate about while having the possibility of contributing to another societal problem. Such an opportunity opened up with the GNeuS COFUND fellowship program hosted by the Jülich Centre for Neutron Science (JCNS) at the Forschungszentrum Jülich; this is a project devoted to developing a new technology based on fast neutrons for rapid characterisation of rare-earth magnets in industrial applications. I became aware of the activities at the Forschungszentrum Jülich in the domain of applied nuclear metrology while working at the CEA; in the past, there has been joint research between the CEA and Forschungs­zentrum Jülich in this area.

What are you working on and for which tasks are you responsible?

At the branch office at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum of the JCNS of Forschungszentrum Jülich, my main responsibility is to lead the EU funded MAGFAST project (GNeuS COFUND programme grant); this project is devoted to R&D with a fast neutron inelastic scattering technique for characterisation of rare-earth magnets in industrial applications. Rare-earth magnets are a critical component of modern technologies and their recycling is of strategic importance in view of sustainable handling of valuable resources. At the forefront stage of their recycling process, a non-destructive analytical technique is required to characterise the magnets and determine the element composition. This is what we work on in the framework of the project.

My tasks include theoretical and experimental work, analytics, development of algorithms and numerical models, Monte Carlo simulations, integrating new ideas and machine learning tools. I am responsible for organising joint meetings with academia and industry, which allows me to collaborate in an international environment and to take a global perspective for advancing my field of research by exploring interdisciplinary and intersectoral aspects. I was also selected as a GNeuS fellows representative to the governing board, an experience that I find important to expand leadership and managerial skills.

I hope that my research will help demonstrate the potential of this new technology for industrial applications and will contribute to advancement and sustainability of neutron analytical techniques.

What are the scientific challenges in your field of research?

Following the ratification of the European Critical Raw Materials Act (published on 16 March 2023), recycling of rare-earth elements contained in magnetic material waste streams is an important step towards sustainability of valuable resources. Efficient recycling requires front-end sorting of magnets according to not only their type but also to their rare-earth elements content. As a result, there is a need for a non-destructive analytical technique that is capable of qualitative and quantitative analysis of such waste streams. At an industrial scale, this is a new challenge, because the analysis needs to be done rapidly and on bulk materials.

What aspects of your work motivate you?

Research gives me the opportunity to realise myself by tackling important societal problems and tasks. Every project on which I have worked to date was a new challenge. The opportunity to learn and explore new allows me to broaden my horizons, refine and build new competencies, which is also key. The motivation lies in generating new ideas by combining different fields of knowledge and demonstrating their feasibility to tackle societal problems.

Last Modified: 01.12.2023