Dr. Lei Raymond Cao is a Professor and Program Director of the Nuclear Engineering Program at The Ohio State University (OSU). He also serves as the Director of OSU-Nuclear Reactor Lab (since 2016). Dr. Cao received his B.S. degree in experimental nuclear physics from Lanzhou University (1994), MS in nuclear physics from CIAE (2002), and Ph.D. from the nuclear and radiological engineering program at the University of Texas at Austin (2007). Prior to joining OSU in 2009, Dr. Cao was a research associate at the Positron Emission Tomography Lab at Harvard Medical School and then at the Center for Neutron Research, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at Maryland.

Dr. Cao's research interests focus on nuclear instrumentation and radiation detection; wide bandgap semiconductors radiation sensors (e.g., perovskite, SiC, GaN, Ga2O3) for harsh and extreme environments found in nuclear, space, and industrial applications; radiation effects and survivability of sensors; and the applications of nuclear analytical methods, e.g., Neutron Depth Profiling for Lithium-ion Battery characterizations and Neutron Tomography for advanced materials characterization.  

Dr. Cao has published 110+ peer-reviewed journal articles and ~ 60 conference proceedings.

Dr. Cao is the Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science and on the editorial board of Nuclear Science and Engineering. He is on the executive committee of the Isotope and Radiation Division (IRD) at the American Nuclear Society (ANS) and served as the IRD chair during 2015-2016.


  • WBG Semiconductor Radiation Sensor

  • Nuclear Instrumentation

  • Radiation Effects and Survivability

  • Nuclear Voltaic Battery

  • Reactor and In-pile Instrumentation

  • Neutron Analytical Techniques (Neutron Depth Profiling for Li-ion Battery, PGNAA)

  • Neutron Radiography and Tomography