Since Judith Vidal joined the Building and Thermal Sciences Center in 2010, she has established an international reputation for her cutting-edge work on molten salts. In performing that research, she built a first-class laboratory for measuring the full range of thermophysical material properties and performing corrosion tests.
She has published many journal articles on her work in journals such as Nature Materials Degradation, and she received a prestigious NREL Chairman’s Award in 2017. Vidal has been successful leading many DOE projects, collaborating with other national laboratories and institutions around the world.
Related to her research with concentrating solar power (CSP), she developed coatings to protect containment materials at high temperatures (600°–900°C) in molten salts and liquid metal alloys. She is using electrochemical and mass changes techniques to study the degradation behavior of these materials. Vidal is also studying new formulations of molten salts and liquid metal alloys as thermal energy storage and advanced heat transfer fluids for CSP systems. She developed a new process in molten-salt electrolysis for which a patent was granted.
Vidal is a joint faculty member at the Colorado School of Mines. She has diversified her expertise and capabilities in other technologies such as water splitting electrolysis, fuel cells, thermoelectrics, and biofuels. Her collaborative efforts, domestically and internationally, cover several technologies and leverage the R&D activities for early-stage research to create efficient and interactive buildings to help decrease energy consumption.
Ph.D. Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
M.S. Materials Engineering, Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela
B.S. Materials Engineering, Simon Bolivar University, Venezuela