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Mechanical Engineering

Max Gorensek

Adjunct Professor

Max Gorensek E-mail:
Phone: 803.725.1314
Fax: 803.777.0106
Office: 300 Main Street
Columbia, SC 29208

Dr. Gorensek is a chemical engineer with 24 years of professional experience, most recently with the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL), where he is actively involved in several thermochemical hydrogen production process development projects. His current focus is on flowsheet development, simulation, and optimization of the Hybrid Sulfur (HyS) process for a DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, Science, & Technology (DOE-NE)-sponsored effort under the Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative (NHI). He is also collaborating with Prof. John Weidner (Chemical Engineering Department) on developing flowsheets and providing economic analyses of HyS and other hybrid thermochemical cycles under DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy sponsorship. Dr. Gorensek is part of a team led by Dr. Bill Summers that is performing a conceptual design and economic analysis of a hypothetical nuclear heat-driven hydrogen production plant for a single industrial consumer using the Sulfur-Iodine (SI) cycle under DOE-NE’s Nuclear Energy Research Initiative (NERI). Another NERI project has Dr. Gorensek collaborating with Prof. Mark Thies (Clemson) and Prof. John O’Connell (University of Virginia) to do process analysis and design of the Sulfur-Iodine cycle using comprehensive phase equilibrium measurements and modeling of properties and processes.

Other highlights of Dr. Gorensek’s work at SRNL include his contributions to the development of a dynamic model of the High Level Waste evaporators, including a physical properties model that predicts the onset of problematic zeolite precipitation. Since joining SRNL, he has continued his involvement with Hanford WTP flowsheet model projects, providing critical support needed to meet deadlines for flowsheet deliverables on several occasions. Recently, he began mentoring graduate student interns at SRNL. His current intern is working on a HyS energy efficiency optimization project that will provide the basis for his master’s thesis.


  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1981
  • M.A., Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1978
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1977
  • B.S., Chemical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 1977

Selected Publications

  • Gorensek, MB, WA Summers, MR Buckner, and ZH Qureshi, "Conceptual Design for a Hybrid Sulfur Thermochemical Hydrogen Production Process," ANS Transactions, 92, 101 (2005)
  • Summers, WA, MR Buckner, MB Gorensek, and ET Danko, "Plant Definition and Economic Analysis for Centralized Nuclear Hydrogen Production," ANS Transactions, 92, 109 (2005)
  • Gorensek, MB, WA Summers and MR Buckner, "Model-Based Evaluation of Thermochemical Nuclear Hydrogen Processes," ANS Transactions, 91, 107 (2004)
  • Cowfer, JA and MB Gorensek, "Vinyl Chloride," Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, Fourth Ed., Vol. 24, New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., pp. 851-882 (1997)