Clemente Parga

Lead Engineer

Zap Energy

Dr. Parga’s engineering background is in Metallurgical and Materials (MME) Engineering. He obtained his Doctorate degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Idaho (2014), his B.Sc. (2007) and M.Sc. (2009) degrees in MME from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Dr. Parga has devoted his career to the development of materials for hostile environments, from nuclear reactors to rocket engines. He first entered the workforce as a Metallurgist in the automotive industry. He quickly discovered his passion for the Research and Development of materials and spent his graduate years testing novel alloys for use in energy production technologies. While coursing his Ph.D. degree, he was a full-time researcher for the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in France, focusing on nuclear reactor materials and safety. During his postdoc he supported the fuel conversion of the TREAT reactor at the Idaho National Lab before moving to Pacific Northwest to work for Blue Origin, where he supported the development of rocket engine materials including the Blue Moon Lunar Lander.

After several years in the aerospace sector, he got the opportunity to move back to the nuclear world when he joined Zap Energy, where he is currently leading the development of their fusion reactor materials including the plasma-facing liquid metal fuel-breeding blanket.

Dr. Parga holds a patent on the LASER 3D-printing of uranium silicide fuels and just recently submitted a patent application on a new liquid alloy blanket for use in fusion reactors.

Dr. Parga has always strived to find purpose in the application of materials engineering for the development of technologies that can benefit society and the environment.  His main goal is developing materials for technologies that can benefit the Earth and its inhabitants.