Media Contact: Bill Cabage
ORNL's Thundat elected fellow of AAAS
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Dec. 6, 2006 — Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Thomas Thundat has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Thundat, a member of the Biosciences Division at the Department of Energy laboratory and a UT-Battelle corporate fellow, is noted for research involving sensor technology and weapons detection. The AAAS Council cited Thundat's "pioneering work in developing a novel class of sensors for molecular recognition using nanomechanical sensor platforms."
Microcantilevers--microscopic devices that can be used for detecting a number of substances including trace quantities of chemical and biological agents--are one application of nanomechanical sensors.
One of Thundat's concepts uses the microcantilever technology to detect minute amounts of TNT, which could be applied to both national security missions and the reclamation of former battlefields and war zones.
Thundat's work with microcantilevers was cited when he received, in 2004, the Southeastern Section of the American Physical Society's Jesse W. Beams Research Award for research excellence. He was also listed as one of Scientific American magazine's "Scientific American 50 Award" winners that year.
In 2000 Thundat was a finalist for the Discover magazine awards. His work has also received R&D 100 and Federal Laboratory Consortium awards.
Thundat and his wife, Darilyn, have two daughters, Rachel and Tess, and a son, Jonah. The family resides in west Knoxville.
ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.