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Why Science?

ORNL is proud of its role in fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers. We bring in talented young researchers, team them with accomplished staff members, and put them to work at the lab’s one-of-a-kind facilities. The result is research that makes us proud and prepares them for distinguished careers. 

We asked some of these young researchers why they chose a career in science, what they are working on at ORNL, and where they would like to go with their careers.

Matthew Mulvehill

ASTRO Intern, Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences
M.S., Chemical Engineering Hometown:
Arcadia, California

What are you working on at ORNL?

The project I am working on focuses on the electrolysis of carbon dioxide to ethanol as an alternative fuel. I am designing a pressurized recirculating electrolysis cell system to study the effects of various conditions on the reaction to further mature the technology for a possible full-scale plant deployment.

What would you like to do in your career?

After I pursue and obtain a Ph.D. with research involving alternative or renewable energy technology, I want to find a career that allows me to learn and innovate in the energy industry. I will be a part of the solution to any energy problem the world faces in the future.

Why did you choose a career in science?

I find fulfillment through three senses that science allows me to chase: a sense of discovery when learning something new about an interesting subject, a sense of accomplishment from creatively solving a problem, and a sense of inspiration that stems from knowing your work will have the chance to benefit somebody’s life.