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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.

Dante Quirinale

Postdoc, Neutron Technologies Division
Ph.D., Condensed Matter Physics, Iowa State University
Hometown: Swanton, Vermont

What are you working on at ORNL?

I develop and use levitators to study materials with neutron scattering at very high temperatures. Topics I’m currently working on include the nature of magnetic ordering in liquid metals, potential prenucleation clustering in industrially important melts, and microscopic understanding of creep deformation at ultrahigh temperatures.

What would you like to do in your career?

I hope to keep finding difficult questions that require unique, out-of-the-box solutions—particularly involving ideas that can change our understanding of the liquid state. Ideally, those solutions would help develop the next generation of materials. 

Why did you choose a career in science?

I love the feeling of diving deep into a new and exciting problem, especially in a team of like-minded professionals. In physics, those problems often lead to deep rabbit holes and many questions. And there is a chance these questions can push the envelope of what we know is possible.