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Corporate Research Fellow

Steven Zinkle
Steven J Zinkle
For leadership and pioneering research in the fundamental effects of radiation on a broad range of metals and ceramics applicable to fission and fusion energy systems.


Dr. Zinkle received a B.S. degree in nuclear engineering, M.S. degrees in materials science and nuclear engineering, and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

He specializes in the physical metallurgy of structural materials; the effects of ion and neutron irradiation on the microstructure, physical properties, and mechanical properties of metals and ceramics; transmission electron microscopy; and fusion and space fission reactor materials studies.

Dr. Zinkle has worked in the ORNL Metals and Ceramics Division since 1985. He was a visiting scientist at Risø National Laboratory ( Roskilde, Denmark), Forschungszentrum Jülich ( Jülich, Germany), and Prometey Central Research Institute ( St. Petersburg, Russia) in 1991–1992. His research has concentrated on microstructure-property relationships in fusion reactor materials ( copper alloys, austenitic stainless steel, vanadium alloys, ceramic insulators, and SiC/SiC structural ceramics) and niobium-based alloys for space fission reactor applications. He has been the manager of the Fusion Materials Program since 1999 and leader of the Nuclear Materials Science and Technology Group since 2001.

He is the author co-author of more than 180 peer-reviewed scientific articles published in journals or in conference proceedings, including more than 30 invited papers presented at international conferences. He is an associate editor of the Journal of ASTM International and serves on the editorial boards of Material Science Foundations and Fusion Science and Technology. He has also chaired and served on committees for numerous professional conferences.

Dr. Zinkle joined ORNL in 1985 as a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow and is a fellow in ASM International and the American Ceramic Society. He received the Fusion Power Associates David J. Rose Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award in 1992 and the American Ceramic Society Nuclear & Environmental Technology Division Best Paper Award for 1994–1995. He is the recipient of three ORNL Technical Achievement awards as well as an ORNL Sustained Achievement Award, an ORNL World-Class Achievement Award, and a Martin Marietta Energy Systems Publication Award.

Dr Zinkle is the chair of the ASM International ASM/TMS Nuclear Materials Committee (2003–2005) and is a member of American Nuclear Society Materials Science and Technology Executive Committee (2003–2006). He is also a member of the American Ceramic Society, the Materials Research Society, and the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS).

He was appointed a corporate fellow in 2004.