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Materials Solutions to Secure the Nation’s Future 

Materials Science and Technology Division

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The Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD) conducts basic and applied research and development to realize advanced materials and processes, improve our understanding of the underpinnings of physical phenomena, and ultimately enable energy-efficient, cost-competitive, and environmentally attractive materials technologies for a variety of important national priorities.

MSTD's work aids the advancement of basic energy sciences and a variety of applied energy technologies, including energy efficiency and renewable energy, nuclear fusion and fission, fossil energy and carbon management, space exploration and national security. 

The division's scientific research focuses on materials science and engineering across three thrust areas:

  • Materials science for emergent phenomena, such as quantum information materials, critical materials, and novel functional materials
  • Materials science for manufacturing innovation, such as physical metallurgy, advanced alloys, ceramics and composites, and materials for advanced manufacturing
  • Materials for fusion, fission, and other extreme environments, such as radiation materials science, nuclear materials, and harsh environment interactions.

All three are supported by a fourth thrust area:

  • Materials theory and modeling, which includes computational discovery, quantum theory, microstructural evolutions modeling, and artificial intelligence/machine learning for materials science.

MSTD is a matrixed organization that contributes to programs across ORNL. It is made up of staff in 15 research and development groups, across four sections:

MSTD is responsible for the operations of a number of core capabilities at ORNL. With its world-leading core expertise, MSTD staff support the missions of all eight of the lab's science and technology directorates and three project offices.

In addition to work sponsored by the U.S. federal government, MSTD performs work for other strategic partners in private industry, non-profit organizations, and a select number of foreign government agencies. 

Furthermore, our staff is committed to enhancing science education and awareness among students of diverse backgrounds, from those at the pre-college level to post-doctoral researchers. MSTD accomplishes this through a variety of internship opportunities, post-graduate positions and community outreach programs. 


Director, Materials Science and Technology Division
Yutai Kato