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Four ORNL researchers elected AAAS fellows


OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 28, 2018 – Four researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

The AAAS is the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society and publisher of the Science family of journals. ORNL’s four fellows join a class of 416 members awarded the honor this year by the AAAS for their “scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.”

Phillip F. Britt, director of the Chemical Sciences Division, was elected by the AAAS section on chemistry for “distinguished contributions in the field of fuel chemistry, service to the chemistry profession and leadership of a world-class research organization.”

Britt joined ORNL in 1988 as a physical organic chemist and has led the lab’s Chemical Sciences Division since 2006. He is a highly published author, a fellow of the American Chemical Society and received the Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award in 2015. He is also on the Board of Visitors for the Department of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee.

Stephan Irle, computational soft matter scientist in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division and the Chemical Sciences Division, was elected by the AAAS section on chemistry for “distinguished contributions to the field of computational chemistry, particularly for modeling and predictions of electronic and molecular structure and complex systems dynamics.”

Before joining ORNL in 2017, Irle was a professor of chemistry and a founding principal investigator of the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules at Nagoya University in Japan. He was a member of the Japanese “K supercomputer” support project and specializes in the quantum chemical study of complex systems, including soft matter and biosimulations, excited states of large molecules, catalysis and geosciences.

Bruce Moyer, leader of the Chemical Separations Group in the Chemical Sciences Division, was elected by the AAAS section on chemistry for “exemplary service, research and technology development in the field of separation science and technology benefiting the environment, nuclear energy and critical materials.”

Moyer is an ORNL Corporate Fellow with nearly 40 years of experience in separation science and technology, especially in applying fundamental principles to waste treatment, nuclear fuel recycle and the recovery of critical materials. Bruce led the chemical development of the caustic-side solvent extraction (CSSX) process used in the cleanup of millions of gallons of high-level radioactive waste at the Savannah River Site, which earned him multiple awards, including the Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award. He also leads a focus area on diversifying critical materials supply for clean energy for the DOE’s Critical Materials Institute.

Amy Wolfe, leader of the Society, Energy and Environment Group in the Environmental Sciences Division, was elected by the AAAS section of Societal Impacts of Science and Engineering for “distinguished achievements in quality, visibility and application of social science research on the science and technology enterprise within the U.S. national laboratories and beyond.”

Wolfe has studied the social, institutional and behavioral intersections of society and technology and led several research groups since joining ORNL in 1985. She serves on the AAAS Committee on Scientific Freedom and Responsibility, was a program committee member for the Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference and has represented ORNL in several multi-laboratory efforts for the Department of Defense and the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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