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Four ORNL staff members named NSSA fellows

Four staff members from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been named fellows of the Neutron Scattering Society of America.

ORNL’s Bryan Chakoumakos, Christina Hoffmann, Thomas Proffen and Lee Robertson were among nine new fellows. Mark Dadmun, joint faculty at ORNL and the University of Tennessee, also received the honor.

NSSA fellows are recognized for their significant contributions to the North American neutron scattering community. They are honored for “advancing knowledge through original research and publication; innovative contributions in the application of neutron scattering; contributions to the promotion or development of neutron scattering; or techniques service and participation in the activities of the NSSA or neutron community.”

Chakoumakos is the team leader for Single-Crystal Diffraction, Neutron Scattering Division, where he uses crystallography, X-ray and neutron diffraction methods to research novel and technologically important materials. Previously, he led diffraction groups involving instruments at the High Flux Isotope Reactor and the Spallation Neutron Source for 11 years. A fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science, the Mineralogical Society of America and the American Crystallographic Association, he received the ACA’s Robert Bau Neutron Diffraction Award in 2019.

Hoffmann is a neutron scattering scientist in the Neutron Scattering Division. She led the construction of the TOPAZ single crystal diffractometer at SNS, where today she works on both the TOPAZ and CORELLI instruments and helps develop diffuse scattering techniques in the Diffraction Group. A founding member of ORNL’s Women in Neutron Sciences executive committee, she has mentored many students and postdocs and is active in local STEM outreach. Hoffmann was recently appointed to the ORNL Seed Money Fund review committee, which makes key funding decisions about the lab’s research.

Proffen is the team leader for Powder Diffraction, Neutron Scattering Division, and directs the High Performance Computing and Data Analytics Science Initiative in ORNL’s Neutron Science Directorate, which applies developments in computing, machine learning and data analytics to neutron scattering data. He has also been an active volunteer for STEM education activities, including Hour of Code and a nonprofit he founded, Oak Ridge Computer Science Girls. In 2018, he received the Tennessee Governor's Volunteer Star Award for these efforts.

Robertson leads the Neutron Optics and Polarization Development team in ORNL’s Neutron Technologies Division. He joined the X-ray Physics Group in ORNL’s former Metals and Ceramics Division in 1992 after completing a National Research Council fellowship in neutron scattering at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In 1993, he moved to the former Solid State Division to continue his work in ordering kinetics at the High Flux Isotope Reactor. He became interested in his current research activities after joining the neutron scattering program at SNS.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for DOE’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit energy.gov/science.