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Hearne joins ORNL as director of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences

Sean Hearne has been named director of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Topic: Materials

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 8, 2019—The Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory has named Sean Hearne director of the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences.

The center is a DOE Office of Science User Facility that brings world-leading resources and capabilities to the nanoscience research community. National and international researchers benefit from CNMS expertise in nanomaterials synthesis and nanofabrication to develop new materials, as well as from state-of-the-art imaging, characterization, and microscopy equipment used to explore material properties at the nanoscale.

“I am very pleased and excited to add Sean to our team and look forward to continuing excellence in nanomaterial R&D under his leadership at CNMS,” said David Dean, associate laboratory director for Physical Sciences.

Hearne comes to Oak Ridge from Sandia National Laboratories, where he served as senior manager of the Ion Beam Facility and co-director of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, a DOE Office of Science User Facility jointly operated by Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Hearne has led research at Intel Corporation and Sandia Labs to advance materials science, nanofabrication, and grid energy storage. He has a doctorate in solid state physics from Arizona State University and holds multiple patents in micro- and nanofabrication techniques and systems.

He was also the 2018 president of the Materials Research Society and an invited energy review editor of the Journal of Materials Science, a Springer-Nature publication.

“I am very excited to be joining the team here at ORNL,” said Hearne. “CNMS’s leadership in nanoscience is a testimony to the world-class abilities of ORNL’s staff, and I am honored to be working with this team on pushing the boundaries of science.”

Hearne follows former CNMS Director Hans Christen and Interim Director Bobby Sumpter in the role.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the DOE Office of Science. The single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, the Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit