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ORNL’s Sholl elected to National Academy of Engineering

ORNL’s Sholl elected to National Academy of Engineering

David Sholl, director of the Transformational Decarbonization Initiative at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions in addressing large-scale chemical separation challenges, including carbon dioxide capture, using quantitative materials modeling.

Being elected to the National Academy of Engineering, or NAE, is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. New members are elected by their peers, with this new class bringing total U.S. membership to 2,310. The newly elected class will be formally inducted during the NAE's annual meeting on Sept. 29, 2024. 

“David has earned this recognition through years of impactful research and development in chemical separations, which is an important part of decarbonizing the economy,” ORNL Director Stephen Streiffer said. “At ORNL, he has demonstrated an ability to bring together scientists across disciplines to deliver real-world results. It is a privilege to have him as a colleague.”

Sholl joined ORNL in 2021. The Transformational Decarbonization Initiative brings together science capabilities and expertise from across the laboratory to advance development and deployment of decarbonization solutions for the nation’s energy system. In addition to his responsibilities as a director, Sholl has been named the interim executive director of the University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge Innovation Institute, and also leads an Energy Earthshot Research Center aimed at reducing industrial emissions through more sustainable chemical processes.  

“This recognition is a reflection of many years of wonderful work by the graduate students and postdoctoral researchers I have worked with, as well as the creativity of the collaborators I have been fortunate to work alongside,” Sholl said. 

Prior to joining ORNL, Sholl worked at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was the John F. Brock III School Chair in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. He previously was on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University for 10 years and held postdoctoral appointments at Pennsylvania State University and Yale University.

Sholl is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is the Editor-in-Chief of AIChE Journal and has published more than 400 papers and three books. His recent book, “Success and Creativity in Scientific Research,” offers career advice to young scientists based on a popular lecture series at Georgia Tech.

“Being elected to the National Academy of Engineering is an honor, but an honor that comes with a service obligation,” explains NAE President John L. Anderson. “As leading experts in their field, NAE members volunteer their time on initiatives that help guide the development of federal laws and regulations, improve the effectiveness of government programs, shape the direction of research fields and engineering education and inform public knowledge and dialogue about issues of critical importance.”

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s 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, visit