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Researcher Profiles

ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to

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Nils Stenvig is modeling the nation’s bulk electric system for DOE’s North American Energy Resilience Model to better understand and predict the grid’s behavior.

Nils Stenvig has always had an interest in solving big problems. That desire drove his focus on electrical engineering in college and eventually led him to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where today he’s using his expertise to better understand the world’s largest machine—the electrical grid.

To understand the electronic structures of solids and predict their properties, ORNL’s Valentino Cooper uses density functional theory (DFT), which models how many electrons are in a region rather than where those electrons are. “DFT essentially presents one electron existing in a ‘sea foam’ and tells how dense that foam is,” he said. Credit: Carlos Jones/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Valentino (“Tino”) Cooper of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory uses theory, modeling and computation to improve fundamental understanding of advanced materials for next-generation energy and information technologies.

Ben Betzler, a reactor physics nuclear engineer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

As a reactor physics nuclear engineer, Ben Betzler leverages and develops computational methods to solve questions across nuclear energy—whether it’s finding the best design of a reactor core or repurposing an old tool for a new analysis.

Chris Ellis is applying his expertise in computational biology and microbiology to explore the human and soil microbiomes for clues to degenerative brain disease, as well as pathways to improved bioenergy crops.

After several years in the private sector exploring the unknown origins of neurodegenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Chris Ellis thinks one of the keys to solving the mystery is at Oak Ridge National Laboratory: the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

Scanning probe microscopes use an atom-sharp tip—only a few nanometers thick—to image materials on a nanometer length scale. The probe tip, invisible to the eye, is attached to a cantilever (pictured) that moves across material surfaces like the tone arm on a record player. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory; U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Liam Collins was drawn to study physics to understand “hidden things” and honed his expertise in microscopy so that he could bring them to light.

Dalton Lunga

A typhoon strikes an island in the Pacific Ocean, downing power lines and cell towers. An earthquake hits a remote mountainous region, destroying structures and leaving no communication infrastructure behind.

Victor Fung is a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Eugene P. Wigner Fellow Victor Fung’s story is proof that a series of positive experiences around science and happy accidents can lead to a rewarding research career. He joined ORNL in 2019.

George Flanaga

George Flanagan, a nuclear engineer at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, didn’t get to relax much between 1987 and 1990.

Friederike Bock, a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow

Friederike Bock, a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow, wants everyone to know scientists aren’t just robots—they want to help others understand their research, and they have wide-ranging interests.

John Katsaras’s advances in technique, instrument and sample development for neutron and x-ray scattering have helped answer science questions about biological membranes.

John Katsaras, a biophysicist specializing in neutron scattering and the study of biological membranes at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, had a rather unusual birthday party last year.