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Balendra Sutharshan

Balendra Sutharshan has been named chief operating officer for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He will begin serving as ORNL’s deputy for operations and as executive vice president, operations, for UT-Battelle LLC effective April 1. 

UKAEA will provide novel fusion materials to be irradiated in ORNL’s HFIR facility over the next four years. From left, Kathy McCarthy, Jeremy Busby, Mickey Wade, Prof Sir Ian Chapman (UKAEA CEO), Cynthia Jenks and Yutai Kato will represent this new partnership. Not pictured: Dr. Amanda Quadling, UKAEA’s Director of Materials Research Facility. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

ORNL has entered a strategic research partnership with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, or UKAEA, to investigate how different types of materials behave under the influence of high-energy neutron sources. The $4 million project is part of UKAEA's roadmap program, which aims to produce electricity from fusion.

Aerial view of hurricane damage, with computer-generated utility pole detection.

A team of researchers from ORNL has created a prototype system for detecting and geolocating damaged utility poles in the aftermath of natural disasters such as hurricanes.

Alice Perrin is a Distinguished Staff Fellow and materials scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Alice Perrin is passionate about scientific research, but also beans — as in legumes.

Ben Thomas poses with Dr. Richard Mu (Tennessee State University), Moody Altamimi (ORNL), Dr. Lin Li (Tennessee State University), and Ja’ Wanda Grant (ORNL) during a visit to ORNL to discuss education programs

Ben Thomas recalled the moment he, as a co-op student at ORNL, fell in love with computer programming. “It was like magic.” Almost five decades later, he strives to bring the same feeling to students through education and experience in fields that could benefit nuclear nonproliferation.

Vincente Guiseppe, co-spokesperson of the Majorana Collaboration and a research staff member at ORNL, in front of the Majorana Demonstrator shield on the 4850 Level of SURF. Credit: Nick Hubbard/Sanford Underground Research Facility

For nearly six years, the Majorana Demonstrator quietly listened to the universe. Nearly a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility, or SURF, in Lead, South Dakota, the experiment collected data that could answer one of the most perplexing questions in physics: Why is the universe filled with something instead of nothing?

From left are UWindsor students Isabelle Dib, Dominik Dziura, Stuart Castillo and Maksymilian Dziura at ORNL’s Neutron Spin Echo spectrometer. Their work advances studies on a natural cancer treatment. Credit: Genevieve Martin/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A scientific instrument at ORNL could help create a noninvasive cancer treatment derived from a common tropical plant.

Fungal geneticist Joanna Tannous is gaining a better understanding of the genetic processes behind fungal life to both combat plant disease and encourage beneficial processes like soil carbon storage. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Joanna Tannous has found the perfect organism to study to satisfy her deeply curious nature, her skills in biochemistry and genetics, and a drive to create solutions for a better world. The organism is a poorly understood life form that greatly influences its environment and is unique enough to deserve its own biological kingdom: fungi.

Students from UC Merced collect water samples at Guadalupe Reservoir in Santa Clara County, California. Credit: UC Merced

Environmental scientists at ORNL have recently expanded collaborations with minority-serving institutions and historically Black colleges and universities across the nation to broaden the experiences and skills of student scientists while bringing fresh insights to the national lab’s missions.

Heat is typically carried through a material by vibrations known as phonons. In some crystals, however, different atomic motions — known as phasons — carry heat three times faster and farther. This illustration shows phasons made by rearranging atoms, shown by arrows. Credit: Jill Hemman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Warming a crystal of the mineral fresnoite, ORNL scientists discovered that excitations called phasons carried heat three times farther and faster than phonons, the excitations that usually carry heat through a material.