Cole R. Hexel received his doctorate in Analytical Chemistry from the University of South Carolina. His graduate research focused on developing techniques for the detection of both anthropogenic and natural trace elements as related to geochemical cycling in the environment. During this time, the research was primarily focused on coastal and estuary systems. The analytical data was completed with suite of mass spectrometers including HR-ICP-MS (Thermo E1, E2, XR) as well as a Thermo Neptune MC-ICP-MS. After the completion of his degree, Dr. Hexel remained at USC to manage the cleanrooms and the Mass Spectrometry and Proteomic Center. While at USC, Dr. Hexel was involved with numerous expeditions to collect materials from across the globe.
In the summer of 2009 Dr. Hexel came to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to Chemical and Isotopic Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) Group. In this group, the research shifted to developing techniques around actinide quantification and isotopic analysis. A significant focus has been the development of methods using automated technology to minimize sample volume and improve the uncertainties. Currently, he is the Group leader of the Chemical and Isotopic Mass Spectrometry group. The team’s attention is on inorganic analysis on a wide variety of sample matrix. Although less often, Dr. Hexel still continues his field work as much as possible.