Cristian I Contescu
Distinguished Staff Scientist
Cristian Contescu graduated from Bucharest University (Magna cum Laudae) in 1971, and obtained his doctoral degree from the Bucharest Polytechnic Institute (Romania) in 1979. In his early career years at the Institute of Physical Chemistry in Bucharest (Romania) he directed basic and applied research on oxide catalysts and adsorbents, with a focus on surface reactions on clean metal surfaces and basic principles of catalyst preparation. During 1990-1997 he was a Visiting Scientist and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering of Syracuse University, working with Prof. James Schwarz on characterization of surface reactivity of heterogeneous catalysts and porous carbons. After holding research scientist positions in industry (Hitco Carbon Composites, in Gardena, CA) and a small business company (Materials Methods LLC, in Newport Beach, CA), he joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 2004. Currently, Dr. Contescu holds a Senior Research Staff position in the Materials Science and Technology Division. His current research is focused on surface properties and reactivity of carbon materials ‒ from porous carbons for hydrogen storage, gas purification, and electrochemical energy storage; to nuclear grade high purity graphite used as neutron moderator in high temperature gas-cooled nuclear reactors.
Areas of Research:
- Carbon materials for nuclear applications (nuclear graphite).
- Carbon materials for gas storage (hydrogen, methane), separation (carbon dioxide, volatile organic compounds) and electrochemical energy storage.
- Surface chemistry of solid materials (nuclear graphite, porous carbon adsorbents, catalysts).
- Physical chemistry at interfaces.
- Catalysts preparation and characterization.
- Colloid chemistry.
- Carbon nanostructures.