Felix L Paulauskas

Felix L Paulauskas

Distinguished Research Staff


April 1990 to present

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), as a Senior Member of the Technical Staff in the Metals and Ceramics Division, Polymer Matrix Composite Group. Within my group, I am the Senior Technical Member in the area of Plastics/Polymer Processing Engineering and carry significant responsibilities in this area.

Currently, I am the technical leader for the carbon fiber programs. From the early stages of these programs, I participate right from the generation of proposals and establishing the technical paths to follow throughout the effort as the principal investigator in most of these initiatives. I have been the leader and principal investigator of the Microwave Assisted Plasma processing of carbon fibers, the Oxidation of PAN precursor for carbon fibers, the pre-stabilization of PAN precursor, etc.. More recently, I have assumed some limited responsibilities in the low-cost lignin precursor project.

Provide key technical guidance for support and evaluation of other programs involving carbon fibers such as evaluation of possible economically favorable alternative precursor systems for carbon fibers, dielectric evaluation of carbon fibers, morphological evaluation of carbon fibers for aerospace applications, and evaluation of plasma based surface treatment of carbon fibers and their correlation with fiber surface energy, the possible application of natural fiber and piezo-active-fibers, etc.

Technical leader in initiatives for the overall program for recycling carbon fibers from composites.  My technical objective in this project is the surface reactivation of the recovered carbon fibers (Secondary fiber surface treatment).  This program is an interactive effort with other national laboratories, the Department of Energy, and industrial composite manufacturers. 

Technical Leader at ORNL supporting the Automotive Composite Consortium (ACC) in the Injection/Compression molding of the pick-up truck bed at the National Composite Center (NCC).  In this task, I work closely with valued US automakers.  This project involved the new P4 (Programmable Powder Preform Process, for glass fibers) performing techniques for rapid preforming and molding of large automotive parts.  I was involved in the development and troubleshooting activities in all the support technologies for the manufacturing of these parts.  I acted as the technical liaison to the small private industry sector as a part of the Governmental Direct Assistance Program (DAP).  This was a governmental program for helping small innovative new companies to solve an existing problem or develop a new product. 

Appointed Adjunct Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on May 23, 2001. In my capacity as an adjunct professor, I served as an active member of the Advisory/Supervisory Committee in three Master of Science thesis (2002, 2003 and 2005) and two Ph.D. dissertations (2005, 2005-2007, in progress). Additionally, I served as a link between the Department of Materials Science and the Polymer Matrix Composite Group in the Metals and Ceramics Division.

January 1988 to January 1990

Technical consultant to several West German companies in the area of plastic sciences: processing, engineering, and testing of polymers and other products. 

January 1981 to June 1987

AT&T Bell laboratories and AT&T-IS Consumer Products Laboratories in Plastics Processing Engineering and Computer Aided Design and Analysis Group, member of Technical Staff. During my activity at Bell Laboratories, I was granted and registered three internal patents (trade secrets).

• Technology Support Award (monetary patent) (Dec. 1994) by ORNL Office of Technology Transfer.
• Technical Achievement Award (1999) by Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.
• Critical Science and Technology Challenges Award (2002) from the Battelle Technical Council in recognition of “Inexpensive Precursors and Processes for Manufacturing Carbon Fibers”
• First place for paper titled “Structure and Properties of Carbon Fibers Produced Using Microwave Assisted Plasma Technology” presented at SAMPE 2004, Long Beach, CA.
• Inventor of the Year Award (2012) by UT Battelle
• Engineering R&D Award (2012) by UT Battelle
• Distinguished Inventor Award (2014) by Battelle Memorial Institute for obtaining 14 or more US patents.
• Distinguished Achievement Award (2017) by DOE Vehicle Technologies Office.
• Excellence in Technology Transfer Award (2018) by Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer.

During my activity at ORNL, I have been granted a total of twenty-five U.S. patents. Currently. I have also two patent applications pending with the USPTO. Additionally, I was granted one patent with the German patent office during my doctoral work in Germany.