portrait photo

Kinga A Unocic

Senior R&D Staff Scientist

Dr. Kinga A. Unocic is a Senior R&D Staff member in the Materials MicroÅnalysis Group at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She received her Masters degree in the Metallurgical Engineering from AGH University of Science and Technology (2002) (Poland), and a M.S. and a Ph.D. (2009) in Materials Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University. She has 17 years of experience in advanced structural and chemical characterization of materials systems using high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), STEM-based microanalysis methods including energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS), and most recently, the development of in situ microscopy techniques to study materials behavior under relevant pressures, temperatures, and gas environments. She has been working on applying new capability of introducing water vapor into in situ environmental studies by utilizing the Protochips Inc. gas-cell ability using TEM that allows heating the specimen up to 1000°C in various gasses to investigate high-temperature oxidation of NiAl alloys at the atomic level, in order to clarify the existing theory of the oxidation mechanism. She also performs operando STEM study of catalytic materials for regeneration method development for commercial bioenergy applications and utilize in situ characterization, experimental catalyst evaluation, and computational modeling, to develop relationships between the properties and performance of the Ag/ZrO2/SiO2 catalyst that will enable design of catalysts and process conditions variation to modulate the olefin product composition (i.e., butadiene versus butenes or vice versa) and improve catalyst lifetime. Unocic is the recipient of the 2017 TMS Young Leaders International Scholar – JIM Award from The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS). In 2010, she received the TMS Young Leader Professional Development Award. She has been involved in number of scientific committees. She is a chair for TMS Corrosion and Environmental Effects Committee (March 2021-present). Unocic is also ORNL finalist in YWCA Tribute to Women.

  • 2023 UT-Battelle Award - Technology Transfer 
  • 2023 TMS Brimacombe Medalist Award 
  • 2019 ORNL finalist in YWCA Tribute to Women
  • 2017 TMS Young Leaders International Scholar – JIM Award
  • 2014 Women in Materials Science and Engineering Committee Travel Grant for TMS Diversity Summit
  • 2010 TMS Young Leader Professional Development Award
  • 2007 International Metallographic Contest Best in Show, Jacquet-Lucas Award for Excellence in Metallography: K.A. Unocic and G.S. Daehn, "TEM Sample Preparation Method for Grain Boundary Phase Identification in Al-Mg alloys"
  • 1st in Class Honors in Metallurgical Engineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland, (1997-2002)
  • Academic Scholar and Sportswoman of the Year Award 1998/1999, AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland