Mike Zach Portrait

Mike P Zach

Materials Processing Researcher

Mike Zach is a senior materials processing researcher whose areas of specialty include spherical powder fabrication, additive manufacturing, nuclear target design, novel elemental chemistry and materials processing, fabrication of feedstock for new isotope separation campaigns, troubleshooting systems that involve materials compatibility issues, plasma interactions with surfaces & reactive gas, and electrochemical deposition.

Mike joined ORNL in 2015. He previously worked as an associate professor of chemistry for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and had a guest faculty appointment at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory. Earlier, he had a career as a jeweler. 

Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and polymer science from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He holds Master of Science and doctoral degrees in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine.


• Associate Professor of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, 2006-2015
• Guest Faculty Appointment, Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, 2006-2015
• Glen Seaborg Postdoctoral Fellow, Argonne National Laboratory, 2004-2006
• Miller Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2002-2004
• Graduate student researcher, Merck Fellow, teaching assistant, University of California, Irvine, 1997-2002
• M.P. Zach-Handcrafted Jewelry, Retail store (1988-1994) and concierge jeweler (1994-1997

• ORNL Community Outreach Award for work with YoSTEM! (2020)
• Recognition by US Department of Energy for role in Ru-96 campaign (2018)
• R&D100 Award for NanoFab Lab … in a Box!™ (2014)
• NASA TECH Briefs Create the Future Challenge (2014)
• Cover image for NSF’s 2012 Budget Request to Congress (2012)
• NSF CAREER Award Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation’s Nanomanufacturing Program (2010)
• NSF and Science magazine International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge (2009)
• Wisconsin Innovation Scholar Award from WiSys Technology Foundation (2008)
• R&D100 and Micro/NANO25 (2006)
• Glenn Seaborg Postdoctoral Fellow, Argonne National Laboratory (2004 – 2006)
• Miller Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley (2002 – 2004)

Institution (PhD): University of California, Irvine, chemistry, 2002
Institution (MS): University of California, Irvine, chemistry, 2000
Institution (BS): University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, chemistry and polymer science, 1997
Apprenticeship: Master sculptor/jeweler Brother Jerome Cox, Fratelli Scuola Christiani (Christian Brothers School), Casa San Genesio, Florence, Italy, 1986-1988