Sean J Hearne

Director, Materials Science and Technology Division

Is the director of the Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. MSTD formed by a merger of the Solid State Division and the Metals and Ceramics Division is one of the oldest and largest divisions at ORNL. The division conducts fundamental and applied materials research for DOE's Office of Science, DOE's Applied Offices, and the Department of Defense in additional to industrial partners. Research programs include quantum materials, advanced manufacturing, fusion and nuclear energy, as well as transportation, conservation, fossil energy, and space exploration. Dr. Hearne served as the president of the Materials Research Society in 2018 and was formally the director for the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) a Department of Energy user facility. Prior to directing CNMS, Sean was co-Director of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies at Sandia National Laboratories and previously led the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s Energy Storage at Sandia National Laboratories. Sean received his bachelors’ degree in 1991 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott AZ, where he was trained and licensed as a commercial pilot. He then went on to receive his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Arizona State University in 2000, where his dissertation research emphasized the mechanical properties of materials. Sean holds multiple patents in microfabrication and published in topics ranging from fundamental material science through electroplating and energy storage for the electric grid.


Fellow America Physical Society
President / Vice-President / Past-President Materials Research Society, 2017-2019
Employee Recognition Award – Sandia National Laboratories, 2017
Secretary Materials Research Society, 2014
Secretary Materials Research Society, 2011
Sandia Spot Recognition Awards: 2002, 2003, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2017
Sigma Pi Sigma – Society of Physics Students Honors Society, 1994


10,641,733 – “Active Mechanical-Environmental-Thermal MEMS Device for Nanoscale Characterization”, Katherine Jungjohann, William Mook, Clair Chisholm, Michael Shaw, Khalid Hattar, Paul C. Galambos, Andrew Jay Leenheer, Sean J. Hearne (Issued 2020).
8,736,108 – “Photovoltaic system”, Gregory N. Nielson, Murat Okandan, Anthony L. Lentine, William C. Sweatt, Paul Gilbert Clem, Sean J. Hearne, Paul Davids, Dale L. Huber, Jeffrey S. Nelson, Christopher Alan Apblett (issued 2014).
8,679,860 - “Lateral electrodeposition of compositionally modulated metal layers”, Sean J. Hearne (issued 2014).
6,930,391 – “Method for alloy-electroplating group IB metals with refractory metals for interconnections”, Grant M. Kloster, Sean J. Hearne (issued 2005).