Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Ron Walli (wallira@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL director earns honor from McMaster University

McMaster University President Peter George (left) and ORNL Director Thom Mason, who received the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Sciences from McMaster on Nov. 21.
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 25, 2008 — Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason is the recipient of the 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award for the Sciences from McMaster University in Canada.

The award recognizes McMaster University graduates who have attained a high level of distinction and achievement through scholarship, research, teaching, creative contributions to the arts or sciences and service to society.

"Thom certainly made his mark here at McMaster as a graduate student, publishing an impressive 17 papers from his Ph.D. work," said Faculty of Science Dean John Capone. "He has gone on to great success making the faculty quite proud. He is an obvious choice for this honor."

Mason, who was named director of ORNL in May 2007, joined the lab in 1998 as scientific director for the Department of Energy's Spallation Neutron Source project. In April 2001 he was named associate lab director for the SNS and vice president of UT-Battelle. In 2006 he became associate lab director for neutron sciences, leading a new organization charged with delivering safe and productive scientific facilities for studying structure and dynamics of materials.

As a researcher, Mason focused on the application of neutron scattering techniques to novel magnetic materials and superconductors using a variety of facilities in North America and Europe. He is the co-author of more than 100 refereed publications and is an associate of the Quantum Materials Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. In 1997 he was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship. He was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001 and a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2007.

Mason is a native of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. He graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a bachelor's degree in physics and completed a postgraduate study at McMaster University, receiving a doctor of philosophy degree in experimental condensed matter physics.

Mason received the award Friday at the university's fall convocation.

McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. McMaster University, based in Hamilton, Ontario, is one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000 and an alumni population of more than 140,000 in 128 countries.

UT-Battelle manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy.