Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Bill Cabage (cabagewh@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL's Zinkle elected to National Academy of Engineering

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 9, 2012 — Steven J. Zinkle, a senior materials researcher at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

Membership in the NAE is among engineering's top professional honors. Zinkle is cited by the academy "for advancing understanding of radiation damage in metallic and ceramic components."

Zinkle, a UT-Battelle Corporate Fellow and chief scientist for the laboratory's Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate, is a materials researcher whose work has focused on deformation and fracture mechanisms in structural materials and the investigation of radiation's effects on ceramic materials and metallic alloys for fusion and fission reactors.

"This is wonderful news for Steve and for ORNL," said ORNL Director Thom Mason. "Steve has made outstanding contributions to the understanding of radiation effects in materials for fission and fusion energy systems, and this prestigious honor is an indication both of the impact of Steve's work and of the scientific excellence to which we aspire."

A native of Wauzeka, Wisc., Zinkle is the author or coauthor of more than 240 peer-reviewed publications. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Ceramic Society, ASM International, the American Nuclear Society, and The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS).

In 2006 Zinkle received DOE's E.O. Lawrence Award for his contributions to the scientific understanding of the effects of radiation on the properties of materials and for identifying performance limits for materials in radiation environments. He has also received several other national professional society awards including the 2006 fusion technology award from the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He received the inaugural Robert Cahn Award from Elsevier, Ltd., for his work in nuclear materials in 2010.

Zinkle arrived at ORNL in 1985 as a Eugene Wigner fellow. He led the laboratory's nuclear materials & science technology group beginning in 2001 and directed ORNL's Materials Science and Technology Division from 2006 to 2010. Zinkle earned bachelor's and master's degrees and a doctorate in nuclear engineering, as well as a master's degree in materials science, from the University of Wisconsin.

He and his wife, Teresa, reside in Knoxville. They have two sons.

Zinkle will be formally inducted at the NAE's annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in September.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE's Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov/.