Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer Brouner (brounerjm@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations
(865) 241-9515


Hanson, Sales named UT-Battelle Corporate Fellows

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., July 23, 2012 — Paul Hanson and Brian Sales of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been recognized as UT-Battelle Corporate Fellows. Only researchers who have made significant contributions to science and technological fields are recognized by this fellowship each year.

The election of Hanson and Sales to the rank of fellow brings the number of active corporate fellows at ORNL to 33 researchers.

"Paul and Brian join an esteemed group of talented and accomplished researchers as corporate fellows," said ORNL Director Thom Mason. "Their work in climate science and advanced materials, respectively, illustrates the breadth of research that is required to solve the nation's energy and environmental challenges."

Hanson is a distinguished research and development staff member and group leader in ORNL's Environmental Sciences Division. He has more than 25 years of experience conducting environmental effects research related to energy technologies and their use, focusing predominately on the impacts of climate change on the physiology, growth and biogeochemical cycles of North American forest ecosystems.

He studies the effect of acid rain, nitrogen deposition, mercury deposition, ozone, and environmental and atmospheric changes on woody plants and ecosystems. The current secondary standards for ozone were influenced by his publications and work at ORNL. Hanson also made the first quantitative measures of the exchange of elemental mercury vapor with plant foliage. In more recent years, his work on precipitation change revealed substantial resilience of common eastern forest tree species to sustained drought. He currently plays a coordinating and leadership role for whole-ecosystem warming studies in high carbon forested-bog ecosystems in northern Minnesota being conducted by ORNL staff, USDA Forest Service personnel, and university colleagues.

Hanson received his bachelor's degree in biology from St. Cloud University, and his master's degree in plant physiology and doctorate in forest tree physiology from the University of Minnesota. He has co-authored over 100 journal articles and book chapters, has co-edited a book, and is an editor of the journal Global Change Biology. He received the 1995 Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award from ORNL and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008.

Sales, a distinguished research scientist and group leader for Correlated Electron Materials group at ORNL, has established himself as one of the preeminent leaders in the discovery, synthesis and research and development of new materials for advanced energy technologies. He is internationally recognized for his research on new thermoelectric materials that can convert heat directly into electricity, and is also known for his work on the structure of phosphate glasses.

Recently, his work has focused on identifying and synthesizing new materials that challenge the current understanding of magnetism and superconductivity. He is particularly interested in the discovery of new thermoelectric, magnetic and superconducting materials for energy efficiency applications in areas such as transportation and electric power transmission.

Sales received his bachelor's degree in physics at Carnegie Mellon University and his doctorate in solid state physics at the University of California, San Diego. He has authored more than 290 peer-reviewed articles, six patents, and five book chapters. His work has been cited more than 12,000 times, and one of his Science articles on filled skutterudites is one of the most highly cited thermoelectric articles. He was named ORNL's 1985 Inventor of the Year, honored with the UT-Battelle Distinguished Scientist of the year at ORNL in 2007, elected as a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2009 and was a member of a team awarded one of the inaugural Gordon Battelle awards in 2011.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.