Recent News & Features

News Releases Archive | Features Archive



Keith J. Leonard

Group Leader
Nuclear Materials Science & Technology Group
Materials Science & Technology Division
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6138
Phone: (865) 576-3687
Fax: (865) 241-3650


Research Interests:

  • Mechanical and physical property changes of irradiated metallic, ceramic and polymeric materials.
  • Microstructural changes and in-service behavior of Zr-base alloys for nuclear applications.
  • Long-term thermal stability of superalloy and refractory metal alloys.
  • Synthesis and incorporation of nanoscale particles in advanced functional materials.


  • Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering, Univ. of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1999.
  • M.S. Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Illinois Inst. of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, 1995.
  • B.S. Aerospace Engineering, Illinois Inst. of Technology, Chicago, Illinois, 1993.


2004 to present - Research Staff Member, ORNL, Nuclear Materials Science and Technology Group:

  • Microstructure and defect development in irradiated Zircaloy and Zr-Nb alloys.
  • Radiation effects on the physical, optical and electrical properties of ceramic insulators, micro-machined devices, and dielectric mirrors in nuclear environments.
  • Mechanical properties and microstructural stability of Ni-base superalloys and refractory metal alloys for nuclear and high temperature environments.
  • Structural and mechanical property changes in polymeric materials from high energy radiation.
  • Synthesis and characterization of solution base nanoparticles and their use in white-light LED’s.

2000 to 2004 - Postdoctoral Research Associate, ORNL, Superconducting Materials Group:

  • Nanoparticle doping of superconducting films for enhanced flux pinning.
  • Production and characterization of nanoparticles created through reverse micelle synthesis.
  • Deposition and processing of long length epitaxial ceramic and superconducting films through physical vapor deposition techniques.
  • Structure property characterization of multilayer films; examination of mechanisms contributing to the decrease in YBa2Cu3O7-x film properties with thickness.

1996 to 2000 - Graduate Research Assistant, University of Cincinnati:

  • Phase equilibrium and transformations in the Ti-Al-Nb system.
  • Cyclic oxidation of Mo-Si-B alloys.
  • Failure analysis of type 312 stainless steel welds and forged Ti-Al-V turbine blade materials.

1993 to 1995 - Graduate Research Assistant, Illinois Institute of Technology:

  • Elevated temperature mechanical properties and deformation mechanisms of oxide dispersion
    strengthened Nb-Al and Ni-Al alloys produced through mechanical alloying.
  • Effect of processing and consolidation conditions on mechanical properties of mechanically alloyed materials.

1990 to 1993 - Internship and Undergraduate Research Assistant, Illinois Institute of Technology:

  • Measurement of acoustic noise levels of variable jet nozzle configurations.
  • Prediction and analysis of turbulent boundary layer flows.
  • Construction of laminar flow section of National Diagnostic Facilities wind tunnel.

Professional Associations:

  • The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society
  • American Nuclear Society


  • 2006 Nanotech Briefs Nano50 Award, for “HTS Wires Enabled via 3D Self-Assembly of Insulating Nanodots”.

Selected Publications