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Oak Ridge National Laboratory Chief Scientist Steven Zinkle to Speak at Clarkson University

The New Horizons in Engineering Distinguished Lectureship Series at Clarkson University has announced that Steven J. Zinkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate chief scientist and corporate fellow, will speak next month about materials engineering challenges in fission and fusion energy.

Steven J. Zinkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate chief scientist and corporate fellowZinkle will speak on Friday, September 6, at 2:30 p.m. in Clarkson's Bertrand H. Snell Hall Room 213.  Refreshments will precede the lecture at 2 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public

Zinkle's lecture will focus on the development and deployment of a diverse mixture of economic and environmentally sustainable energy sources, which are essential for international energy security. Nuclear (fission) power currently provides 20 percent of the nation's electricity.  A variety of fission and fusion energy concepts is under consideration for meeting future energy needs.

After a brief review of current and proposed fission and fusion energy systems, Zinkle will discuss the crucial role of high performance materials on possible future pathways for these systems. Key materials science aspects associated with operation in the extreme temperature, mechanical stress and radiation environments will be summarized.

Radiation-induced nanoscale complexes that evolve over multiple length and time scales, with the potential for dramatic accompanying property changes, are a recurring feature in many materials systems for nuclear energy. Zinkle will present several strategies to design new high-performance self-healing structural materials.

Motivated by the 2011 accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plants in Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami, recent exploratory research aimed at accident-tolerant fuel systems for fission reactors will be presented.

Prior to his current position, Zinkle served as the director of the ORNL Materials Science and Technology Division and before that in a variety of research scientist and program management roles since he joined ORNL in 1985. He received a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and a master of science degree in materials science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Zinkle's research has centered on microstructure-property relationships in materials for a broad range of energy applications, including deformation and fracture mechanisms in structural materials and investigation of radiation effects in ceramics, fuel systems, and metallic alloys for fusion and fission energy systems.

He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2012 for "advancing understanding of radiation damage in metallic and ceramic components." Zinkle is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy E.O. Lawrence Award, and is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society, ASM International, The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), the Materials Research Society, the American Nuclear Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has written more than 240 peer-reviewed publications

Zinkle will be the eighth lecturer in Clarkson University’s New Horizons in Engineering Distinguished Lectureship series, which is dedicated to improving the understanding of important issues facing engineering and society in the 21st century.  

Read more about the New Horizons in Engineering Distinguished Lectureship Series at .

For more information, please contact Distinguished Research Professor of Engineering Liya Regel, New Horizons in Engineering founder and chair, at .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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