ORNL’s Smith, Sokolov elected AAAS fellows

Sean Campbell Smith and Alexei Sokolov

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers Sean Campbell Smith (left) and Alexei Sokolov, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. (Photo courtesy of ORNL)

Two researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory—Sean Campbell Smith and Alexei Sokolov—have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Fellow is the highest honor bestowed by the AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

Smith, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, came to ORNL in 2011 from the University of Queensland in Australia, where he was the director of the Centre for Computational Molecular Science. He was cited by his AAAS peers for “distinguished contributions to the field of computational and theoretical chemistry, including fundamental advances in unimolecular rate theory and exploration of novel functionalities in nanomaterials.”

Smith is a native of New Zealand and received his doctorate in theoretical chemistry from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Sokolov has been a University of Tennessee-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Polymer Science and researcher in ORNL’s Chemical Sciences Division since 2009. He was cited for “distinguished contributions to the field of dynamics of soft materials, including polymers, glass-forming liquids, and biological macromolecules.”

He received his master’s degree in physics from Novosibirsk State University in Russia and his doctorate and postdoctoral certification from the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Several ORNL-affiliated University of Tennessee researchers were also elected through the university:

  • Howard Hall, UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Global Nuclear Security, for distinguished contributions to the field of nuclear security, particularly for the interdisciplinary applications of science, technology, policy and education to this field;
  • Jimmy Mays, professor of polymer chemistry and UT-ORNL distinguished scientist, for seminal contributions to controlled synthesis and thorough characterization of tailored macromolecular architectures, allowing elucidation of novel structure-property relationships and correlation with theory;
  • Gary Sayler, Beaman Distinguished University Professor of Microbiology and researcher in the Joint Institute of Biological Sciences, for distinguished research, teaching and service contributions in microbial ecology and environmental biotechnology, particularly for development of microbial biosensors and molecular understanding of environmental hydrocarbon degradation; and
  • Pengcheng Dai, UT professor of physics and researcher in the Neutron Sciences Directorate for distinguished contributions to the understanding of the magnetic properties in copper and iron-based high temperature superconductors, heavy fermion metals and colossal magnetoresistance manganites.

The new fellows will be honored at the AAAS annual meeting in February.

CNMS is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers supported by the DOE Office of Science. They are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge and Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. For more information about the NSRCs, visit http://science.energy.gov/bes/suf/user-facilities/nanoscale-science-research-centers/.



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  • Syed Lal badshah

    Few weeks back Alexei Sokolov came to ASU and he gave a nice talk. Before starting his seminar the Profs asked questions for 15 minutes and then one Prof said let him start his talk.

    • http://www.facebook.com/johnhuotari John Huotari

      Thank you for letting us know.