Cynthia Jenks has been selected as associate laboratory director for the Physical Sciences Directorate at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory. She will start at the lab April 19, a press release said.
Jenks comes to ORNL from Argonne National Laboratory, where she has directed the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, overseeing the contributions of 17 research groups, the press release said.
Before she worked at Argonne, Jenks served in a variety of roles at Ames Laboratory, including as assistant director for scientific planning, the press release said. During her career in the national laboratory system, Jenks has developed strong relationships within DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, or BES, one of the nation’s largest sponsors of research in the physical sciences, the press release said.
The research she leads at Argonne is also supported by DOE’s offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Fossil Energy, and Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, the press release said.
“ORNL’s expertise in advanced materials, energy generation, energy storage, chemical sciences, nanoscience, and physics provides a broad foundation of basic and applied research that impacts all science areas,” Jenks said. “I look forward to joining the lab and contributing to its further success.”
Jenks is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and her extensive multidisciplinary research has resulted in 123 publications, the press release said. Her areas of expertise include surface structure and reactivity, surface structure-property relationships, catalysis, chemical conversions for sustainable energy, and thin-film growth.
“Cynthia’s broad DOE experience, proven ability to bridge basic and applied research, and background as both a scientist and engineer all prepare her to lead and grow ORNL’s contributions in areas of great importance for clean energy, industry, and US scientific leadership,” ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia said in the press release.
Jenks has doctorate and master’s degrees in physical chemistry as well as a master’s degree in chemical engineering, all from Columbia University in New York. Her bachelor’s in chemical engineering is from the University of California at Los Angeles.