Six PNNL scientists elected AAAS fellows
December 17, 2009
RICHLAND, Wash. –
Six scientists from the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their exceptional efforts to advance science or its applications.
The PNNL honorees and the AAAS sections that elected them are: Scott Chambers, physics; Moe Khaleel, engineering; Yuehe Lin, chemistry; Philip Rasch, atmospheric and hydrospheric sciences; John Wacker, chemistry; and Sotiris Xantheas, chemistry.
Chambers researches crystalline oxide films that can be used in the semiconductors that enable most modern electrical devices. He's known for growing these films and exploring their structure. He examines the electronic and magnetic properties of crystalline films, or their ability to transform electricity from chemicals responding to light. These films have the potential to be used to make microelectronic devices, convert energy and make energy by splitting water. They're also studied for the field of spintronics, where scientists are trying to harness the magnetic properties of electrons.
Chambers is a PNNL laboratory fellow who works in interfacial chemistry and engineering at EMSL, a DOE national scientific user facility located at PNNL. He's also an American Vacuum Society fellow and an affiliate professor of chemistry, materials science and engineering at the University of Washington.
Lin's research delves into nanotechnology, or devices made with tiny particles that are a hundred thousand times smaller than a human hair. He's developing chemical and biological sensors made with nanomaterials like protein cages, nanoparticles, graphene and carbon nanotubes that interact with enzymes, antibodies and DNA. The technologies he's developing can detect important molecules in biological systems, explosives and pesticides and could deliver drugs to fight diseases like cancer, among other uses.
Lin is a PNNL laboratory fellow at PNNL. He has edited and co-edited several books on nanotechnology. He also is the associate editor of the Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, as well as a member of the editorial advisory boards for several international scientific journals.
Khaleel specializes in computational engineering, which involves designing and developing computational tools to solve engineering and scientific problems. He focuses on computational models for solid oxide fuel cells and advanced lightweight materials. He develops methods and computational tools that allow scientists and engineers to build and test fuels cells and their material components, which speeds up the development of energy technologies like fuel cells. He also created a cost-effective process for forming aluminum sheet materials that are now used to make lightweight vehicles.
Khaleel is a laboratory fellow who leads PNNL's Computational Sciences and Mathematics Division. He's also an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Washington State University and an American Society of Mechanical Engineers fellow.
Rasch is recognized for his contributions to climate modeling — or designing computational programs that mimic the atmosphere — and connecting cloud formation, atmospheric chemistry and climate. He has developed and improved many atmospheric circulation models, some of which simulate the movement of water vapor, sulfate and other tiny, unseen particles of gas, water and matter called aerosols. He also studies geoengineering, or the intentional manipulation of the atmosphere to counteract global warming.
Rasch is a laboratory fellow and chief scientist for climate science at PNNL. He has contributed to scientific assessments for the World Meteorological Organization, NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Wacker's insights into the field of nuclear signature analysis are highly sought-after by government and scientific leaders alike. Nuclear signatures, or chemical and radiological indicators of nuclear processing, are of particular interest to national security officials monitoring nuclear activities and in the emerging area of nuclear forensics. His research has supported the cleanup of radioactive contamination in the environment. He often serves as an advisor in radioanalytical chemistry and nuclear forensics for government leaders.
Wacker is a PNNL laboratory fellow and a nuclear materials technical advisor for DOE. He began his career in planetary science, for which he characterized and determined the origin of meteorites.
Xantheas' highly accurate electron structure calculations on water-based molecular clusters are used widely in the physical chemistry community. He combines data gathered in the lab and with computer theories to refine scientists' understanding of aqueous systems and water. His work helps scientists better understand the structure of latticed hydrates in the ocean's floor that store the greenhouse gas methane, among many other applications.
Xantheas is a PNNL laboratory fellow. He's also a fellow of the American Physical Society and was given the Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science is an international non-profit organization dedicated to advancing science around the world. The association will honor its new fellows at its annual meeting in San Diego, Calif., in February 2010.
Tags: Environment, Fundamental Science, Computational Science, National Security, EMSL, Awards and Honors, Climate Change, Aerosols, Chemistry, Nanoscience, Health Science, Biomolecular Science, Cancer Research, Radiation Detection