ORNL Director to Speak at UT Fall Commencement

Thom Mason

Thom Mason

KNOXVILLE – Thomas Mason, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and president and CEO of UT-Battelle, LLC, will be the featured speaker at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, fall commencement.

The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 13, in Thompson-Boling Arena.

More than 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students who have completed degree programs during the summer or fall semester will be awarded diplomas. Six graduates will receive commissions as second lieutenants in the United States Army.

Students being awarded post-graduate degrees will be honored in a graduate hooding ceremony at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 11 in the arena.

Mason has served as director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s largest science and energy lab since 2007. He joined ORNL in 1998 as Scientific Director for the DOE’s Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) project. He was later named associate laboratory director and oversaw construction and development of the $1.4 billion dollar project, now one of the nation’s largest science facilities.

“The university is pleased to welcome Dr. Mason to share his message with our graduates,” said Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek. “The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is at the forefront of the nation’s science and energy agenda. Through our unique partnership, our faculty and our students reap enormous benefits. We appreciate being able to hear Thom’s insights, not only as the lab’s director, but as an extremely accomplished scientist and dedicated professional.”

Mason is an internationally recognized leader in the application of neutron scattering techniques. As director of the lab, he oversees a staff of more than 4,600 people and an operation which hosts approximately 3,000 guest researchers a year. The lab’s annual funding exceeds $1.4 billion.

Mason has served as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, a senior scientist at Risø National Laboratory in Denmark and as a postdoctoral Fellow with Bell Laboratories. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001 and a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2007.

A native of Nova Scotia, he received a bachelor’s in physics from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and a doctor of philosophy in experimental condensed matter physics from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.

In 2008, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award for the Sciences from McMaster University.

The University of Tennessee manages and operates Oak Ridge National Laboratory through UT-Battelle with support from the state of Tennessee. The research enterprise consists of $3 billion in research facilities, equipment and expertise in East Tennessee. These resources include the Spallation Neutron Source, a $1.4 billion science project; the world’s largest unclassified supercomputer, joint research centers, state tax exemptions, and funding for joint faculty appointments.

Parking for commencement is available at any area on campus. Parking for disabled persons is available in the Neyland Drive garage (G-10). For more information, see the campus parking map.

For more information regarding the ceremony, call the registrar’s office at (865) 974-2101 or visit its Web site.

The graduate hooding will be webcast live.

The undergraduate commencement ceremony will be webcast live.

C O N T A C T :

Beth Gladden (865-974-9008, bgladden@utk.edu)

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