Oak Ridge National Laboratory News

Trustees Approve Renaming of the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences

The Board of Trustees approved a proposal Friday to rename a joint UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory research institute. The Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences is now the Shull Wollan Center—A Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences, named in honor of two esteemed physicists and pioneers in neutron scattering, Clifford Shull and Ernest Wollan.

Titan Supercomputer Probes Depths of Biofuel’s Biggest Barrier

Ask a biofuel researcher to name the single greatest technical barrier to cost-effective ethanol, and you’re likely to receive a one-word response: lignin. To better understand exactly how lignin persists, researchers ORNL created one of the largest biomolecular simulations to date using the Titan supercomputer to track and analyze millions of atoms. The research was led by Jeremy Smith, UT Governor’s Chair based in the Department of Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology.

Nuclear Engineering Welcomes Noted Expert to Faculty

The Department of Nuclear Engineering welcomed Richard Wood as a full-time professor in January. Wood recently retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he held a joint appointment with UT.

Physicist Helped Discover New Elements Recently Added to Periodic Table

A UT physicist has been instrumental in the discovery of four new super-heavy chemical elements—atomic numbers 113, 115, 117, and 118—recently added to the periodic table. Robert Grzywacz, along with collaborators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, developed the software used in the equipment that detects the new elements and helps analyze data from the experiments.