Skip to Main Content U.S. Department of Energy
Interfacial Dynamics in Radiation Environments and Materials (IDREAM)

Leadership Team

Sue Clark, Director

Dr. Clark assumes responsibility for the overall success of the IDREAM EFRC to advance fundamental knowledge of processes in tank wastes and conduct collaborative research activities focused on molecular speciation, interfacial chemistry, and radiation environments. Her relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • In 2015, joined PNNL as a Battelle Fellow and retains a Joint Appointment at Washington State University (WSU) as Regents Professor of Chemistry. In this role, Dr. Clark provides technical leadership for PNNL's nuclear science and engineering research enterprise and WSU's Institute for Nuclear Science and Technology.
  • Over 20 years of academic experience (Washington State University, Department of Chemistry, and University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory) leading research focused on various aspects of chemistry for radioactive waste management. This effort has also served as a human capital pipeline for scientists now in careers focused on radioactive waste management.
  • Appointed by President Barack Obama as a Board Member for the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB, August 2011 to October 2014). The NWTRB advises Congress and the DOE Secretary on the scientific and technical issues associated with managing the nation's high-level radioactive wastes and DOE-owned spent nuclear fuel.
  • Selected by the DOE's Office of Science to lead a workshop charged with identifying the Basic Research Needs for Environmental Management. Under her leadership, workshop participants developed a workshop report that describes knowledge gaps and technical challenges associated with high-level radioactive wastes, waste forms, and radionuclides in the subsurface environment.
  • Extensive service for the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board and its predecessor organization, Board on Radioactive Waste Management. Service included many studies and reports, such as Advice on the Department of Energy's Cleanup Technology Roadmap: Gaps and Bridges (2009) and Science and Technology for Environmental Cleanup at Hanford Site (2001).

Aurora Clark, Deputy Director

As the DD of IDREAM, aids the director in assessment activities, coordinating regular research meetings among the different Research Goal team leads, and examining new routes for synergy among the Research Goal teams and institutions participating therein. Coordinates graduate and postdoctoral staff training across multiple institutions, working with students, postdoctoral researchers, and advisors across WSU and PNNL to ensure adequate progress toward degrees and necessary professional development activities. As a theorist, will work with Greg Schenter to support cross-cutting computational efforts and algorithm developments for each research theme, including effective transfer of calculated properties between computational methods that access different length and time scales. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • Two years of experience as director of the Material Science and Engineering Ph.D. program managing 65 students and 30 participating faculty members at WSU, where she has worked with upper administration to secure funding and led a reorganization effort to create a Materials Science Institute on campus.
  • Extensive research experience on computational solution-phase chemistry, including interfacial science of metal ions in complex environments.
  • Expert in both electronic structure and statistical mechanical methods, including novel analytical methods that decrease the physical size of data while enhancing information content.
  • Frequent service on panels; acting as panel lead and writer for Basic Research Needs workshops and reviews in BES and Advanced Scientific Computing Research related to heavy-element chemistry, the advanced nuclear fuel cycle, separations, and interfacial science.

Carolyn Pearce, Lead - Molecular Speciation

Provides leadership for productive research directions on Molecular Speciation (RG1), making connections to RG2 and RG3; exploits synchrotron-based techniques and imaging capabilities across multiple spatial scales to characterize heterogeneity, interfaces, and disorder in far from equilibrium tank waste environments; discovers how the extreme conditions of low-water-activity and high-radiation fields control the tank waste system. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • Experienced synchrotron scientist with over 30 peer-reviewed beamtime applications.
  • Research background in investigating mechanisms and effects of radiation damage to materials.
  • Leader of research programs for Research Councils UK; Dalton Nuclear Institute, U.K.; and Office of Biological and Environmental Research.

Andrew Felmy, Senior Advisor - Molecular Speciation

Advises and provides consultation to the Molecular Speciation Lead; coordinates solution chemistry studies and produces thermodynamic models to help design experimental systems and analyze results to discover principles of speciation in tank wastes. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • International expert on the chemistry of Hanford Site tank waste, thermodynamics of high ionic solutions, and actinide species.
  • Leader of large research programs for the Office of BES, Office of Biological and Environmetal Research (W.R. Wiley EMSL Chief Scientist), and Environmental Management (through support of Hanford Site contractors).
  • Twelve years service as PNNL Fellow in the Chemical Sciences Division with over 30 years of experience researching thermodynamics of aqueous and adsorption reactions.

Kevin Rosso, Lead - Interfacial Structure & Reactivity

Provides leadership for productive research directions on Interfacial Structures and Reactivity (RG2), making connections to the other Research Goals; coordinates interfacial studies to discover principles of processes controlling nucleation, particle growth, and dissolution. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • Experienced in leadership and execution of multi-million-dollar, multi-investigator research programs. Examples include lead roles in DOE Office of Science (responsible for $1M/year) and PNNL Laboratory Directed Research and Development programs (responsible for $4M investment). Served on Advisory Boards for major programs, including the U.K.'s Thomas Young Centre, National Science Foundation's (NSF) EPSCoR Project at Clemson U., and for EMSL Science Themes (over 7 years).
  • Breadth and depth of productive and impactful research across Geosciences and Materials Sciences. Expertise in atomic-scale experiment and simulation of the structure, chemistry, and dynamics at solid-solution interfaces, the chemical physics of electron and ion transport in the solid state, and nanomaterials.
  • Experienced in technical group management of the Geochemistry Group at PNNL. Responsible authority for staff and group budget management, policies and procedure compliance, overall group success (10 years).
  • Record of distinctions: Winner of the Mineralogical Society of America Award, the Laboratory Director’s Award for Scientific Accomplishment, Outstanding Research Award at BES Geosciences Symposium, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's (VirginiaTech's) College of Science Outstanding Alumnus, and promoted to PNNL's highest rank within 12 years of Ph.D. graduate entry.
  • Experienced BES investigator: Geosciences (12 years), Materials Sciences (7 years).

Jaehun Chun, Lead - Particle Interactions

Provides leadership for productive research directions on Particle Interactions (RG3), making connections to RG2 and RG4; develops continuum-based theories for colloidal and hydrodynamic interactions with implementing molecular details; develops theoretical and numerical frameworks to couple energetics, aggregation, hierarchical structures, and continuum responses for particle-based simulations; discovers principles of particle-particle interactions in tank wastes. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • Expert on colloidal interactions between particles, electrostatics/electrodynamics, multiphase flows, and suspension rheology.
  • Principal investigator of a project focused on colloid rheology under PNNL's Nuclear Process Science Initiative.
  • Key personnel for several projects (led by DOE contractors and DOE Office of Environmental Management) associated with Hanford Site tank waste slurries and pretreatment processes such as slurry transporting, rheology, and settling.
  • Co-principal investigator for a new project for the DOE/Office of BES/Material Sciences and Engineering (MSE) and key personnel for PNNL's Materials Synthesis and Simulation Across Scales (MS3) Initiative; both are focused on self-assemblies of minerals into hierarchical materials.
  • Member of review panel for NSF Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) Particulate and Multiphase Processes (PMP) program in the area of particle suspensions since 2011.

James De Yoreo, Senior Advisor - Particle Interactions

Advises and provides consultation to the Particle Interaction Lead; contributes broad expertise researching nanocrystal aggregation and coarsening; coordinates research on inter-particle solvent structure and forces to discover principles for controlling particle-particle interactions in tank wastes. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • Leading expert in nucleation, growth, interaction, and nanoparticle aggregation with more than 175 publications on the subject, including many in the top research journals (e.g., Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A.).
  • Recognitions of scientific expertise include Fellow of the Materials Research Society, 2014; Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2007; Laudise Prize (International Organization for Crystal Growth), 2010; AACG Award (American Association for Crystal Growth), 2013; Member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, 2015; and 18 Plenary and Keynote Lectures.

Greg Kimmel, Lead - Radiolysis and Radiation Effects

Provides leadership for productive research directions on Radiolysis and Radiation Effects (RG4); investigates water-surface interactions and radiation chemistry occurring on aluminum (oxy) hydroxide surfaces using UHV surface science techniques. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • Expertise in characterizing water-surface interfaces with UHV surface science techniques. Characterized the structure and dynamics of water layers on graphene, TiO2(110), and Pt(111) using IRAS, TPD, LEED. Experimental studies were closely coupled to theory.
  • Expert in non-thermal (electron- and photon-stimulated) reactions in amorphous solid water films and on transition metal oxides such as TiO2(110).
  • Expertise in chemical kinetics and dynamics.
  • Fellow – American Physical Society (2010).
  • Co-PI on the DOE BES funded program "Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Sciences" at PNNL. The goal of this research project is to provide a foundation for understanding fundamental interactions of atoms, molecules, and ions with materials and with photons and electrons. This project has resulted in >50 publications and >20 invited talks.
  • Co-PI on the DOE BES funded program "Multifunctional Catalysis to Synthesize and Utilize Energy Carriers" at PNNL. The goal of this research project is to provide fundamental insight into catalytic and photocatalytic water splitting reactions using model TiO2, RuO2, and mixed TiO2-RuO2 materials. This project has resulted in 10 publications and five invited talks.

Thomas Orlando, Senior Advisor - Radiolysis and Radiation Effects

Advises and provides consultation to the Radiolysis and Radiation Effects lead; coordinates research to discover radiation effects on speciation, interfacial processes, and particle-particle interactions in tank wastes. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • PI on related DOE-EM supported Environmental Management Science Program programs on Tank Wastes.
  • Vast expertise in radiation physics/chemistry.
  • Strong working relationships with PNNL and EMSL groups.

Greg Schenter, Lead - Computational Cross-Cut

Coordinates cross-cutting theoretical and computational studies across all research goals within IDREAM, using expertise to develop insight into emerging mesoscale phenomena; contributes expertise in computational modeling and statistical physics and chemistry to the particle dynamics and aggregation efforts. Relevant experience/expertise includes:

  • Twenty-five years of experience in the advancement of molecular simulation techniques, including the development of statistical mechanical techniques to better understand molecular interactions and molecular processes in complex condensed-phase and interfacial systems. Dr. Schenter is also experienced in applying computational approaches to understand solvation of ions in bulk and interfacial water, chemical reactions, and catalysis in close collaboration with experimental studies. Recognized as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Physical Society.
  • Experience leading large scientific efforts including more than six years as the lead principal investigator of a BES/Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Biosciences Division/Condensed Phase and Interfacial Molecular Science project that integrates the efforts of seven PIs to develop a profound understanding of processes and properties of aqueous systems.
  • Four years managing and leading a multidisciplinary team, connecting macroscopic to molecular scale phenomena in PNNL's Collaboratory on Mathematics for Mesoscopic Modeling of Materials (CM4).

IDREAM Research Center

Research Goals