Steve received his PhD in Nuclear Engineering and an MS in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. He is currently a UTK/ORNL Governor’s Chair Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), with a joint appointment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Prior to 2013, he served in a variety of management and technical R&D roles at ORNL including Chief Scientist of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate, director of the Materials Science and Technology Division, and ORNL Corporate Fellow.
Much of his research has utilized materials science to explore fundamental physical phenomena that are important for advanced nuclear energy applications, focusing on microstructure-property relationships. He has written over 260 peer-reviewed publications, received the 2006 U.S. Department of Energy E.O. Lawrence Award, and is a fellow of The American Ceramic Society, TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society), ASM International, American Nuclear Society (ANS), Materials Research Society, American Physical Society, and AAAS. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and serves on the National Academies’ National Materials & Manufacturing Board.
His professional honors include the ANS Mishima Award for outstanding R&D on nuclear fuels and materials and the 2017 TMS Institute of Metals lecture and Robert F. Mehl award. He has been a member of the ACerS Nuclear and Environmental Technology committee for approximately 30 years, receiving the NETD Best Paper award in 1994-1995 and 2007, and currently serves on the ACerS Rustum Roy Lecture Award Committee. His research interests include deformation and fracture mechanisms in structural materials, advanced manufacturing, and investigation of radiation effects in ceramics, fuel systems, and metallic alloys for fission and fusion energy systems.