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Steven Zinkle, UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair for Nuclear Materials, and Michael Smith, an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, have been elected fellows of the American Physical Society.

Zinkle was named for his significant contributions to the fundamental understanding of radiation effects in metallic and ceramic materials.

An authority on the effect of radiation on materials in fission and fusion nuclear reactors, Zinkle came to UT from ORNL in 2013. At ORNL since 1985, he has also received the US Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award among numerous awards and is a fellow of five other professional societies and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Smith, an adjunct physics professor and researcher at ORNL, was also named a fellow for “outstanding achievements in experimental nuclear astrophysics, including the first demonstration of the inverse-kinematic technique of measuring capture reactions on exotic beams with direct recoil detection, for advancing this technology and for tireless efforts to convey the significance of such measurements to the general public.”

According to ORNL, Smith established the astrophysics program at its Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility, the first facility devoted fully to radioactive ion beam physics. He leads the Experimental Astrophysics group, which conducts experimental and theoretical research on nuclear reaction data applicable to astrophysics.

Almost 250 new fellows were elected in 2013 for exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise. Fellowship is a distinct honor signifying recognition by one’s professional peers.Each nomination is evaluated by the Fellowship committee of the appropriate APS division, topical group or forum, or by the APS General Fellowship committee. After review by the full APS Fellowship Committee, the successful candidates are elected by APS Council.

The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. For more information, visit

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