Newswise — OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 11, 2015 -- James Roberto, the associate laboratory director for Science and Technology Partnerships at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been elected a fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS).

Fellows of MRS are selected for internationally recognized contributions that advance materials research. Roberto was cited by the MRS "for sustained service to the MRS Community and the discovery of heavy element isotopes."

MRS is an interdisciplinary materials science society that promotes exchange of communication and technical information across fields related to materials science. The organization has more than 16,000 members from around the world.

Roberto has been a member of ORNL’s Leadership Team since 1999, and served as ORNL’s deputy for science and technology from 2004 to 2009 and the associate laboratory director for Physical Sciences from 1999 to 2004.

In these roles, he helped upgrade the High Flux Isotope Reactor and establish the Center for Nanophase Materials Science. He was also integral in establishing the graduate education university-laboratory partnership in the form of the UT-ORNL Bredesen Center.

His research interests include materials for fusion reactors, X-ray and neutron scattering and heavy element nuclear physics, a study area that led him to participate in the discovery of element 117 with an international team of collaborators.

In addition to MRS fellow, Roberto is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and recipient of the 2004 Federation of Materials Research Societies’ National Materials Advancement Award.

Roberto holds a bachelor’s in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctorate in applied physics from Cornell University.

He will be honored in San Francisco at the MRS’ annual spring meeting.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy's Office of Science. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit


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