Scientists Assume Governor’s Chairs

Scientists Assume Governor’s Chairs

Two materials experts are the newest appointments to the prestigious UT–Oak Ridge National Laboratory Governor’s Chair program. William Weber, an authority in the ways radiation interacts with materials, is the eighth Governor’s Chair. The ninth appointment is Brian Wirth, who specializes in ways materials behave in extreme environments.

Weber is part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at UT Knoxville and also serves in ORNL’s Materials Science and Technology Division. He came from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he had been a researcher since 1977.

Wirth, formerly with the University of California–Berkeley, will serve in the UT Knoxville Department of Nuclear Engineering and in ORNL’s Computer Science and Mathematics Division.

The Governor’s Chairs are funded by the state of Tennessee and ORNL. The program attracts top scientists to enhance the unique research partnership that exists between the state’s flagship public university and the nation’s largest multiprogram laboratory.

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen says the Governor’s Chair program brings some of the world’s best minds to the Volunteer State. “The ability of these exceptional individuals to attract economic activity, research dollars, and additional researchers for scientific collaboration is achieving exactly what was envisioned,” Bredesen said.