Dr. Ikenna C. Nlebedim is an associate scientist and group leader at Ames Laboratory and the magnet thrust co-lead for the Critical Materials Institute (CMI). He contributes to CMI research efforts on recycling, additive manufacturing, thermomagnetic processing and system levels finite element modeling. He has a Ph.D. from Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, and an M.Sc. from KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. His research interests include recycling of materials, magnetoelastic and magnetoelastic materials, magnetic non-destructive evaluation, and magnetic systems modeling.
He is a laboratory fellow and director of the Fuel Cycle Science and Technology Division at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). His primary focus is directing research and development of advanced technologies for spent nuclear fuel recycling and other chemical separation applications. He also serves as the national technical director for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Technology Research and Development Material Recovery and Waste Form Development Program and is also the director of the Glenn T. Seaborg Institute at INL. He has 35 years of experience in chemical separation technologies involving spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Montana State University and a doctorate degree in chemical engineering from Khlopin Radium Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has published over 200 journal articles, reports and conference proceedings, and awarded 23 U.S. patents and six Russian patents, as well as received numerous awards, including an R&D 100 Award. He serves on the editorial board for the journal, Solvent Extraction and Ion Exchange. He is a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Nuclear Society and the founder of an endowed chemical engineering scholarship at the University of Idaho. He has served on numerous international conference scientific advisory boards and technical program committees.
Dr. Chris Haase joins as Director of the Critical Materials Institute from GE Ventures, where he was Senior Director, leading new business creation and investment activities in the areas of oil & gas, power and renewables. With background in defense and natural resources, Chris has served as early-stage technology manager and investor in several corporate venture capital organizations, including Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1, BTG Ventures, Shell GameChanger and GE Ventures. In upstream energy, Chris served as the head business advisor to the Chief Technology Officer of Royal Dutch / Shell, managing alignment of R&D funding with the company’s long-term corporate strategy and value chains and also launching Shell’s latest venture fund, Shell Ventures. Additionally, Chris was Shell’s manager for external research, where he helped Shell close many innovative partnership agreements with universities and small enterprises in North America. With a background in numerical modeling, petrophysics and quantitative seismic interpretation, Chris has worked on oil & gas exploration and development projects, new upstream joint ventures and divestments involving assets in the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, North Sea, Middle East and Australia.
A former US Department of Defense Fellow and adjunct professor at the United States Naval Academy, Chris held R&D positions with the Naval Ocean Systems Center (now SPAWAR) and Department of Defense and also served as a 10-year volunteer commercialization advisor for the National Technology Transfer Center and US Missile Defense Agency. An inventor with several patents, Chris received his Ph.D. and MS degrees in mathematics from the University of Chicago, his MBA from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and his Bachelor of Science degree, Summa Cum Laude, from Ohio State University. Chris is married to Ineke and has two sons, Mark and Peter, both studying mechanical engineering in university.
He is a staff scientist at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and a recognized expert in materials characterization and instrumentation. He has a doctorate in materials science and condenser matter physics from the University of California, Davis. His work has spanned global and nationwide collaborations. He has worked at premier nanocharacterization facilities at national laboratories and universities and has expert knowledge of scanning transmission electron microscopy, atom probe tomography and electron loss spectroscopy. His primary research interests lie in the investigation of materials and the origins of their physical properties. He has heavily leveraged the use of multidimensional microscopy, diffraction and artificial intelligence to address delays in data access and extraction, which has led to a new frontier in advanced microscopy. At INL, he continues to focus on the development and application of machine and deep learning in order to decipher and decimate information from images, spectra, and diffraction patterns to maximize the effectiveness, efficiency and utility of advanced microscopy. He is an invited academic faculty member and manager for a diverse group of postdoctoral research scientists, graduate students, and technicians across several national laboratories and universities. He is an author of 45 peer-reviewed publications, a recognized reviewer, and a technical contributing member to energy materials research. He was awarded two patents and has three patents pending, including an innovative approach to computational microscopy using machine learning.
He is a research scientist from Idaho National Laboratory (INL) with extensive experience in the fields of materials electrochemistry as applied to reactive and refractory metals, process metallurgy, synthesis and characterization of high-temperature metals and materials, energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and materials recycling. While working at Bhabha Atomic Research Center, India, he developed an entirely new (molten salt based) process flow-sheet for the production of vanadium metal with a view to fabricate a self-powered beta detector. He also worked on the development of a new high-temperature process for the production of commercial-grade zirconia and silica powders from the indigenously available zircon mineral. His other projects have been aimed at recovering valuable materials from waste, secondary resources, and lean ore bodies. His team could successfully develop a technology for the conversion of Zr-2.5Nb alloy scrap to high purity zirconium crystal bar by van Arkel de Boer process. This technology can be adopted to successfully transform the alloy scrap into high purity zirconium crystal bar, a metal of significant importance to the nuclear energy program. At the University of Cambridge, he worked on the process optimization studies pertaining to the preparation of titanium metal and its alloys by a novel molten salt electrochemical process. He developed a preparative process for titanium-lanthanum alloy from their mixed oxides. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked on a high-temperature electrochemical process to generate oxygen from the lunar regolith. This is one of the two technologies shortlisted by NASA for its eventual deployment to produce breathable oxygen from in situ (lunar) resources. At INL, the scientific underpinning of his research activities has been to study the behavior of metals and materials under a given set of conditions. His diverse research pursuits include materials electrochemistry, energy-efficient manufacturing processes, and materials recycling.
She has more than 30 years of experience in theoretical and computational chemistry. She develops new methods and algorithms for high performance computational chemistry as well as applying those techniques to both basic and applied research. Her current application interests are rare earth and heavy element chemistry, separations, catalysis, aerosol formation, cellulose degradation, and photochemistry. Much of her research interests involve large, collaborative efforts between scientists in multiple fields working together to solve difficult scientific challenges. She is a distinguished professor in the Chemistry Department of Iowa State University. Prior to joining Ames Laboratory, she worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as the lead for the NWChem development group and the Visualization and User Services Group. She also worked at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in technology transfer and training. She received her bachelor’s in chemistry, mathematics, and computer science from Minot State University and her doctorate in physical chemistry from Iowa State University.
Igor I. Slowing received his License degree in Chemistry at San Carlos University, Guatemala in 1995, and his Ph.D. at Iowa State University in 2008. He joined the Ames Laboratory as a staff scientist in 2009, and joined the Department of Chemistry of Iowa State University in 2013 as an Adjunct Professor. His research focuses on the development of multifunctionalized nanostructured materials for catalysis, especially for conversions of biorenewable resources into commodity chemicals, and in the design of additive manufacturing approaches for generating chemically active architectures.