He received his bachelor's in chemistry from Reed College in 1990, and his doctorate in chemistry from Harvard University in 1996. He specializes in multi-disciplinary problem solving in the physical sciences and their corresponding engineering disciplines. Over his 22-year research and development (R&D) career, he has developed expertise in physical chemistry, chemical kinetics, atmospheric chemistry, instrumentation, electronics (digital, analog, power, and RF), spectroscopic sensing, lasers, fiber optics and wave guides, classical optics, electro-optics, electromagnetics, electromechanical systems, heat transfer, materials science, mechanical engineering, manufacturing processes, and renewable energy technologies.
He has won four R&D 100 Awards, holds numerous patents, has 10 active licenses on his inventions, and given many invited talks on the subject of serial innovation. In 2015, he was selected by the U.S. Department of Energy as its Inaugural SunShot Innovator in Residence. He invented the Radical-Ion Flow Battery under the SunShot Innovator in Residence Program to address the need for low-cost, highly scalable electrochemical grid storage, and the performance limitations of prior art battery chemistries in this demanding application. His current research portfolio is focused on electrochemical grid storage, the elimination of rare-earth magnets in wind turbines, and semiconductor thermal management (power electronics, CPUs, GPUs).
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.
After graduating from the University of Florida in 2004 with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Dr. Aaron L. Washington, II completed his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry with specialization in material science. As of April 2009, Dr. Washington joined the Advanced Characterization and Processing (ACP) group at SRNL and is currently a principal scientist and former manager in the same group. He is currently involved with material development for multiple applications including radiological sensors, nuclear waste storage, additive manufacturing for nuclear material disposal, nuclear Deactivation & Decommissioning (D&D), organic based nuclear sensors, and nuclear waste treatment strategies. Additionally, he recently led a group with 3 post-doctoral researchers (3 former postdocs are now full time), 7 peer PhD scientists, a bachelor’s scientist, 3 managers, and 2-4 interns in interdisciplinary research and program development. Dr. Washington has more than 20+ peer reviewed manuscripts, 30+ technical reports, and more than 15 presentations at national conferences and meetings. Dr. Washington also has 4 patents issued and 7 additional patents currently in process. Dr. Washington was a 2014 recipient of the Laboratory Director’s Award for Early Career Exceptional Achievement and the 2016 Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Achievement. Dr. Washington has also recently received his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification as of July 2017.
Dr. Washington currently serves on multiple committees both at SRNL and in the Aiken community. These include the Conduct of R&D safety council, Diversity Board of Directors for SRNS, and the former Board of Directors Chairman and current member for Habitat for Humanity. He is an also an Adjunct Professor at USC Aiken in the chemistry department.
As Founder and CEO of polySpectra, he is a project lead within Cyclotron Road, Berkeley Lab’s startup accelerator. His work leverages light-activated catalysts to 3D print advanced functional materials with tailored properties in a sustainable manner. He has also led research in energy-efficient window coatings. He earned a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech and a B.S. in Chemistry from Princeton University
His research spans computational and experimental materials science across fields, including solar energy, energy storage, and energy conversion. Much work has focused on the electronic, optical, and optoelectronic properties of semiconductors and nanostructures, emphasizing the relationships among defects, electronic structure, surface/interface effects, and device performance with a theme of enabling materials by design. He employs advanced predictive materials modeling methods in conjunction with advanced synthesis and characterization techniques. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), he leads a team of about a dozen computational materials scientists as the deputy group leader of the Quantum Simulations Group and oversees collaborations with experimental groups both internal and external to LLNL. He was a LLNL fellow and Scowcroft National Security fellow at LLNL, and a Hertz Fellow at Stanford where he received his doctorate. He was recently elected a young leader of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS).