His research program explores the use of nanostructured material architectures for solar energy conversion. From 1996 to 2006, he was a research staff member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York investigating using polymer self-assembly for fabrication of high-performance semiconductor electronics. During his career, he has also performed experimental research in low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy, single-electron tunneling devices, superconductivity in metal nanoparticles, nanocrystal-based electronic devices, and ferroelectric non-volatile memories. He earned his doctorate in physics from Harvard University and bachelor’s in physics and mathematics from Vanderbilt University. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the Board of Directors of the Materials Research Society, and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
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.
He studies microscopic and macroscopic properties of complex and nano-structured materials with a view to basic science understanding and developing their application in energy related technologies. His current research ranges from basic physics and material science studies to the applications of superconducting materials and thermoelectrics. His fundamental science work has seen practical application in the superconducting wires and switches being developed for use in the electricity transmission, grid protection, and in thermoelectric power generators now being developed for vehicle waste heat recovery. He is an elected fellow of American Physical Society. He received his doctorate in physics from Iowa State University.
He completed his academic education at the University of Genoa in Genoa, Italy (bachelor’s and master’s in electronics engineering and a doctorate in electrical engineering) then awarded a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) fellowship for a post-doctoral appointment at the University of California at Berkeley in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. He conducted research in support of the U.S. Department of Energy fusion program starting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at Science Application International Corporation, involved in modeling and simulation and high-performance computing. He then worked at the NASA Johnson Space Center in the Shuttle, Constellation, and International Space Station programs focusing on both hardware and software research and development (R&D) in plasma propulsion, electromagnetic compatibility, and space power systems. During that time, he also developed academic liaisons at University of Houston - Clear Lake as an adjunct professor then research assistant professor in the Physics Department. He also served as a project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute in the Power Delivery and Utilization sector, and as chief scientist at NPL Associates Inc., a small firm focused in plasma and nuclear technologies. More recently, he joined the senior R&D staff at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Electrical and Electronics Systems Research Division.
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).