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CMI Researcher Thomas Lograsso began serving as CMI interim director in November 2019. He had led the CMI Focus Area 2, Developing Substitutes since 2014. Previously he led Focus Area 4, Crosscutting Research while serving as the interim director of The Ames Laboratory. Also at Ames Lab, Tom leads a BES Synthesis & Processing effort on Novel Materials Preparation and Processing Methodology, whose goal is to develop synthesis protocols for new materials including quasicrystals, ferromagnetic shape memory alloys, and those that may contain volatile reactive or toxic components especially in single crystalline form. Often his pioneering synthesis efforts result in the first single crystals of these novel materials to be grown and studied for intrinsic behavior.
Tom is co-inventor of a rare-earth free substitute for the magnetostrictive alloy Terfenol-D (contains the critical elements Tb and Dy) used in high precision machining operations for small engine components and as a ultrasonic driver in petroleum exploration. This iron-based substitute is currently being evaluated for commercialization in energy harvesting applications.
Dr. Lograsso received his education in metallurgical engineering at Michigan Technological University, earning his Ph.D. in 1986. He did postdoctoral training working on the Rensselaer team, developing the Isothermal Dendritic Growth Experiment (IDGE) that flew on the Space Shuttle in the late 1990s. The IDGE tested the fundamental solidification physics of the pattern formation and kinetics of crystal growth in isothermal undercooled melts in growth regimes where gravity driven convection overwhelmed the growth in terrestrial conditions.
Dr. Viktor P. Balema is a Senior Scientist at Ames Laboratory. He joint the laboratory in 2016 to lead new materials development and commercialization at Ames’ led DOE consortium (CaloriCool) founded by US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. His technical expertise comprises development of biologically active compounds, hard and hybrid materials, polymers and chemical recycling.
Before joining Ames Laboratory, Viktor served in various leading roles, including Hard Materials Head and Global R&D Manager, at Sigma-Aldrich Corporation - a major materials supplier to research and commercial markets. Once at Ames Laboratory, Dr. Balema served on the laboratory’s Research Management Team and Technical Advisory Committee of REMADE Institute and contributed to the development of the Strategic Plan for Ames Laboratory.
Scientific expertise of Dr. Balema spans over chemistry of bio-active agents, synthetic materials chemistry as well as upcycling of spent products, including rare earths and polymers. Viktor published over 70 papers, reviews and proceedings in open literature and filed ~15 US and international patents and IP disclosures. He also developed and commercialized numerous proprietary materials that have been offered through diverse business channels.