Dr. Xianming (David) Bai in the MSE department is one of 36 out of 159 applicants to receive a prestigious Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award in 2018. Administered by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), the program provides funds to enrich research and professional growth of young faculty. A total of $10,000 is awarded to each recipient ($5000 from ORAU, $5000 from their institution) for the 2018-19 academic year to go toward the purchase of equipment, to continue research, or to fund travel to professional conferences.
ORAU started in 1946 following casual conversations between UT professors William Pollard and Katherine Way, who saw the value in connecting scientific resources developed at ORNL with regional universities. Ralph E. Powe served as the ORAU councilor from Mississippi State University for 16 years. The award is now in its 28th year.
Dr. Bai joined the MSE department in August 2016 following eight years in national laboratories. His research interests include computational materials science, radiation effects in nuclear materials, defect and microstructural evolution in metals and oxides, thermal transport in ceramics, as well as mechanical behavior of materials, phase transformations, and granular materials modeling. Currently, the focus of his research group is on modeling radiation effects and physical property degradation in nuclear materials.