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Orlando Rios



Dr. Orlando Rios is a Research Scientist in the Deposition Science and Technology group, Materials Science and Technology Division (MSTD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as well as, an adjunct associate professor in the Material Science and Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee. Orlando is a thrust lead in the Critical Materials Institute, a multi institution partnership that include National Laboratories, Universities and Industry. He is also the technical lead for electromagnetic processing and critical materials in the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility. He joined ORNL as a Weinberg Fellow in the MSTD in 2009. Previously, he was a NASA graduate student research fellow.  Rios earned the doctorate, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida.

Orlando’s research is interdisciplinary and cross cutting in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. The diverse portfolio is founded on a strong background and interest in material thermodynamics; the science and laws of thermodynamics are pervasive and provide a common ground to understand all sciences with a common language. Additionally, he teaches a research philosophy based on a simple yet powerful sets of rules and relationships that define material states and properties. Orlando collaborates with an integrated team of researchers across the university, ORNL, industry and partner laboratories. This includes additive manufacturing of metals, alloy design and development; magnetic material development, neutron diffraction polymers and magnetic materials; advanced materials manufacturing methods and rapid solidification. The overarching theme of his research is focused on addressing scientific and engineering issues through the experimental design, testing, and implementation of innovative materials solutions. Orlando has focused effort on materials processing under extreme conditions such as high intensity electromagnetic fields. He is the PI of several research project funded by the Department of Energy across the field of Materials Science and Engineering, including electromagnetic processing of energy related materials and development of advanced high temperature Al-Ce alloys. These projects aim to diversify the supply of rare earth elements by developing new uses for co-products. Orlando is a Focus Area Lead for Raw Materials for the Federation of European Material Societies in Euromat. Orlando has 14 patents, 22 patent applications under review, over 40 journal articles, and 1 book chapter. He co-chairs graduate committees and mentors both undergraduate and graduate students through co-located research and through internships at the national laboratories.

Awards and Recognitions

  • R&D 100 Award, Ambient Reactive Extrusion Addititve Manufacturing (2018)
  • HENAAC Award for Significant Achievements, Great Minds in STEM (2018)
  • Light Metals Award, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Light Metals Division, Casting Characteristics of High Cerium Content Aluminum Alloys (2018)
  • Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, Licensing ORNL’s High-Performance, Low-Cost Alloys to Eck Industries (2018)
  • R&D 100 Award, ACE: The Ageless Aluminum Revolution (2017)
  • R&D 100 AwardAdditively Printed High Performance Magnets (2017)
  • Weinberg Fellowship, ORNL (2009–2011)
  • Graduate Research Fellow, National Aeronautics and Space Administration