Cummings appointed principal scientist of Oak Ridge National Laboratory division

A chemical engineering professor at Vanderbilt University will lead the science programs of an Oak Ridge National Laboratory center that is designing and developing next-generation nanoscale materials.

As the principal scientist for the ORNL Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, Peter T. Cummings will continue to serve as Vanderbilt University John R. Hall Professor of Chemical Engineering. He will also continue to oversee the CNMS Nanomaterials Theory Institute, which he has led since 2002.

One of five U.S. Department of Energy Nanoscale Science Research Centers, the CNMS allows scientists and engineers to collaborate to more quickly make nanoscience discoveries and to develop ways to create new materials to be used in medicine, electronics and a wide variety of industrial applications. Cummings will work closely with CNMS Director Linda Horton to advance the center’s research.

Cummings has served as a joint faculty member of ORNL since 1994, when he was also on the faculty of the University of Tennessee. Joining the Vanderbilt engineering faculty in 2002, Cummings is the author of more than 280 refereed journal publications, three  monographs, and 12 book chapters. Editor of the journal Fluid Phase Equilibria, he is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and serves on the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.

Vanderbilt University is a private research university of approximately 6,300 undergraduates and 4,600 graduate and professional students. Founded in 1873, the University comprises 10 schools, a public policy institute, a distinguished medical center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt, ranked as one of the nation’s top universities, offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development, and a full range of graduate and professional degrees.