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Bruce Pint

Drawing on previous postdoc experience to improve safety of U.S. nuclear reactors

Andrea Rocha

Bruce Pint, Ph.D. (ceramic science and engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), an ORNL principal investigator in materials science and technology, has spent the past 20 years developing and deploying corrosion-control solutions. In 2013, Pint’s professional contributions in improving the performance of metal alloys and ceramics in high temperature environments, such as steam or exhaust gas, were recognized when he was elected a 2014 NACE (National Association of Corrosion Engineers) International Fellow.

“My research has mainly been focused on the power generation industry,” said Pint. “One project I’m leading is the development of nuclear reactor fuel-rod claddings that are more resistant to heat and steam—like that created in the 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi following the tsunami.”

In the early 1990s, long before he was elected a NACE fellow, Pint began his research career as a participant in the ORAU-administered DOE Distinguished Postdoctoral Program, which introduced him to his current place of employment at ORNL.

“The Distinguished Postdoc Program connected me to ORNL colleagues who are knowledgeable in so many different areas,” said Pint. “The culture exemplified world-class expectations, and I could not have accomplished a fraction of what I have done without the help of the staff and technicians here.”

As a current ORNL group leader, Pint hopes not only to perform valuable research for energy industry partners but also to help cultivate tomorrow’s S&T leaders. “Like many, I am concerned about educating the next generation,” said Pint. “The DOE postdoctoral program introduced early career researchers to a rewarding and successful career path.”