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Gilligan Elected to ORAU Board of Directors

April 11, 2004

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.— John G. Gilligan, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies at North Carolina State University, was elected to the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Board of Directors at the 59th annual meeting of the ORAU Council of Sponsoring Institutions held in Washington, D.C. The board provides policy and fiduciary oversight of ORAU operations for its membership.

Gilligan has served in his present position at NCSU since 2002. He joined the university’s faculty in 1983 and was promoted to full professor in 1990. He holds a Ph.D. and a master’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan as well as a bachelor's degree in engineering sciences from Purdue University.

This is not Gilligan’s first involvement with ORAU. He served as the NCSU councilor to the consortium from 2000 to 2002.

“I’m delighted to be more strongly involved,” Gilligan said. “ORAU has been very successful and aggressive in getting university involvement over the past five years. It’s an exciting place to be right now, representing universities in the Southeast on national agenda items. The partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory itself is a strong asset. Whether it’s in nanotechnology or nuclear science or homeland security, ORNL provides a focal point for university activities in the Southeast. We need to take advantage of that as best we can.”

Gilligan credited ORAU President Ron Townsend with inspiring his desire to work with the board. “Ron Townsend is an outstanding leader,” he said. “The ORAU leadership is a strong factor in my involvement. I’ve been very pleased in how things have been shaping up over the past five years.”

As a researcher, Gilligan studies the properties of ionized plasma, a high-temperature gas used in many technologies such as lighting, propulsion, electronics manufacture and energy production. He is exploring how plasma interacts with the surface of various materials, which can limit the purity of the plasma stream and reduce the useful lifetime of plasma-based devices.

In addition to his administrative duties, Gilligan serves as a member of the UT-Battelle Science and Technology Committee and is incoming chair and member of the board of directors of the Engineering Research Council of the American Society of Engineering Education.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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