As Deputy for Science and Technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Thomas Zacharia oversees one of the nation’s largest research and development (R&D) programs, with an annual budget of more than $1.4 billion and a portfolio that spans physical sciences, energy and engineering sciences, computing and computational sciences, neutron sciences, and global security for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other sponsors. Zacharia was first appointed to the post in 2009. In September 2012, he accepted a position as the Executive Vice President of Research and Development for the Qatar Foundation, where he advanced and promoted the organization’s research initiatives in energy and environment, information and computing technology, life sciences and biomedical research, and social sciences. He returned to ORNL in April 2015.
Zacharia first joined ORNL in 1987 as a postdoctoral researcher. Soon after accepting a staff position with the Laboratory’s Metals and Ceramics Division in 1989, he established the Materials Modeling and Simulation Group and served as group leader until he was named director of the Computer Science and Mathematics Division in 1998. He served as Deputy Associate Laboratory Director for High Performance Computing from 2000 to 2001 and was named Associate Laboratory Director for the newly formed Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate in 2001. He led the creation of the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and the realization of DOE’s goal of fielding the world’s most powerful supercomputing system. Zacharia also oversaw the establishment of the National Institute for Computational Sciences, a partnership of ORNL and the University of Tennessee that successfully delivered a petascale supercomputer for the National Science Foundation in 2008 and continues to provide researchers with leadership-class high-performance computing resources, facilities, and support.
Zacharia holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, India, an M.S. in materials science from the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, and a Ph.D. in engineering science from Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. He holds two U.S. patents and is author or co-author of more than 100 publications on high-performance computing for manufacturing processes, including superplastic forming, casting and solidification, and the stamping process. He was named a Fellow of the American Welding Society in 2005 and elected a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics in 2014.Back