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William J. Weber

Governor’s Chair Professor


Dr. William J. Weber earned his B.S. Cum Laude in Physics from the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh in 1971, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1972 and 1977, respectively. His dissertation research included transmission electron microscopy analysis of the temperature dependence of void and dislocation loop formation in ion-irradiated vanadium. From 1977 to 2010, Dr Weber was on the staff of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) where he conducted research on radiation effects in ceramics and glasses, the long-term behavior of nuclear waste forms, electronic and ionic transport in ceramics, solid oxide fuel cells, high-temperature superconductors, and physics of radiation detectors. He was appointed Laboratory Fellow at PNNL in 1997 and served as Chair of the PNNL Council of Fellows from 2005 to 2009. In 1983, he was a visiting scientist at the Institute for Transuranium Elements in Germany, where he studied radiation effects in actinide compounds, nuclear waste glasses, and nuclear fuel materials. From 1989 to 1993, he was on a special assignment to the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy, where he provided technical assistance in the review and evaluation of materials sciences programs. Dr. Weber joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2010 as the UT-ORNL Governor’s Chair for Radiation Effects on Materials.

Dr. Weber’s research group focuses on the fundamental and applied aspects of radiation effects in materials, interaction of radiation and charged-particles with solids, ion-beam and electron-beam modification of materials, defect-property relationships in ceramics, long-term performance of materials under extreme environments, phase transformations, interface phenomena, and nanostructures in materials. Their research includes using energetic ion and electron beams to study radiation effects in materials, to structurally modified materials for advanced technologies, and to perform accelerated testing of materials for extreme radiation environments, as well as using advanced computational methods to investigate defect properties, phase transformations and radiation effects. Dr. Weber is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, Materials Research Society, and American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received an Outstanding Young Alumni Award (1983) and Distinguished Alumni Award (2009) from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; the PNNL Laboratory Director’s Award for Individual Lifetime Achievement in Science & Technology (2009); and the PNNL Chester L. Cooper Mentor of the Year Award (2005). He has published more than 500 technical papers that have been cited more than 7700 times. He has chaired numerous international conferences, society symposia, topical workshops.


  • Theory and modeling of radiation-solid interactions
  • Evolution of radiation effects in materials
  • Ion-beam and electron-beam modification of materials
  • Defects and defect/property relationships in ceramics
  • Long-term performance of nuclear materials
  • Materials physics of radiation detectors


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin: Radiation-Solid Interactions; Fundamental and Applied Research on Radiation Effects in Materials; Ion-Beam Modification of Materials; Defects, Phase Transformations and Nanostructures in Ceramics; Radiation Detector Physics; Theoretical Modeling

Professional Service

  • Materials Research Society’s Fellows Selection Committee, 2011 – 2014
  • Principal Editor, Journal of Materials Research, 2002 – present
  • Member, Editorial Board for Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Solids, 2003 – 2008
  • Guest Editor, Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Solids, Vol. 255 [Issue 1] 2007; Vol. 250 [Issue 1- 2] 2006; Vol. 141 [Issue 1-4] 1998
  • Guest Editor, Journal of Nuclear Materials, Vol. 289 (Issue 1- 2), 2001
  • Chair, American Association for the Advancement of Science Symposium on Radiation Detectors for Global Security: The Need for Science-Driven Discovery, 2008
  • Chair, 8th International Conference on Computer Simulation of Radiation Effects in Solids, 2006
  • Co-Chair, 13th International Conference on Radiation Effects in Insulators, 2005
  • Co-Chair, International Conference on Alternative Nuclear Waste Forms, 2004
  • Co-Chair, 9th International Conference on Radiation Effects in Insulators, 1997

Awards and Recognitions

2010 Fellow, American Physical Society
2009 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Laboratory Director’s Award for Individual Lifetime Achievement in Science and Technology
2009 University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Distinguished Alumni Award 
2008 Fellow, Materials Research Society
2006 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2005 Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Chester L. Cooper Mentor of the Year Award
2000 Fellow, American Ceramic Society


W. J. Weber and R. C. Ewing, “Plutonium immobilization and radiation effects,” Science 289[5487]: 2051-2052 (2000).

I. Farnan, H. M. Cho, and W. J. Weber, “Quantification of actinide alpha-radiation damage in minerals and ceramics,” Nature 445: 190-193 (2007).

F. Gao, H. Y. Xiao, X. T. Zue, M. Posselt, and W. J. Weber, “Defect-enhanced charge transfer by ion-solid interactions in SiC using large-scale ab initio molecular dynamics simulations,” Phys. Rev. Letters 102 [2]: 027405 (2009).
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W. J. Weber, A. Navrotsky, S. Stefanovsky, E. R. Vance, and E. Vernaz, “Materials science of high-level nuclear waste immobilization,” MRS Bulletin 34 [1]: 46-53 (2009).

Y. Zhang and W. J. Weber, “Role of energy partitioning on electron-hole recombination, trapping, and detection in silicon detectors,” Physical Review B 82 [7]: 075202 (2010).

F. Gao, D. Chen, W. Hu, and W.J. Weber, “Energy dissipation and defect generation in nanocrystalline silicon carbide,” Physical Review B 81 [18]: 184101 (2010).

W. J. Weber and F. Gao, “Irradiation-induced defect clustering and amorphization in silicon carbide,” J. Materials Research 25 [12]: 2349-2353 (2010).

H. Y. Xiao, F. Gao, and W. J. Weber, “Threshold displacement energies and defect formation energies in Y2Ti2O7,” J. Physics: Condens. Matter 22 [41]: 415801 (2010).

H. Y. Xiao and W. J. Weber, “Oxygen vacancy formation and migration in CexTh1-xO2 (0≤x≤1) solid solution,” J. Physical Chemistry B 115 [20]: 6524-6533 (2011).

Y. Zhang, P. D. Edmondson, T. Varga, S. Moll, F. Namavar, C. Lan, and W. J. Weber, “Structural modification of nanocrystalline ceria by ion beams,” Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 13 [25]: 11946-11950 (2011).

Selected Patents

Rodney C. Ewing, Werner Lutze and William J. WeberMethod of Immobilizing Weapons Plutonium to Provide a Durable, Disposable Waste Product, U.S. Patent No. 5,545,797

Contact Information

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