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Orlando Rios

Assistant Professor


Orlando Rios pursued a technical education earning a B.S. (2002), M.S. (2006) and PhD (2009) in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida.  He began his professional career at Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Weinberg Fellow in 2009 and remained as a staff scientist through 2020.  He has published more than 50 technical papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds more than 20 patents.  Prof. Rios has been awarded Tech Connect Innovation Awards, several R&D 100 Awards, the Battelle Distinguished Inventorship Award and the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer.

Orlando’s research is interdisciplinary and cross-cutting in the field of Materials Science and Engineering. The diverse portfolio is founded on a strong background and interest in material thermodynamics; the science and laws of thermodynamics are pervasive and provide a common ground to understand all sciences with a common language. Additionally, he teaches a research philosophy based on a simple yet powerful set of rules and relationships that define material states and properties. Orlando collaborates with an integrated team of researchers across the university, ORNL, industry, and partner laboratories. This includes additive manufacturing of metals; alloy design and development; magnetic material development; neutron diffraction polymers and magnetic materials; advanced materials manufacturing methods; and rapid solidification. The overarching theme of his research is focused on addressing scientific and engineering issues through the experimental design, testing, and implementation of innovative materials solutions. Orlando has focused effort on materials processing under extreme conditions such as high-intensity electromagnetic fields. He is the PI of several research projects funded by the Department of Energy across the field of Materials Science and Engineering, including electromagnetic processing of energy-related materials and development of advanced high-temperature Al-Ce alloys. These projects aim to diversify the supply of rare earth elements by developing new uses for co-products.


  • Materials Thermodynamics  
  • Additive Manufacturing (metal and Polymer) 
  • Alloy Development 
  • Electrochemistry 
  • Electromagnetic Processing 
  • Experimental Thermodynamics 
  • Interdisciplinary Education 
  • Microstructure and Property Relationships 
  • Neutron and High Energy X-ray Diffraction 
  • Solidification 
  • Cross Cutting Materials Research 



  • PhD, Materials Science and Engineering
    University of Florida, 2009
  • M.S. Chemical Engineering
    University of Florida, 2006
  • B.S. Materials Science and Engineering
    University of Florida, 2002

Awards and Recognitions

  • Tech Connect Innovation Award, Al-Ce Alloys for Additive Manufacturing, Tech Connect Organization (2019)
  • Tech Connect Innovation Award, Additive Manufacturing of Bonded Permanent Magnets using a Novel Polymer Matrix, Tech Connect Organization (2019) 

  • Battelle Distinguished Inventorship Award, Awarded to most innovative who hold at least 14 patents and exhibit leadership in innovation and commercialization
  • R&D 100 Award, ARE: Ambient Cure Reactive Polymer Additive Manufacturing: (2018) Project and Institute Lead 

  • Outstanding Technical Achievement Award, Great Minds in STEM, Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Awards Corporation (2018)

  • Light Metals Award, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Light Metals Division, Casting Characteristics of High Cerium Content Aluminum Alloys (2018)

  • Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer, Licensing ORNL’s High-Performance, Low-Cost Alloys to Eck Industries (2018). Letters of recognition received from Governor Haslam, Senator Alexander, and Secretary of Energy Perry
  • 010 FLC Southeast Regional Award: Excellence in Technology Transfer Award
  • R&D 100 Award, ACE: The Ageless Aluminum Revolution (2017) Project and Institute Lead 
  • R&D 100 Award, 3D Printed Magnets (2017)

  • Weinberg Fellowship, ORNL (2009–2011)
  • Fellow, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 

Contact Information