Alumna Michelle Buchanan Named Deputy for Science and Technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Michelle Buchanan
Michelle Buchanan

Michelle Buchanan (Ph.D. ’78, Taylor) has been appointed as deputy for science and technology at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Her appointment is effective Oct. 1, 2017. Since 2004, Buchanan has served as associate laboratory director for physical sciences at ORNL.

“The scientific challenges and impact of Oak Ridge’s research has compelled me for many years,” says Buchanan, who came to the lab as a chemist in 1978. “It is a great privilege to be entrusted with shaping our future as a laboratory. My focus will be on strengthening collaborations across our diverse disciplines and promoting scientific achievement among ORNL staff, as well as the world-leading scientists who use ORNL facilities and benefit from our expertise.”

Buchanan is a fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She has authored more than 100 scientific publications, holds two patents, has edited a book, and worked extensively at the national level helping shape research directions for DOE as well as the National Science Foundation. She has held multiple positions in the American Chemical Society and the American Society for Mass Spectrometry. She is currently a member of the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, National Academy of Sciences, and serves on advisory boards for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Chemistry, the University of Tennessee Department of Chemistry, the National Science Foundation Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, and the Georgia Institute of Technology Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC). Her stature in the research community has made her an effective advocate for increased opportunities for women and other groups underrepresented in STEM.

Buchanan earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Kansas and her doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

—David Keim, Oak Ridge National Laboratory