Director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dr. Mason, who became Laboratory Director July 1, 2007, is an experimental condensed matter physicist whose primary research tool has been neutron scattering, supplemented by the use of X rays and transport and thermodynamic measurements. As Laboratory Director he is responsible for a diverse portfolio of science and energy R&D spanning fundamental research in physics, biology, and chemistry through climate change; energy generation, distribution, and end use; and national security programs. Operating responsibilities include a nuclear reactor, a high-power proton accelerator, classified activities, and a complex array of research facilities and construction projects.
Dr. Mason received a B.Sc. in physics from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1986 and a Ph.D. in physics from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, in 1990. Following completion of his doctorate, he held a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, New Jersey from 1990 to 1991. He then spent a year as a senior scientist at Risø National Laboratory in Denmark where, in addition to conducting ongoing physics research, he supported the user program and developed new instrumentation. From 1993 to 1998, he was an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto. He became director of the Experimental Facilities Division of the Spallation Neutron Source in 1998 and served in that capacity until being named Associate Laboratory Director for the Spallation Neutron Source in 2001. In October 2006, following the completion of the Spallation Neutron Source construction project, Dr. Mason was named Associate Laboratory Director for Neutron Sciences, leading a new directorate charged with delivering safe and productive scientific facilities for the study of structure and dynamics of materials.
Dr. Mason was an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow from 1997 to 1999. He has been an Associate of the Quantum Materials Program (formerly the Superconductivity Program) of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research since 1993. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2001 and a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2007, and was awarded honorary doctorates by Dalhousie University (2011) and McMaster University (2013).