James Rome Webmaster, Member

Jim Rome received 4 degrees from MIT and worked at ORNL in the Fusion Energy Division for 25 years. He later switched to doing computer security and air traffic analysis. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Currently retired, Jim runs multiple Web sites including this one:

Dave McVicker Dave McVicker Adjutant Board Member - Arrangements

I was born in a small village, Quaker City, Ohio, 1937.  Since then I have come a long ways, filled with varying experiences.  Growing up in Burbank, California.  Educated with a B.S. Chemistry, University of Southern California, and a MBA, from now Chapman University, Orange, California.  My employment over 36 years was with the Department of Defense, as a officer with the USAF and civil service with the Army.  During my commissioned years I served with NORAD as a communications and electronics officer at a radar site in the U.S. and in northern Thailand during the Vietnam Campaign.  Later with the Strategic Air Command (SAC) as a Guidance Officer on the Atlas-D ICBM and a Communications Comptroller at SAC Headquarters, underground command center and on the Airborne Command Post (Looking Glass).  As a civilian with the Army I served primarily in the Pentagon as a Operations Research Analyst, doing Life Cycle and Cost Benefit Analyses on Army Command and Control Systems.   This required travel to South Korea and Germany.  I retired and left Washington, D.C. after 9/11, coming to my retirement location, Oak Ridge, Tn.  Here I remarried to a wonderful woman, Sara, location of the marriage was at the recently torn down AMSE.  Drawing on my Chemistry and Analytical background my AMSE volunteer experience was within the museum and serving many years as a tour guide to Y-12 and ORNL.  Before closing, one of the most exciting visual and wonderful trips I have made was in 2002 going as a single to Churchill, Manitoba, Canada on Hudson Bay to photograph Polar Bears.  I took over 17 rolls of film of these bears.  Please, someone give me an idea or two of where to donate these wonderful pictures one day, possibly the Children's Museum.  

John Gunning Dr. John E. Gunning - FORNL President 2021-22 President , FORNL, Dr. John E. Gunning

Dr. John E. Gunning

John Gunning grew up in Crystal Lake, Ohio and attended The University of Michigan where he received a BS, MS, and PhD in Nuclear Engineering.  He worked for Bechtel for 25 years and for Oak Ridge National Lab for 10. He lived in Florida for six years where he worked on designing and supervising upgrades and modifications to the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).  He also worked at TVA’s Brown’s Ferry NPP for six months.

John moved to Oak Ridge with Bechtel in 1990, joined ORNL in 2003, and retired from ORNL at the end of 2013.  His work experience includes power plant maintenance, solid state physics, neutron scattering, development of proton pulsed neutron sources (such as SNS), nuclear power plant design and licensing, nuclear waste disposal site design and licensing, environmental remediation, and management of the Safety Analysis for the Russian facility that stores fissile material from decommissioned Russian nuclear weapons. He was a nuclear facility safety engineer for ORNL 3019-B. He has been active in the American Nuclear Society, having been Chair of the Local Oak Ridge/Knoxville Section, founding Chair of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Division as well as Chair of the Decommissioning and Decontamination Division.

He has been a Board Member of the Oak Ridge Playhouse and subsequently the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association (ORCMA) - having been Secretary for each, a member of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, and is a tenor in Grace Lutheran Church’s Choir.  After retirement at the end of 2013, he and his wife Susan completed America’s Great Loop – a 5,500 miles trip by water around the Easter half of the US - aboard their Camano 31’ trawler named Nuclear Fishin.  He became an FORNL Board Member in 2015, has been Secretary for much of this time, was a member of the Speakers Troika which obtains speakers for FORNL monthly meetings, and is currently President of FORNL.

Ellen Smith Photo of a woman's face Vice President

Ellen Smith graduated from Carleton College (B.A. in Geology, 1974) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison (M.S. in Water Resources Management, 1979). She retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in August 2018 after 36 years on the research staff of the Environmental Sciences Division, where she enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to addressing variety of technical and societal challenges related to energy technology, waste management, and activities of the Department of Energy and other government agencies. Her principal areas of expertise are geology, hydrology, waste management, and environmental impact assessment, but she usually just calls herself “an environmental scientist.” Ellen is an elected member of the Oak Ridge City Council (2007 to 2012 and 2014 to present), was previously a member of the city’s Environmental Quality Advisory Board, has been active for many years as a citizen volunteer engaged with diverse environmental concerns in and around East Tennessee, and currently serves on the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Advocacy Committee of the National League of Cities. Her current local civic activities include board service or memberships in Advocates for the Oak Ridge Reservation, TORCH, Keep Anderson County Beautiful, the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Altrusa, Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary, and Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning. She joined FORNL in 2018 upon her retirement from ORNL, after having attended FORNL luncheons and lectures on an occasional basis during her ORNL career. She was elected to the FORNL board in 2020, for a two-year term.

Kent Williams Kent Williams Past-President

Kent is a Chicago-born chemical engineer with degrees from Purdue (BS, MS) and UTK (PhD). His nuclear-related career started out as a co-op and "practice school" student at Argonne, moving to Oak Ridge in 1970 to work at K-25. In 1985 he transferred to ORNL the Engineering Technology Division which by the time he retired in 2010 had become the Nuclear Science and Technology Div. Most of his work has dealt with the economics of nuclear power with emphasis on the fuel cycle. Post retirement he has worked part time as a consultant for INL, ORNL, and presently Argonne. Other activities include gardening, music, reading, hiking, travel, and three Grandchildren. Kent served as FORNL President from 2019-2020.

Chuck Coutant Chuck Coutant in his home office. Treasurer

Chuck Coutant was employed by ORNL from March 1970 until retirement in October 2005. He was a 1965 PhD graduate of Lehigh University. He came to ORNL from Battelle-Northwest, Richland, WA, where he conducted laboratory and field studies on salmon and other aquatic life of the Columbia River in relation to the thermal discharges from the Hanford reactors. He joined ORNL’s Environmental Sciences Division to establish an aquatic power plant effects program in anticipation of a surge in nuclear power. He oversaw construction of the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory and a team of 15 research staff. He participated in environmental assessments of thermal and hydroelectric power stations nationwide. In 1989-1991 he led ORNL’s LDRD Program. From 1989-2005, he served on boards overseeing Columbia River basin salmon restoration. He currently consults part-time, primarily on aquatic impacts of the electric power industry. He and his wife, Nancy, live in Oak Ridge. They have two grown daughters. A FORNL Board member since 2009, Chuck has served as Secretary, Vice President/Program Chair, and President and is currently (2021)Treasurer.

Carolyn H Krause

Carolyn Krause was elected to the FORNL Board of Directors in 2021. She has been retired since 2011, was a science writer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 35 years, and editor of the award-winning ORNL Review research magazine for 25 years. Previously, she worked as a feature writer for The Pittsburgh Press and science reporter for The Oak Ridger. A fellow of the international Society for Technical Communication, she served as president of STC’s East Tennessee Chapter for a year. A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., Carolyn holds a B.A. degree in English from the College of Wooster, an M.A.T. degree from the University of Pittsburgh, and an M.S.J. degree from the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University. She has been engaged in volunteer publicity and newsletter writing for the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge, First Presbyterian Church, and Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning. She launched a lecture series and recruited lecturers as a member of the ORICL board for which she is serving as a publicist. Previously, she served on the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association board and has repeatedly publicized ORCMA’s fundraiser, the Rock to Bach Music Festival. She covers talks by FORNL speakers and writes guest columns for The Oak Ridger and contributes write-ups on mostly ORNL managers and researchers for The Oak Ridger’s weekly “Historically Speaking” column. She has written an unpublished history on mercury contamination in Oak Ridge and the response to it by Oak Ridge scientists. She and her husband Herb, retired atomic physicist from ORNL and former secretary of FORNL, have two grown children and two grandchildren.

David Fields Board Member

David E. Fields is a physicist, currently directing Tamke-Allan Observatory (TAO) at RSCC. He received his MSc and PhD. in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics from the University of Wisconsin and was employed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, served as guest scientist at the German Federal Health Office, and represented the International Atomic Energy Agency in Brazil, returning there to work at two federal research facilities and present a graduate-level course on Environmental Transport, Human Exposure, and Risk Evaluation. He subsequently consulted with NASA-MSFC, simulating the performance of spacecraft radiation shields. David is ORION president, TVIW/IRG Founding Board member, FORNL board member, former TAS president, and former Director of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers (SARA). He has 206 publications and two patents. Current active research interests include Dyson Dots, climate change, and radio transmission through magnetized plasmas.

Robert Compton Board Member

The Compton family moved to Oak Ridge in 1943 during WWII where his father worked at Y-12 on the Manhattan Project. He received degrees in Physics from Berea College (BA), the University of Florida (MS) and the University of Tennessee (PhD. He was a Senior Corporate Fellow at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1965 to 1995 and has been a Professor of Physics and Zeigler Professor of Chemistry at the University of Tennessee until retirement in 2015. He was a Visiting Professor at the Univ. of Aarhus, Univ. of Paris, and the FOM Institute in Amsterdam. In 2001, he was an Erskine Fellow at the University of Christchurch, New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the APS, AAAS, and OSA. He also received the Beams Award from the APS and the Meggers Award from the OSA. His research interests include negative ions, laser spectroscopy, and molecular chirality. .

Janet Swift Janet Swift FORNL Board, ORNL Tours

Janet Swift

Janet Swift retired from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2007 following 31 years experience in communications and human resources. She held positions specializing in compensation management and served as HR manager for several ORNL divisions and directorates. She has a BS in Communications and an MBA from the University of Tennessee. Janet is an active community volunteer with many Oak Ridge organizations, including the American Museum of Science and Energy, the DOE Public Bus Tours, and the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. She is a past president of Altrusa International of Oak Ridge and is a Lifetime member of the Girl Scouts of the USA. She is currently serving on the Board of the Coalition of Oak Ridge Retired Employees (CORRE) and the Ecumenical Storehouse, Inc., as well as the Friends of ORNL.