Connor L. Matthews Adjunct Board member
Syd Ball Board Member

Syd Ball is still a part-time research engineer at ORNL, retired from full-time in 2011, re-joining in 2012. He came to ORNL straight from Yale (1957) with a B.E.E. and was transformed into a nuclear engineer by attending ORSORT and focusing on R&D of advanced reactors. He worked on HTGRs for ~40 years, including the GT-MHR (gas turbine modular helium reactor) for plutonium disposition. This was a joint venture with Russia to develop means for disposition of their excess weapons-grade plutonium. Good idea! He spent several years on the ORNL nuclear desalination program, and also had many international assignments, mainly via the IAEA, with Japan, China, and South Africa.
He was invited by the IAEA to Vienna in May 2022 to give the opening talk at a molten salt reactor revival meeting. At his ripe old age, he’s one of the relatively few still kicking who was involved in the design, operation, and analysis of the MSRE ~60 years ago. This gave him a chance to beat the drum about how the world is botching efforts to fix our energy problems, and how to do it right!

William Ray Garrett Board Member

Ray is a professional theoretical /experimental physicist with over 40 years of experience in pure and applied physics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and academic institutions. His research activities have encompassed a broad spectrum of field specialties including properties of and interactions between atoms, molecules, nanoparticles, photons, electrons, and electromagnetic fields, and interactions of these entities with laser beams, surfaces and liquids. He is internationally recognized in the fields of nonlinear optics and atomic and molecular physics. He has published more than 136 papers in professional refereed journals in physics, chemistry, and optics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and was a Research Professor of Physics at the University of Tennessee Department of Physics and Astronomy in Knoxville, and a visiting scientist at the FOM Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He holds 3 US patents. In his career Dr. Garrett has always been the one people came to with their questions on problems involving subjects from quantum physics to experimental mysteries to automobiles to washing machines. With his penchant for uncovering cause/effect relationships and for providing clear explanations of technical issues in layman’s terms, he has served as a physical forensics expert in legal proceedings.

Alan Lowe Alan Lowe Board Member

Alan obtained his BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Kentucky.  He began his career at the Ronald Reagan Presidential library as an archivist.  He has worked for the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.  He served as the Executive Director of the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee from 2003 to 2009. From 2009 to 2016, Alan served as founding Director of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. In 2016, Alan was appointed as founding Director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, a position he held until 2019.  Then he returned to Tennessee and became the director of the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.  If elected, Alan will begin his first two-year term on the FORNL Board.