To: Friends of ORNL,

We will hold the official election of board members during a short annual in-person and Zoom meeting starting at 11:50 a.m. on February 14, 2023, before the monthly luncheon lecture meeting.  The in-person meeting will be held at the UT Resource Center at 1201 Oak Ridge Turnpike between Dairy Queen and Applebee's Grill. Use the entrance at the southwest (back) corner of the building. Attendees may bring and eat food during the meeting.

This hybrid meeting can be attended using the Zoom link and login about 11:45 a.m.:

 Meeting ID: 816 5412 7258    Passcode: 251267


Meeting Agenda:

11:30 a.m. Conversation with colleagues begins

11:50 a.m. Annual Meeting for Election of Board Members -all attendees must mute

12:00 noon Lecture begins

1:00 p.m. End of presentation and questions

The election process will consist of presenting a slate of candidates selected by the Nomination Committee and then asking for any additional nominations from meeting attendees. Voting on all issues will be visual (in-person and Zoom); please raise your hand while votes are counted. 

The term of office for board members is normally two years and a board member is eligible to succeed to office twice for a total of three consecutive terms (six years).  After three consecutive terms a board member must drop off the board as a voting member for at least a year. The by-laws require that 5 board members be elected (or re-elected) each year, and to that end, 5 are elected (or re-elected) on even years and 5 on odd years. This year a sixth candidate is also listed below who will fill the half-finished term of Bob Compton for one-year. 

The candidates selected by the Nominating Committee are shown below and short biographical sketches follow:


Syd Ball

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 had many international assignments, mainly via the IAEA, with Japan, China, and South Africa.

He was invited by the IAEA to Vienna in May 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!

If elected, Syd will begin his second two-year term on the FORNL Board.

David E. Fields

Dave is a physicist who directs TAO (Tamke-Allan Observatory) at Roane State Community College. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in condensed matter and materials physics from the University of Wisconsin. He worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for 24 years, served as a 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 the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, simulating the performance of spacecraft radiation shields. David is a member and supporter of FORNL, president/founder of the Oak Ridge Isochronous Observation Network (ORION), former president of the Tennessee Academy of Science, former director of the Society of Amateur Radio Astronomers, and founding board member of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. He has 186 publications and two patents. Current active research interests include a CubeSat capable of receiving, processing, interpreting and relaying VLF radiation information.

If elected, he will begin his second two-year term.

Ray Garrett

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.

If elected, Ray will serve the last year of Bob Compton’s 3rd term.  Bob is resigning from his elected board position, but he will serve on the Lecture Committee as a non-voting Adjunct board member.

Carolyn Hay Krause

Carolyn, who 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, the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning, and the First Presbyterian Church (for which she also served as clerk of Session for five years). She launched a lecture series and recruited lecturers as a member of the ORICL board for which she is again serving as a publicist. Previously, she served on the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association board and has repeatedly publicized ORCMA’s 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 and her husband Herb, retired atomic physicist from ORNL and former FORNL board secretary, have two grown children and two grandchildren.

 If elected, Carolyn will begin her second two-year term on the FORNL Board.

Steve Overbury

Steve grew up in Albuquerque NM, a child of an Engineer at Sandia Laboratory who endowed him with a deep interest in science.  He double majored in Chemistry and Mathematics at University of New Mexico (BS 1972), and then went on to graduate school in Chemistry at University California Berkeley, completing a PhD in Physical Chemistry (Surface Chemistry) in 1976.  In 1977 he started his 39-year career at ORNL, eventually ascending to level group leader and Distinguished Research Staff before retiring in 2016.  Initially, hired to work with Sheldon Datz to study plasma-wall interactions he developed a program in using ion scattering as a tool to probe surface structure, and gradually evolved increasingly into heterogeneous catalysis.    He enthusiastically enjoyed collaborating with many researchers at ORNL as a DOE grantee in areas ranging from structure-function relations in catalysis by Au, cerium oxide and carbon; metal support interactions in catalysis; surface chemistry of oxygenates; electron-proton reactions at electrochemical interfaces, operando spectroscopy of model catalysts; soft x-ray photoemission of surface chemisorbates and redox processes in catalysts.  In retirement he enjoys traveling in western US, playing music (specifically guitar), and browsing a wide range of scientific and mathematical topics.

If elected, Steve will begin his first term.

Fred Peretz

Fred grew up in Milwaukee and obtained bachelor and master’s degrees in nuclear engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Fred began working at ORNL in 1977, initially in Central Engineering Services and then in the Chemical Technology Division and later in nuclear and engineering technologies divisions. Fred led and participated in projects ranging from the Advanced Neutron Source design and the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment remediation to medical isotope separations, liquid waste and effluent management, and reactor and radiochemical facility decommissioning. He retired from the lab at the end of 2017 and began performing occasional consulting work. Fred lives in Farragut with his wife Jean and enjoys trips to Montana to visit their daughter Annie. He volunteers at the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the American Museum of Science and Energy, Tennessee Achieves, the local section of the American Nuclear Society, and Farragut Presbyterian Church. His hobbies include bicycling, sailing, hiking, astronomy, and reading.

If elected, Fred will begin his second two-year term on the FORNL Board.

FORNL officers for the 2023-23 year will be elected at the first meeting of the newly constituted board during their first meeting in March. The Nomination Committee recommends the following officers: President, Herb Krause; Vice-president, Ellen Smith; Secretary, Fred Peretz; and Treasurer, Dave Mullins.

Service Recognition for Board Members and Officers

The board extends our appreciation to retiring board members Janet Swift and Bob Compton who have completed 4 and 5 consecutive years of service, respectively. The board also thanks Herb Krause, Dave Mullins, Fred Peretz, and Ellen Smith for serving as officers during the 2022-23 year.

Herb Krause - Friends of ORNL Board and President