CNMS Updates



The CNMS has a new director

Sean Smith from the University of Queensland in Australia has accepted the position of director for the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. Smith currently serves as group leader for computational biology and nanotechnology in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology; professor of computational molecular science, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences; and director, Centre for Computational Molecular Science.

Until Sean can join ORNL, Tony Haynes will serve as acting director for the CNMS. Mike Simonson, who has served as acting CNMS director during the last year and a half, has accepted a position with the Spallation Neutron Source as a senior scientist.


User Survey Results

Surveys Submitted Between September 3-23, 2010


Survey Responses: 58



1. Are there areas of specific scientific expertise or equipment that you would like to see strengthened or added at the CNMS? If so, please list.
  Responses were mostly in the facilities area, with additional suggestions in preparation, synthesis, and processing. We will further address these in the next newsletter, or directly with the user if contact information was provided.
2. Currently, CNMS proposal calls are twice a year, specifically with proposal deadlines in early May and mid-October. Based on your schedule of annual conferences, academic calendars, proposal cycles, and other annual obligations, are these time periods optimal?
  Yes 81.7%
No 18.3%
3. If not, what general times of the year would be better for you and/or your scientific peers?
  Of the 11 users who answered this question, the majority preferred January/July.
4. In what subject areas would you find a CNMS sponsored tutorial or workshop useful? Tutorial: Experts provide special instruction or training in use of instruments or techniques.
  Topics mentioned for consideration were in electron microscopy, neutron scattering, advanced characterization, and processing.
5. Workshop: Experts meet together to identify research opportunities, needs, challenges, strategies for future development
  Topics mentioned for consideration were nanoscience for energy, energy storage, biological opportunities, characterization, processing, and environmental concerns.
6. Are you more likely to attend tutorials and workshops if they are scheduled with the CNMS user meeting in September or at some other time?
  With user meeting 64%
Some other time 36%
7. What other suggestions would you like to make to improve your overall user experience at CNMS?
  Only 40% of users responding chose to leave comments, but we are happy to hear that most were satisfied with their experiences at CNMS. Suggestions for continued improvements included fine tuning of the proposal process, concerns for student participation, ideas for improved performance of characterization tools, and security concerns.
8. If you can be available to provide clarification or would like to have feedback to any of your responses above, please include your name and email address.
  There were 12 valid responses.

Bylaws Results

The Charter revision passed with 97% of votes cast in favor of the changes.


The CNMS User Meeting this year was part of a weeklong series of events during the week of September 13-17, 2010, billed as “ORNL Users Week.” The main CNMS event was Tuesday, September 14, when the CNMS hosted a full day of plenary and user presentations on nanoscience research followed by a user poster session and the popular Ridgedance Nanoscience Film Festival. The CNMS User Group had its annual “town hall” meeting at 12:30pm that day.


User Meeting Photos:


NUFO News:

The National User Facility Organization (NUFO) was founded in 1990 and currently represents the interests of all users who conduct research at U.S. national scientific user facilities, as well as scientists from U.S. universities, laboratories, and industry who use facilities outside the United States. The organization’s latest newsletter, NUFO News, is now available here .