Why Science?

ORNL is proud of its role in fostering the next generation of scientists and engineers. We bring in talented young researchers, team them with accomplished scientists and engineers, and put them to work at the lab’s one-of-a-kind facilities. The result is research that makes us proud and prepares them for distinguished careers.

We asked some of these young researchers why they chose a career in science, what they are working on at ORNL, and where they would like to go with their careers.

Marissa E. Morales-Rodriguez

Graduate student, Energy and Transportation Science Division
Ph.D. student, Energy Sciences and Engineering, University of Tennessee (Bredesen Center)
Hometown: Toa Alta, Puerto Rico

What are you working on at ORNL?

During my tenure at ORNL I have worked on a number of projects related to sensors. These projects include sensing techniques using laser spectroscopy, using infrared quantum cascade lasers for standoff detection of chemicals. Last year, 2016, I joined a team of scientists developing sensors using printed electronics.

What would you like to do in your career?

I would like to keep developing new sensing techniques using additive manufacturing. The technology commercialization aspect of science is also an interest of mine. My goal is to develop new low-cost solutions for environmental monitoring and security applications that can change the way we detect chemical and physical parameters.

Why did you choose a career in science?

I believe science chose me. Originally I was going to be a flight attendant, as I wanted to travel the world. In school, I was encouraged to study science, and I did. Today, I continue to pursue science because continuously learning, discovering and working on new things is my passion.

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