2008 McMaster University Distinguished Alumni Award for the Sciences Citation

Dr. Thomas (Thom) E. Mason

At the age of 44, Dr. Mason has made outstanding contributions to scientific research, policy and the design and building of scientific facilities. Thom is currently the Director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the US Department of Energy’s largest research laboratory. In 1997 he was named as one of MacLean’s Magazines "100 Canadians to watch".

Dr. Mason received his Ph.D in Physics from McMaster in 1990, studying the effect of neutron scattering on various materials. Thom continued his work with neutron scattering for the next eight years, first as a Senior Scientist at Riso National Laboratory in Denmark, then as Professor at the University of Toronto.

Located in Tennessee, Oak Ridge is one of the world’s largest and most productive multi-purpose laboratories. Its storied history includes being the site of the world’s first sustained nuclear reaction. With an international reputation for groundbreaking research in superconductivity, Mason joined Oak Ridge initially in 1998 as the director of experimental facilities for the Spallation Neutron Source, then the world’s largest civilian research project.

Not only has Thom contributed immensely to the Science world, he has also been an active member within the community of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He was chair of the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education foundation Board, where he led a successful $55M renovation of Oak Ridge High School. Thom is still closely connected with McMaster as he is a member along with 5 McMaster Faculty of the Canadian Institute for advanced research program in Quantum Materials and is a member of the McMaster Alumni Gallery.

McMaster is very proud to recognize his contributions to the Physics community with the Distinguished Alumni Award.