Michael Baskes

Hertz Fellow: Michael Baskes

California Institute of Technology

Area of Study

Materials Science

Fellowship Years

1966 - 1969

Michael Baskes obtained his BS in engineering at Caltech in 1965, and in 1970 he received his PhD in materials science at Caltech. He was then employed at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California for 29 years. At Sandia he was a staff member until 1983. He was then supervisor of the Scientific Computing Division, the Theoretical Division, the Joining and Physical Metallurgy Division, and the Materials and Process Research Division. Also, he was manager of the Materials and Process Research Department and the Materials Reliability Department. He spent one year in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and three months at the Delft University of Technology, in Delft, Netherlands. Currently, he is a laboratory fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Structure/Properties Relations Group.

Michael's interests encompass the use of computational methods to investigate material properties. Primary examples include alloy phase stability, magnetic behavior, fracture toughness, empirical and semi-empirical potential development for metals and semiconductors, diffusion and trapping of hydrogen isotopes, hydrogen embrittlement helium behavior in metals and metal hydrides, hydrogen isotope molecular recombination, plasma/first wall hydrogen isotope recycling in fusion reactors, interfaces and grain boundaries, atomistic calculations of dislocations in metals, brittle and ductile fracture, and microsegregation in welding. His major scientific accomplishments have been: 1) development of the embedded atom method, 2) development of models to predict the behavior of helium in metals, and 3) development of a model to explain hydrogen isotope recombination.

Michael is a member of TMS, Sigma Xi, and MRS and a fellow of LANL, TMS and IOP. In 1992, he established the journal, Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, and was the editor-in-chief until 2005. From 1995-98, he was a member of the National Materials Advisory Board. From 2002-05, he was a member of the International Advisory Panel for the Materials Science Center at University of Groningen. Currently, Michael is on the scientific advisory boards for Mississippi State University, North Texas University, and a small startup company, Nanosteller. He is a member of the AIME Robert Earl McConnell Award Committee and the MRS Medal Award Committee. He has organized the DOE workshop on computational issues in the mechanical behavior of metals and intermetallics, and was co-organizer of IUMRS-ICAM-93: Computer Applications of Materials Science and Engineering, and an MRS Symposium: Theory and Simulation of Time-Dependent Processes in Materials. In 2003, he was co-chair of the Gordon Conference on Hydrogen-Metal Systems. Michael has authored or co-authored more than 190 technical publications that have had well over 5900 citations. Of these publications, three have over 1000 citations and 15 have over 100 citations apiece. He has received two DOE awards for outstanding research and is in the DOE/BES Hall of Fame.


1969 - A Generalized Treatment Of The Order-Disorder Transformation In Alloys And Its Effect On Their Magnetic Properties