Paul Langan to head ORNL’s neutron sciences

langanPaul Langan was announced today as Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s new associate lab director for neutron sciences, overseeing the Spallation Neutron Source and the High Flux Isotope Reactors and the slew of neutron-based research that takes place at ORNL.

Langan has been at ORNL since April 2011.

In making today’s announcement, Lab Director Thom Mason — who once held the neutron sciences job — said Langan would “further broaden our role in neutron sciences globally, expand our instrument capabilities, and prepare for a second target station at the Spallation Neutron Source.”

According to the announcement, Langan’s most research accomplishments have been in applying neutrons to “study enzyme mechanism and drug binding, developing novel technologies and computational methods for neutron macromolecular crystallography, integrating neutron scattering with high-performance computing and providing a detailed understanding of the cellulose and lignin components of cellulosic biomass.”

Langan is a native of Scotland, and before coming to Oak Ridge he held positions at the ISIS neutron and muon source at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK; Institut Laue Langevin in France; and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Volker Urban will fill Langan’s former position as acting director of the Biology and Soft Matter Division.

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.