Achievement Award

Tina M. Nenoff, Ph.D.

Sandia National Laboratories

For groundbreaking research in nanoporous materials; and for instilling in others the ethics and integrity for guiding future discoveries in chemistry and chemical engineering.

Tina M. Nenoff, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at Sandia National Laboratories. She is a pioneer in nanoporous materials, focusing on the chemistry of confinement and reactivity of ions and molecules in nanoporous materials.

In her 29-year Sandia career, Dr. Nenoff’s work has impacted numerous U.S. Department of Energy programs, including its offices of Science, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology, Environmental Management, Nuclear Energy, Industrial Technologies (now Advanced Manufacturing), and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.

Dr. Nenoff has demonstrated active leadership in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, environmental science and engineering, materials science, nanoscience, and nanotechnology, which is evidenced by the new research areas originating from her explorations and discoveries. It is this combination of basic to applied research, and technology transfer to industry and materials commercialization that enabled Dr. Nenoff to grow into both national and international leadership.

She is a strong advocate for collaborative efforts, combining modeling for materials design with laboratory validation for materials discovery. She is internationally recognized for the design and synthesis of robust nanoporous materials for radiological cleanup. For example, the crystalline silicotitanates, with ultrahigh selectivity for radioactive cesium, were commercialized first for use at U.S. nuclear waste sites and then for successful incorporation into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident cleanup.

Dr. Nenoff has also excelled at the design and synthesis of gas adsorbent membranes for energy-efficient separations. Through modeling, synthesis, characterization, and industrial testing, she has developed zeolite membranes for the separations of key industrial feedstock chemicals. The ability to separate hydrocarbon feedstock molecules from raw crude has enabled trillions of BTU energy savings.

She holds 15 U.S. patents and is extensively published and cited with more than 176 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact research journals. Dr. Nenoff is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, the Materials Research Society, and the International Zeolite Association, and a fellow and member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. She is also an associate editor of Industrial & Engineering Chemical Research.

Integrity and ethics are at the core of Dr. Nenoff’s research and development principles. She applies them to her own research and that of her mentees, and she has served as a member of Sandia’s Office of Research and Development Integrity team since its inception in 2017. She strongly believes in mentoring women and minorities in sciences and engineering, and has mentored many postdocs, interns, and young faculty, a majority of whom are women scientists, engineers, and young staff at Sandia.

Dr. Nenoff holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara. In her spare time, she loves to lead group hikes in the mountains with work teams.