Michael Baskes

Materials Science and Engineering
Distinguished Research Professor
Member of National Academy of Engineering

Discovery Park E110

Michael I Baskes

Ph.D. Materials Science with minors in Physics and Economics, California Institute of Technology, 1970

B.S. Engineering, California Institute of Technology, 1965


Scientific Accomplishments and Expertise:

Development of the Embedded Atom Method (EAM): this semi-empirical atomistic method has become the standard mode of calculation for complex  applications in materials science.  Well over 100 groups are currently using  this method and its variations worldwide.

Development of atomistic models to predict the behavior of helium in metals: these models and their application have led to the understanding of the phenomena of low temperature helium embrittlement.  The calculations have strongly affected research and technology in the areas of fission, fusion, and nuclear weapons materials.

Development of a model to explain hydrogen isotope recombination: application of this pioneering research led to the realization that tritium inventory in fusion reactors was a potential technological problem.  This model along with the computer code DIFFUSE-83 has been a mainstay of the fusion reactor materials community.

Professional competence areas:

  • 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
  • Microsegregation in welding
  • 273 journal publications, book chapters, and conference proceedings, which have been cited 31378 times. 
  • The initial publication relating to the Embedded Atom Method has had 7017 citations. 
  • Five publications have had over 1000 citations apiece and 45 publications have had over 100 citations apiece. (Google Scholar 5/2019)
Professional Experience
  • Mississippi State University, 2013 - Research Professor and Special Assistant to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, 2011- Laboratory Associate-Fellow        
  • University of North Texas, Denton, 2013-2018 -  Adjunct Professor
  • University of California, San Diego, 2008-2018 -  Adjunct Professor
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory, 1999-2008 - Technical Staff Member / Laboratory Fellow
  • Sandia National Laboratories, 1969-1999               
  • Editor-in-chief: Modelling and Simulation in Materials Science and Engineering, 1992-2005
Honors and Awards
  • John and Fannie Hertz Foundation Fellowship, 1965-70
  • Member of National Academy of Engineering (2012)
  • Fellow of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (2004)
  • Fellow Institute of Physics (2002)
  • Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Sigma Xi
  • DOE Basic Energy Sciences Award for Sustained Outstanding Research:
    Development of the Embedded Atom Method (EAM)
  • DOE Basic Energy Sciences Award for Sustained Outstanding Research:
    Atomistic Studies of Helium in Metals
  • DOE Basic Energy Sciences Hall of Fame