News from Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Black History Month: Materials scientist Cooper shares a ‘hidden figure’ in chemistry

When The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) asked Valentino Cooper, a section head in ORNL’s Materials Science and Technology Division, to coauthor a profile of Bettye Washington Greene, a “hidden figure” in chemistry, he did not disappoint.

With co-author Clinique Brundidge, a materials engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Cooper researched and wrote Washington Greene’s history, now published in TMS’s member journal, JOM.

Washington Greene, who died in 1995, was an industrial chemist and inventor who lit a path for innovation. After earning her Ph.D. in chemistry in the 1960s, she went on to become the first African American woman employed in a scientific research role at the Dow Chemical Company, where her innovations were awarded three patents.

Cooper is a member of three TMS committees – Public & Governmental Affairs; Computational Materials Science & Engineering; and Content Development and Dissemination. His professional society service benefits his career at ORNL, where he focuses on materials modeling, theory and simulations.  Dawn Levy