Dr. Athena Sefat

Program Manager
Physical Behavior of Materials
Materials Sciences and Engineering Division
Office of Basic Energy Sciences
SC-32.2/Germantown Building, Rm TBD
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20585-1290
E-Mail:Athena.Sefat@Science.DOE.gov
Phone: 202-770-5559 


Dr. Athena Safa Sefat earned a PhD from McMaster University (Canada), followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Ames Laboratory. She joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a Wigner Fellow (late 2007), followed by a DOE Office of Science (SC) Early Career Award (2010 to 2015) that transitioned to the Lead PI on a Basic Energy Sciences (BES) funded research program  within Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Division (2015 to 2020). Athena’s research goal was to understand how chemical, electronic, and spin competitions lead to low-dimensional magnets, unconventional superconductors, or quantum spin liquids. Her publication record includes more than 20 manuscripts in Physical Review Letters and more than 250 refereed-journal articles (citations >9600, h-index=51; Web of Science 2020). She is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (2016) and the Institute of Physics (2019).

In addition to serving on scientific review panels, including those of the National Science Foundation and triennial review committees for BES MSE, Athena has organized symposia at national and international meetings, including the APS Conference, the MRS meeting, the American Conference on Crystal Growth and Epitaxy, and the International Conference on Superconductivity and Magnetism.

Athena served as a part-time technical advisor (detailee position) to the Experimental Condensed Matter Physics (ECMP) Program for ~ 2 years, prior to joining DOE as a program manager for Physical Behavior of Materials (PBM), within BES MSE Division (2020). At DOE, Athena is also overseeing the Quantum Information Science (QIS) related research within the Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) programs, in addition to co-managing the National QIS Centers at Office of Science.