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 Ph.D. from McMaster University (Canada) in 2005, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Ames Laboratory. She joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) as a Wigner Fellow in 2007.

Dr. Sefat received the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science (SC) Early Career Award, which allowed her to fund her single-principal investigator (PI) research team at ORNL (2010 to 2015). This award transitioned Athena to lead her multi-PI research team at ORNL (2015 to 2020), funded by DOE’s SC, Basic Energy Sciences (BES) at Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) Division. Athena served as a part-time technical advisor to the Experimental Condensed Matter Physics (ECMP) Program within BES at MSE Division for ~ 2 years, prior to joining DOE’s SC in 2020.

Dr. Sefat’s research career had focused on tuning and understanding chemical, electronic, and spin competitions in materials such as magnets, unconventional superconductors, and quantum spin liquids. Her ~240 peer-reviewed publication record gives citations greater than 10,000, and an h-index of 60. Athena is an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS; 2016) and the Institute of Physics (IoP; 2019).

At DOE, Dr. Sefat is a program manager for Physical Behavior of Materials (PBM) program within MSE Division at BES. Additionally, Athena oversees a few of Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) within BES, and a few of Quantum Information Science (QIS) and microelectronic (ME) research projects across DOE SC.