Gorakh Pawar

All CISAC People Pre- and Postdoc Fellows
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Gorakh Pawar, PhD

  • Visiting Scholar

Biography

Dr. Gorakh Pawar is a staff scientist in the Department of Material Science and Engineering at Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which is part of the U.S. Department of Energy's complex of national laboratories, and is the United States leading center for nuclear energy research and development. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science, and environment. Dr. Pawar’s research interest is exclusively focused on the design, discovery, and optimization the functionality of critical materials and ensure their efficient utilization in emerging critical and clean energy technologies. The continuing depletion of valuable terrestrial resources—such as critical elements, minerals, and metals that are absolutely necessary for the development and sustainability of next-generation energy technologies—have enormously shifted the twenty-first century’s technological landscape. The rare earth elements (REEs) have been a focal point of the recent media discussions, including the multiple United States presidential executive orders and legislation. The REEs are critical in advancing the crucial clean energy technologies (e.g., energy generation and rechargeable energy storage systems), security systems (e.g., fighter jets, satellites), and numerous other commercially important sectors (e.g., semiconductors, catalysis). Presently, the REE global supply chain is highly distorted and poses a severe challenge to many developed and developing countries' technological, economic, and security prospects. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the current state-of-the-art and critical advances needed to balance the highly distorted global REE supply chain. Dr. Pawar’s forward-looking work is aimed to critically investigate the key pillars (e.g., mining, separation, processing, alloying, and applications) of the REE supply chain with the objectives to understand the recent development in these vital component pillars, challenges that are limiting the advances of individual pillars, and a path forward. Such timely advances are crucial to understand a state-of-the-art of REEs and potentially help the relevant stakeholders (including governments, academia, and policymakers) to take appropriate actions and reduce the dependence on the highly distorted REE global supply chain.