Rodney C. Ewing

Rodney C. Ewing, MS, PhD

Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security
Professor of Geological Sciences
Co-director of the Center for International Security and Cooperation

Stanford University
Encina Hall, E203
Stanford, CA 94305-6165

(650) 725-8641 (voice)


Rod Ewing is the Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security and a Co-director at the Center for International Security and Cooperation in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and a Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences in the School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University. He is also the Edward H. Kraus Distinguished University Professor Emeritus in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan and a Regents’ Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico.

Rod received a B.S. degree in geology from Texas Christian University (1968, summa cum laude) and M.S. (l972) and Ph.D. (l974, with distinction) degrees from Stanford University where he held an NSF Fellowship.    His graduate studies focused on an esoteric group of minerals, metamict Nb-Ta-Ti oxides, which are unusual because they have become amorphous due to radiation damage caused by the presence of radioactive elements. Over the past forty years, the early study of these unusual minerals has blossomed into a broadly based research program on radiation effects in complex ceramic materials.  This has led to the development of techniques to predict the long-term behavior of materials, such as those used in radioactive waste disposal.  He is the author or co-author of over 750 research publications and the editor or co-editor of 18 monographs, proceedings volumes or special issues of journals. He has published widely in mineralogy, geochemistry, materials science, nuclear materials, physics and chemistry in over 100 different ISI journals. He has been granted a patent for the development of a highly durable material for the immobilization of excess weapons plutonium.  He is a founding Editor of the magazine, Elements, which is now supported by 17 earth science societies.  He is a Principal Editor for Nano LIFE, an interdisciplinary journal focused on collaboration between physical and medical scientists. He is a Founding Executive Editor for Geochemical Perspective Letters (2014 to 2017) and is on the Editorial Board of Applied Physics Reviews.

Ewing received the Hawley Medal of the Mineralogical Association of Canada in 1997 and 2002, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, the Dana Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America in 2006, the Lomonosov Gold Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 2006, a Honorary Doctorate from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 2007 and is a foreign Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was recognized for his research in mineralogy and materials science by the award of the Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America in 2015, Medal for Excellence in Mineralogical Research from the International Mineralogical Association in 2015 and the Radiation Effects in Insulators Award for lifetime achievements in 2017. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2017. He is a fellow of the Geological Society of America, Mineralogical Society of America, American Geophysical Union, Geochemical Society, European Association of Geochemistry, American Ceramic Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Materials Research Society. He has been president of the Mineralogical Society of America (2002) and the International Union of Materials Research Societies (1997-1998). Ewing has served on the Board of Directors of the Geochemical Society, the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of America and the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The involvement in issues related to the nuclear fuel cycle has proceeded in parallel with the meetings of the Materials Research Society, where he has been a member of the program committees for the symposium on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management held in ten different countries over the past 35 years.  He is co-editor of and a contributing author of Radioactive Waste Forms for the Future (North-Holland Physics, Amsterdam, 1988) and Uncertainty Underground – Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste (MIT Press, 2006). Rod has served on eleven National Research Council committees for the National Academy of Sciences that have reviewed issues related to nuclear waste and nuclear weapons. In 2008, he was a technical cooperation expert for the IAEA at the Comissão Nacional de Energia Nuclear in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2012, he was appointed by President Obama to serve as the Chair of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, which is responsible for ongoing and integrated technical review of DOE activities related to transporting, packaging, storing and disposing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. He stepped down from the NWTRB in 2017.

Stanford Affiliations

Geological and Environmental Sciences