NC State Alumnus Kombaiah wins INL early career award

With more than 70 nominations for the 2023 Laboratory Director Awards, Dr. Boopathy Kombaiah, staff scientist, won the Early Career Exceptional Achievement Award.  

Dr. Kombaiah is the group lead for Reactor Structural Materials at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). He specializes in advanced characterization of materials exposed to harsh conditions such as stress, temperature, radiation, and corrosion, revealing materials degradation mechanisms, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Electron Backscattering Diffraction (EBSD), and Focused Ion Beam (FIB). Boopathy works on the mechanical behavior of materials: creep, fatigue, corrosion fatigue, fracture mechanisms, and micro-mechanical testing. He also works on Ni based superalloys, zirconium alloys, stainless steel, titanium, and high entropy alloys as well as advanced manufacturing.

He worked with Dr. KL Murty, professor of nuclear engineering at NC State Department of Nuclear Engineering, starting in 2011 for 5 years. In 2015 he was the receipt of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) Mark Mills Award for the best dissertation paper nationally. In 2015 he was a postdoctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University. Boopathy worked as a postdoctoral research associate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for almost 3 years before joining Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in 2019.

This year’s winners will receive a monetary gift and commemorative plaque at the annual awards ceremony to be held later this year. We will also recognize five individuals in our Patent Hall of Fame.

INL experts’ study basic material properties that will lead to more robust nuclear fuels and materials that can survive in harsh environments. We conduct testing and demonstration for electric grid systems and other critical infrastructure including clean water delivery. Our unparalleled cybersecurity experts monitor real-world incidents, provide training around the globe, and conduct basic research for the security of everything from vehicle charging stations to nuclear materials. INL’s clean energy research also includes work in bioenergy, geothermal energy, hydrogen production and industrial process science. INL operates the world’s premier materials test reactor – the Advanced Test Reactor – which also is one of only two reactors in the nation producing life-saving medical radioisotopes.