Andreas Malikopoulos, an R&D Staff Member in the Energy and Transportation Sciences Division (ETSD), began his ORNL career as a recipient of the prestigious Alvin M. Weinberg Fellowship, which selects scientists and engineers that have high potential to be future ORNL leaders. Andreas learned about the opportunity at the 2010 National Academy of Engineering (NAE) US - German Frontier Symposium where he met Johney Green, the Division Director for ETSD. “I gave a presentation in that symposium and afterwards I was approached by Johney, who asked me if I’d be interested in exploring opportunities at the National Transportation Research Center (NTRC).”
Before coming to ORNL, Andreas began his career in his native country of Greece working in telecommunications. After several years, he realized that he wasn’t fully satisfied. “I wanted to be more involved in research and explore new and innovative solutions to the world’s most challenging problems. So, I decided to do graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.” He then went on to work as a Senior Researcher with General Motors Global Research & Development, conducting research in the areas of stochastic optimization and control of advanced propulsion systems.
Andreas’ work at ORNL spans several fields, including analysis, optimization, and control of stochastic systems; stochastic optimal control; nonlinear optimization and convex analysis; large-scale optimization; and learning in complex systems. The emphasis is on applications related to energy, intelligent transportation, and operations research. He recently started investigating some of the basic functionalities of the human brain that will aim to develop biologically-inspired control systems. Andreas' hypothesis is that it should be possible to create mathematical functions and mimic the brain's dynamic ability to process real-time information, perceive meaning, and make decisions. He believes that the intersection of engineering and neuroscience promises significant advances in a great range of applications related to energy and transportation.
Andreas is also currently serving as the president of the new ORNL Postdoc Association (ORPA), which seeks to foster a sense of community, provide resources, and contribute a framework for representation of the Postdoctoral Researchers in the ORNL community. Andreas is working to organize ORPA and lead it until the first elections scheduled in September 2013.
Andreas’ favorite part about being a researcher is the contributions it allows him to make to society. “As researchers, our job is to solve problems. Realizing how the solutions can make an impact to others…it’s really rewarding.”
Why did he choose ORNL? “At ORNL, you really get to do research across a spectrum of different areas. You have the flexibility to work on a variety of problems and collaboration with other fellows in the Lab is easy. People are really open to your ideas and you get appreciated for them.”