August 19, 2023
By Chloe Arrington

Matthew Barry, a graduate student in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded the Sandia National Laboratories' President Harry S. Truman Postdoctoral Fellowship in National Security Science and Engineering for 2023. 

The fellowship includes full salary and benefits for three years plus a yearly allowance of $100 thousand which can be used for research equipment, additional personnel, and travel. It is named for President Truman who charged Sandia in 1949 with providing "an exceptional service in the national interest" – a motto that Sandia carries to this day. 

“It is an honor to be named the recipient of such a prestigious fellowship,” said Barry. Along with the recognition of his skills and future potential, Barry said the fellowship "provides validation that the research I worked so hard on for six years as a Ph.D. student will be useful and interesting to a broader audience.”

Barry successfully defended his thesis earlier this summer. His research focused on developing a machine-learning framework for modeling multifunctional materials at the atomic length scale. He was advised by Professor Satish Kumar and Regents' Professor and Rae S. and Frank H. Neely Chair Surya Kalidindi.

As a Truman Fellow, Barry will have the opportunity to conduct independent and ground-breaking research that aligns with Sandia’s national-security mission. He will have the freedom to choose his own research topic, have access to Sandia’s state-of-the-art facilities, and be able to collaborate with some of the nation’s best scientists and engineers.

When asked what he was looking forward to, Barry said he was most excited to continue building on the work he started during his studies by applying it to develop new, practically useful materials that can benefit national defense applications.  

Barry will begin his appointment at Sandia in September with a bittersweet departure from Georgia Tech.

“I look back fondly on my entire time at Tech,” he said. “I particularly enjoyed the yearly group gatherings hosted by both Professor Kumar and Professor Kalidindi.”   

About Sandia National Laboratories

Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Sandia Labs has major research and development responsibilities in nuclear deterrence, global security, defense, energy technologies and economic competitiveness, with main facilities in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Livermore, California.