Blythe Clark


Jonathan D. Madison, Ph.D.

Blythe G. Clark

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Principal Member of Technical Staff
Sandia National Laboratories

Blythe G. Clark is an R&D Department Manager at Sandia National Laboratories, currently managing the department of Materials Characterization & Performance. Dr. Clark received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL in 2001, and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2006. Her thesis work focused on developing in situ transmission electron microscope experiments to observe the fundamental mechanisms of dislocation-precipitate interactions at elevated temperature. She followed her thesis work with an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship position at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart, Germany. There she invested the mechanisms of deformation unique to small volume nanostructures. Dr. Clark joined the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories in December 2008 where she focused on applying advanced electron microscope techniques to understand the role of interfaces and defects in metals and semiconductors in determining material properties. Her research primarily focused on nanomechanical behavior of metals, stability of nanocrystalline alloys, and characterizing fundamental mechanisms for predictive simulation development around deformation behavior of metals and long-term aging of nuclear waste. Dr. Clark was promoted to manager in September 2015, where she brought her love of materials science and of materials forensics to a department that applies and pursues a breadth of cutting-edge materials characterization techniques.

While at Sandia, Dr. Clark has actively engaged in leadership activities and successfully led multiple teams. Over the last several years, she has been engaged on initiatives to improve the research environment and nurture an inclusive culture at Sandia. She initiated and continues to engage with the PI Workshop initiative at SNL-NM, which has been very successful in providing a peer-to-peer learning opportunity to those either seeking to become a Principal Investigator or currently in that role. She also co-founded the Research Environment Advancement Champions (REACh) in 2014, which was a staff-led group that interfaced with the Chief Technology Officer’s (CTO’s) office and the Research Leadership Team (RLT) to champion efforts to assess and improve the research environment. In addition, she was an active member of the Division 1000 Workplace Enhancement Council (WEC) where she led a renewed initiative on mentoring and organized and moderated several workplace events. Currently she is the co-chair of the Sandia Women’s Action Network (SWAN) where she is engaged on activities to improve diversity in hiring and promotions and to support a more inclusive culture at work. She is also lead of the Division 1000 Workplace Enhancement Council for Managers, a group that facilitates communication between managers and executive leadership, and who partners across Sandia to build stronger ties between mission and support functions.

Finally, she has gained leadership experience through professional society engagement outside of Sandia. For the Microscopy Society of America (MSA), she organized and chaired three symposia on in situ microscopy methods. In addition, for the Materials Research Society (MRS) she organized and chaired two symposia on small-scale deformation behavior and serves on their Impact of Materials on Society (IMOS) committee. There she is co-leading an effort to develop a K-12 program in NM to raise awareness of the historical and present-day impact of materials engineering on society. The goal of the effort is to both inspire diverse participation in STEM-based disciplines as well as to educate future voters on the benefits and impact of sustained research funding.

Blythe Gore Clark

525 Aliso Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM, 87108 ⋅ (505) 844-7339 ⋅

Professional Experience

R&D Department ManagerSandia National Laboratories 9/15 – present

  • Manager of Materials Characterization & Performance in the Materials Science Center
  • Lead 20 employees in sustaining state-of-the-art materials analysis capabilities: Our department provides cutting edge chemical and structural analysis of materials to enable fundamental research breakthroughs and to develop applied forensics solutions for a range of materials and applications
  • Manage 16 experimental laboratories encompassing spectroscopic and diffraction techniques, light and electron microscopy, metallography, surface analysis, chemical analysis, thermal analysis, and mechanical analysis to characterize materials and components

Principal Member of Technical StaffSandia National Laboratories 12/08 – 09/15

  • Applied advanced electron microscopy based methods to study structure-property relationships in metals and semiconductors
  • Combined nanoscale observations with collaborative mesoscale experiments and modeling to understand and predict both material and system behavior
  • Highlighted research topics: Tailoring nanocrystalline metal alloy films for optimal thermal and mechanical stability; Nanoscale characterization of microstructural evolution in Zr alloy claddings during long term dry storage; Understanding nanostructural mechanisms of void nucleation in ductile metals for prediction of damage accumulation and fracture

Post-Doctoral Visiting ScientistMax Planck Institute for Metals Research 11/06 – 10/08

  • Investigated microstructural deformation mechanisms in compressed micro- and nanopillars with Prof. Eduard Arzt
  • Combined post-mortem TEM observations with compression data analysis to study the deformation behavior of Ni, NiTi, and Mo in regimes dominated by size effects and compared with mesoscale deformation behavior
  • Used focused ion beam (FIB) preparation techniques to section post-compression, single crystal micro- and nanopillars for TEM analysis to correlate deformation structures with observed deformation behavior

Graduate Research AssistantUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 8/01 – 10/06

  • Studied dislocation-particle and dislocation-loop interactions in aluminum alloys and determined their relationship to bulk mechanical behavior with Prof. Ian M. Robertson
  • Conducted in situ transmission electron microscope (TEM) deformation experiments to observe microstructural dynamics during creep in real time

Undergraduate Research AssistantNorthwestern University 9/99 – 12/00

  • Investigated the effects of uniaxial superplastic forming on the texture of Ti-6Al-4V using electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) with Prof. David C. Dunand

Undergraduate Research AssistantVanderbilt University 6/00 – 8/00

  • Analyzed the grain structure of steels formed by laser-engineered net shaping (LENS), laser-melted metal powders deposited and built into 3-D structures with Prof. William Hofmeister

Undergraduate Research AssistantUniversity of Tennessee, Knoxville 6/99 – 10/99

  • Studied the low-cycle fatigue behavior of nickel base superalloys using stress-strain hysteresis loop analysis with Prof. Peter K. Liaw

Teaching Experience

TEM Praktikum InstructorMax Planck Institute for Metals Research 6/08

  • Course topic: "Practical Transmission Electron Microscopy"
  • Taught a 4-hour lecture and hands-on TEM lab sessions for a group of 24 students
  • Developed in-class and homework exercises to help elucidate difficult concepts

Co-LecturerUniversity of Stuttgart, Germany 6/07 – 7/07

  • Course topic: "Metallic Materials II: Materials Selection and Non-Ferrous Metals"
  • Taught seven 2-hour lectures for a classroom of 50 students
  • Designed and implemented classroom demonstrations to emphasize key topics

Laboratory Teaching AssistantNorthwestern University 9/00 – 12/00

  • Course topic: "Introduction to Materials Science"
  • Conducted and led experiments to demonstrate core materials science concepts
  • Helped students learn fundamental concepts through hands-on experiments

Professional Society Engagement

  • Member of Materials Research Society, MRS (2004 – 2015) o Co-organizer and chair of two conference symposia
    • Active member of the Impact of Materials on Society sub-committee
    • Leading K-12 program development effort to raise awareness of the historical and present-day impact of materials engineering on society

  • Member of Microscopy Society of America, MSA (2006 – 2015)
    • Co-organizer and chair of three conference symposia
    • Active member of the Environmental Microscopy Focused Interest Group

  • Member of The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society, TMS (2003 – 2015)


Community Outreach

  • Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity (2015)

  • Fundraiser/Cyclist, Bike MS 150: Pedal Los Pueblos (2011-2015)

  • Video Interviewee, NM PBS "Why I Became a Scientist" Series (2014)

  • Judge, Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Day (2009-2014)

  • Judge, FIRST LEGO League Robotics Regional Tournament, (2004-2006, 2013)

  • Judge, New Mexico Regional Science Fair (2009-2011)

Awards and Honors

  • Heart of Diversity Award at Sandia for raising awareness to address implicit bias (2016)

  • Master Level Completion of Sandia’s Advanced Strategic Training (AST) Program (2015)

  • Sandia Employee Recognition Award for PI Workshop Team (2014)

  • Sandia Employee Recognition Award for Predicting Performance Margins Team (2014)

  • Sandia National Laboratories Individual Performance Award (2014)

  • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow (2008)

  • MRS ‘Science as Art’ First Place Award (2008 & 2009)

  • Materials Research Society Graduate Student Gold Award (2005)

  • Racheff Award for Outstanding Graduate Research (2004)

  • Support for Under-Represented Groups in Engineering (SURGE) Fellow (2001-2006)

  • Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society Member

Selected Publications

Total Publications: 40+ Journal Papers, Proceedings, and Reports, with 784 Citations, h-index of 12.

  1. T. E. Buchheit, J. D. Carroll, B. G. Clark, and B. L. Boyce, "Evaluating Deformation-Induced Rotation in a Polycrystal during In Situ Tensile Deformation using EBSD." Microscopy and Microanalysis, doi:10.1017/S1431927615000677 (2015).

  2. A. A. Allerman, M. H. Crawford, S. R. Lee, and B. G. Clark, "Low Dislocation Density AlGaN Epilayers by Epitaxial Overgrowth of Patterned Templates." Journal of Crystal Growth, vol. 388, p. 76-82 (2014). 

  3. P. Lu, M. E. Chandross, T. J. Boyce, B. G. Clark, and P. Vianco, "Equilibrium Cu-Ag Nanoalloy Structure Formation Revealed by In Situ Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy Heating Experiments." Applied Physics Letters, vol. 2(2), p. 022107 (2014).

  4. M. D. Henry, S. Wolfley, T. Monson, B. G. Clark, E. Shaner, and R. Jarecki, "Stress Dependent Oxidation of Sputtered Niobium and Effects on Superconductivity." Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 115, p. 083903 (2014). 

  5. R. H. Olsson, K. Hattar, S. J. Homeijer, M. Wiwi, M. Eichenfield, D. W. Branch, M. S. Baker, J. Nguyen, B. G. Clark, T. Bauer, and T. A. Friedmann, "A High Electromechanical Coupling Coefficient SHO Lamb Wave Lithium Niobate Micromechanical Resonator and a Method for Fabrication." Sensors and Actuators A – Physical, vol. 209, p. 183-190 (2014).

  6. J. D. Carroll, B. G. Clark, T. E. Buchheit, B. L. Boyce, and C. R. Weinberger, "An Experimental Statistical Analysis of Stress Projection Factors in BCC Tantalum." Materials Science and Engineering A, vol. 581, p. 108-118 (2013). 

  7. B. L. Boyce, B. G. Clark, P. Lu, J. Carroll, and C. R. Weinberger, "The Morphology of Tensile Failure in Tantalum." Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A, vol. 44A, p. 4567-4580 (2013).

  8. S. Rajasekhara, B. L. Doyle, D. G. Enos, and B. G. Clark, "Hydrogen Uptake in Zircaloy-2 Reactor Fuel Claddings Studied with Elastic Recoil Detection." AIP Conference Proceedings, vol. 1525, p. 270-275 (2013). 

  9. C. C. Battaile, B. L. Boyce, C. R. Weinberger, S. V. Prasad, J. R. Michael, and B. G. Clark, "The Hardness and Strength of Metal Tribofilms: An Apparent Contradiction between Nanoindentation and Pillar Compression." Acta Materialia, vol. 60 (4), p. 1712-1720 (2012).

  10. A. S. Schneider, C. P. Frick, B. G. Clark, P. A. Gruber, and E. Arzt, "Influence of Orientation on the Size Effect in BCC Pillars with Different Critical Temperatures," Materials Science and Engineering A, vol. 528 (3), p. 1540-1547 (2011). 

  11. A. S. Schneider, B. G. Clark, C. P. Frick, P. A. Gruber, and E. Arzt, "Effect of Pre-Straining on the Size Effect for Molybdenum Pillars," Philosophical Magazine Letters, vol. 90 (11), p. 841-849 (2010).

  12. B. G. Clark, D. S. Gianola, O. Kraft, and C. P. Frick, "Size Independent Shape Memory Behavior of Nickel-Titanium," Advanced Engineering Materials, vol. 12 (8), p. 808-815 (2010).

  13.  C. P. Frick, B. G. Clark, A. S. Schneider, R. Maaß, S. Van Petegem, and H. Van Swygenhoven, "On the Plasticity of Small-Scale Nickel-Titanium Shape Memory Alloys," Scripta Materialia, vol. 62, p. 492-495 (2010).

  14. A. S. Schneider, D. Kaufmann, B. G. Clark, C. P. Frick, P. A. Gruber, R. Mönig, O. Kraft, and E. Arzt, "Correlation between Critical Temperature and Strength of Small-Scale BCC Pillars," Physical Review Letters, vol. 103, p. 105501 (2009).

  15. B. G. Clark, P. A. Ferreira, and I. M. Robertson, "In-Situ Electron Microscopy Methods", Guest co-editor for Special Journal Issue, Microscopy Research and Technique, vol. 72, p. 121 (2009).

  16. A. S. Schneider, B. G. Clark, C. P. Frick, P. A. Gruber, and E. Arzt, "Effect of Orientation and Loading Rate on Compression Behavior of Small-Scale Mo Pillars," Materials Science and Engineering A, vol. 508, pp. 241-246 (2009).

  17. C. P. Frick, B. G. Clark, S. Orso, P. Sonnweber-Ribic, and E. Arzt, "Orientation-Independent Pseudoelasticity in Small-Scale NiTi Compression Pillars," Scripta Materialia, vol. 59, pp. 7-10 (2008).

  18. C. P. Frick, B. G. Clark, S. Orso, and E. Arzt, "Size Effect on Strength and Strain Hardening of Small-Scale [111] Nickel Compression Pillars," Materials Science and Engineering A, vol. 489, pp. 319-329 (2008).

  19. B. G. Clark, I. M. Robertson, L. M. Dougherty, D. C. Ahn, and P. Sofronis, "High Temperature Dislocation-Precipitate Interactions in Al Alloys: An In-Situ TEM Deformation Study," Journal of Materials Research, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 1792-1801 (2005).

  20. S. F. Harnish, H. A. Padilla, B. E. Gore, J. A. Dantzig, A. J. Beaudoin, I. M. Robertson, and H. Weiland, "High Temperature Behavior and Hot Rolling of AA705X," Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, vol. 36A, pp. 357-369 (2005).

Selected Presentations (as presenting author)

  1. B. G. Clark, D. Susan, T. Ohlhausen, A. Allen, R. Tang, R. Sorensen, D. Coleman, and D. Lamppa, "Electrode Surface Contamination on Z – A Coupon Study to Characterize Environmental ‘Gunk’ and Removal Rates via In Situ Plasma Cleaning," July 2015, Center 1600 High Energy Density Physics Seminar (Albuquerque, NM).

  2. B. G. Clark, B. L. Boyce, K. Hattar, J. Michael, M. Rye, B. McKenzie, A. Schneider, C. Frick, P. Gruber, E. Arzt, and A. Perna, "The Nanomechanics of Failure in Structural Metals," September 2014, 2014 CINT User Meeting (Santa Fe, NM). {Invited}

  3. B. G. Clark, K. Hattar, M. Rye, J. Michael, B. McKenzie, and B. L. Boyce, "Understanding Deformation-Induced Void Formation in Tantalum via EBSD," June 2014, Society for Experimental Mechanics 2014 Meeting (Greenville, SC).

  4. B. G. Clark, K. Hattar, B. L. Boyce, B. L. Doyle, E. Stech, R. Dingreville, S. Rajasekhara, T. Buchheit and L. Brewer, "Small-Scale Mechanical Testing of Ion Damaged Materials," January 2014, ASTM 6th International Symposium on Small Scale Testing Techniques (Houston, TX).

  5. B. G. Clark, S. Rajasekhara, D. Enos, B. L. Doyle, R. Weiner, P. Kotula, K. Hattar, V. Tikare, and R. Dingreville, "Nanoscale Mechanisms in Advanced Aging of Materials During Storage of Used ‘High Burnup’ Nuclear Fuel," December 2013, EPRI ESCP Meeting (Charlotte, NC). {Invited}

  6. B. G. Clark, B. L. Boyce, T. Buchheit, P. Lu, and J. R. Michael, "Direct Observation of Plastic Deformation Mechanisms in Tantalum via In-Situ TEM and SEM Straining Experiments," January 2012, Plasticity ’12: The 18th International Symposium on Plasticity & Its Current Applications (San Juan, Puerto Rico). {Invited}

  7. B. G. Clark, D. S. Gianola, O. Kraft, and C. P. Frick, "Size Independent Shape Memory Behavior of NiTi," November 2010, Fall MRS Meeting (Boston, MA).

  8. B. G. Clark, J. A. Knapp, K. M. Hattar, H. A. Padilla, and B. L. Boyce, "In-Situ TEM Studies of Deformation Mechanisms in Nanograined Al Strengthened with Al2O3 Nanoparticles," August 2010, Microscopy & Microanalysis Meeting (Portland, OR).

  9. B. G. Clark, A. S. Schneider, C. P. Frick, P. A. Gruber, and E. Arzt, "Effect of Orientation and Loading Rate on Small-Scale Mechanical Behavior of BCC Metals," April 2009, Symposium II: Probing Mechanics at Nanoscale Dimensions, Spring MRS Meeting (San Francisco, CA).

  10. B. G. Clark, C. P. Frick, and E. Arzt, "Compression of Small-Scale NiTi Pillars: Pseudoelasticity and Plasticity," July 2008, Gordon Research Conference: Thin Film and Small Scale Mechanical Behavior (Waterville, ME). [Poster]

  11. B. G. Clark, "Characterizing Dislocation Mechanisms using TEM Techniques," June 2008, Erich-Schmid-Kolloquim, Montanuniversität Leoben (Leoben, Austria). {Invited}

  12. C.P. Frick, B. G. Clark, S. Orso, A.S. Schneider, and E. Arzt, "Size Effect on Strength and Strain Hardening of [111] Ni Small-Scale Compression Pillars," March 2008, Symposium U: Mechanics of Nanoscale Materials, Spring MRS Meeting (San Francisco, CA).

  13. B. G. Clark and I. M. Robertson, "Discovering Mechanisms of Dislocation-Particle Bypass in Al Alloys using In-Situ TEM Deformation Experiments," September 2007, In-Situ and Ultrafast Electron Microscopy Session, FEMMS 2007 (Sonoma Valley, California). {Invited}

  14. B. G. Clark, G. A. Liu, I. M. Robertson, "In-Situ TEM Deformation Study of Dislocation-Precipitate Interactions in Al Alloys," July 2006, 50th Anniversary of Observation of Dislocations, Microscopy and Microanalysis 2006 (Chicago, IL). {Invited}

  15. B. G. Clark, I. M. Robertson, "In-Situ TEM Observations of Dislocation-Particle Interactions during Elevated Temperature Deformation of Particle-Strengthened Al Alloys," November 2005, Symposium AA: Micro- and Nanomechanics of Structural Materials, Fall MRS Meeting (Boston, MA).

  16. B. G. Clark, I. M. Robertson, "Dislocation-Particle Interactions in Al-4Mg-0.3Sc during In-Situ TEM Deformation Experiments at Elevated Temperature," February 2005, Langdon Symposium, Spring TMS Meeting (San Francisco, CA).

  17. B. E. Gore, H. Padilla, B. J. Robinson, A. J. Beaudoin, J. A. Dantzig, I. M. Robertson, and H. Weiland , "Microstructural Processes Occurring during Hot Deformation of Al-Zn-Mg-Cu-Zr," February 2003, Hot Deformation of Aluminum Alloys III, Spring TMS Meeting (San Diego, CA).