Dr. Kenneth A. Snyder is the leader of and a supervisory physical scientist in the Inorganic Materials Group of the Materials and Structural Systems Division (MSSD) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Snyder joined the Inorganic Materials Group in 1990 as a staff scientist and became the Group Leader in 2009.
Dr. Snyder's primary area of research has been the diffusive transport of ionic species through cement paste pore solution. His approach was to identify the essential physical and chemical phenomena involved. Because transport is a critical component of virtually all degradation mechanisms, these studies are the basis of reliable predictive models for the performance assessment of concrete structures exposed to the environment. Much of what has been learned has been incorporated into the 4SIGHT computer model that was sponsored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the assessment of underground concrete structures.
An unexpected outcome of this fundamental work was the realization, by his colleague Dale Bentz, that one could decrease the rate of diffusive transport by increasing the viscosity experienced by a diffusing ionic species. This insight has led to the identification of potential chemical admixture family that may dramatically increase the service life of most concretes, and also led to a patent application, by NIST, for this technology, referred to here as Viscosity Enhancers Reducing Diffusion in Concrete Technology (VERDiCT).
In 2009, Dr. Snyder and Dale Bentz were awarded a U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal award for their research on developing a new class of concrete admixtures to slow diffusion in cement-based materials based on nanoscale viscosity modifiers.
Dr. Snyder is a member of the following professional societies:
Leader, Supervisory Physicist
Materials and Structural Systems Division
Inorganic Materials Group
University of Maryland, Ph.D., Physics (Condensed Matter), 2005
Cornell University, B.S., Applied & Engineering Physics, 1990