Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Victoria DiStefano

Dr. Victoria DiStefano is a geologist working as part of the Neutron Physics Group at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). She joined as a member of the neutron imaging team in July 2019 as a National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Associate. She is working to improve methods of material characterization at the neutron imaging beamline using techniques such as Bragg Edge Imaging and machine learning algorithms for improved 3D images. Her research seeks to develop methods for real-space, 3D imaging of rocks and minerals to be used to inform underground flow models. This technique can also be applied to energy and structural material research including examining corrosion in batteries and strain in steel structures. Development of these techniques will be eventually be integrated into the NIST Center for Neutron Research user program where scientists from around the world can visit the facility to implement these methods.

Dr. DiStefano is also interested in addressing energy challenges. During her PhD, she used neutron scattering and imaging to examine the structure of shales, the rock formations which contain the hydrocarbons released by hydraulic fracturing, to better understand ways to improve the efficiency, economics, and environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing. She is also very passionate about science communication and energy efficiency and highlighting the role scientists can play in informing public dialogue.

More information about the neutron imaging beamline can be found in the links below:


  • Weber, J., Cheshire, M. C., DiStefano, V., Littrell, K. C., Ilavsky, J., Bleuel, M., Bozell-Messerschmidt, J., Ievlev, A.V., Stack, A.G., & Anovitz, L. M. (2019). Controls of Microstructure and Chemical Reactivity on the Replacement of Limestone by Fluorite Studied Using Spatially Resolved Small Angle X-ray and Neutron Scattering. ACS Earth and Space Chemistry.
  • DiStefano, V. H., McFarlane, J., Stack, A. G., Perfect, E., Mildner, D. F. R., Bleuel, M., Chipera, S. J., Littrell, K. C., Cheshire, M. C., Manz, K. E., & Anovitz, L. M. (2019). Solvent-pore interactions in the Eagle Ford shale formation. Fuel, 238, 298-311.
  • Gruszkiewicz, M. S., Rother, G., Vlček, L., & DiStefano, V. H. (2018). Supercritical Fluid Adsorption to Weakly Attractive Solids: Universal Scaling Laws. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 122(27), 15558-15566.
  • DiStefano, V. H., Cheshire, M.C., McFarlane, J., Kolbus, L. M., Hale, R. E., Perfect, E., Bilheux, H. Z., Santodonato, L. J., Hussey, D. S., Jacobson, D. L., LaManna, J. M., Bingham, P. R., Starchenko, V., & Anovitz, L. M. (2017). Spontaneous Imbibition of Water and Determination of Effective Contact Angles in the Eagle Ford Shale Formation using Neutron Imaging. Journal of Earth Science, 28(5), 874-887. 
  • DiStefano, V. H., McFarlane, J., Anovitz, L. M., Stack, A. G., Gordon, A. D., Littrell, K. C., Chipera, S. J., Hunt, R. D., Lewis, S. A., Hale, R. E., & Perfect, E. (2016) Extraction of Organic Compounds from Representative Shales and the Effect on Porosity. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 35, 646-660. 
  • Donnelly, B., Perfect, E., McKay, L. D., Lemiszki, P. J., DiStefano, V. H., Anovitz, L. M., McFarlane, J., Hale, R. E., & Cheng, C. L. (2016). Capillary pressure–saturation relationships for gas shales measured using a water activity meter. Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 33, 1342-1352.
  • Cheng, C. L., Perfect, E., Donnelly, B., Bilheux, H. Z., Tremsin, A. S., McKay, L. D., DiStefano, V. H., Cai, J., & Santodonato, L. J. (2015). Rapid imbibition of water in fractures within unsaturated sedimentary rock. Advances in Water Resources, 77, 82-89.
  • Diwu, J., Good, J. J., DiStefano, V. H., & Albrecht‐Schmitt, T. E. (2011). Self‐Assembly of Hexanuclear Clusters of 4f and 5f Elements with Cation Specificity. European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, 2011(9), 1374-1377.
  • Diwu, J., Wang, S., Good, J. J., DiStefano, V. H., & Albrecht-Schmitt, T. E. (2011). Deviation Between the Chemistry of Ce (IV) and Pu (IV) and Routes to Ordered and Disordered Heterobimetallic 4f/5f and 5f/5f Phosphonates. Inorganic Chemistry, 50(11), 4842-4850.

Web Profiles


  • National Research Council (NRC) Research Associateship for Postdoctoral Studies, National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2019-present.
  • UT-Battelle Graduate Student of the Year Award, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2018.
  • Extraordinary Professional Promise Award, University of Tennessee, 2018.
  • Energy Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship University of Tennessee, 2013-2018.
  • Dean’s List, University of Notre Dame, 2009-2010.
Created December 8, 2019, Updated January 17, 2020