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Secretary of Energy Announces Eight E.O. Lawrence Award Winners

February 7, 2007 - 10:15am

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WASHINGTON, DC - Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today named eight winners of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award.  The Lawrence Award honors scientists and engineers at mid-career for exceptional contributions in research and development that support the Department of Energy and its mission to advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States.  The award consists of a gold medal, a citation and an honorarium of $50,000.

"These brilliant scientists and their varied and important research inspire us," Secretary Bodman said.  "Their work reminds us of the importance of continued investment in science and the need for increased emphasis on basic research and math and science education programs."

The Lawrence Award was established in 1959 to honor the memory of the late Dr. Lawrence who invented the cyclotron (a particle accelerator) and after whom two major Energy Department laboratories at Berkeley and Livermore, California, are named.  The Lawrence Awards, given in seven categories, will be presented at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The winners are:

Paul Alivisatos, University of California at Berkeley and E.O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Moungi Bawendi, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, jointly, for the Materials Research category (the winners of this joint award will share the honorarium);

Malcolm J. Andrews, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, for the National Security category;

Arup K. Chakraborty, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for the Life Sciences category;

My Hang V. Huynh, Los Alamos National Laboratory, for the Chemistry category;

Marc Kamionkowski, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, for the Physics category;

John Zachara, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington, for the Environmental Science and Technology category; and,

Steven Zinkle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the Nuclear Technology category.

Paul Alivisatos and Moungi Bawendi share the award in the Materials Research category "For chemical synthesis and characterization of functional semiconducting nanocrystals, also known as quantum dots."  Professor Alivisatos, a nanomaterials chemist, has demonstrated that advanced properties of solid state electronic materials can be duplicated in colloidal nanocrystals produced by simple and accessible synthetic chemistry approaches.  His work culminated in a seminal paper in the development of the field of nanocrystals.  Professor Bawendi, a materials chemist, developed a synthesis of semiconductor nanocrystals that was the first to enable precise control of their size and precise determination of their properties. Using the Bawendi synthesis, nanocrystals are now routinely made-to-order.

Malcolm Andrews, a mechanical engineer and mathematician, is a world-renowned expert on Rayleigh-Taylor mixing and unstable or turbulent fluid flow processes that are critical to the quality of predictions of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile reliability and thus to the nation's security.  He has developed a world-class laboratory at Texas A&M University for buoyancy-driven mixing research and is one of the leading individuals in obtaining closure between theory, computation and experiment in this field.

Arup K. Chakraborty, a chemical engineer, has applied statistical mechanical methods to shed light on the molecular mechanisms that regulate the activation of T lymphocytes that orchestrate the immune response.  His ground-breaking theoretical work has had widespread impact on experimental cellular and molecular immunology.

My Hang V. Huynh, a chemist, is the pioneer for the groundbreaking discovery of Green Primary Explosives to replace mercury and lead primary explosives which have caused detrimental effects on the environment and humans for nearly 400 years.  Her interdisciplinary research has led to the formation of a new series of high-nitrogen transition metal complexes which are perfect precursors for preparing metallic nanofoams.  She also designs and synthesizes a unique class of organic polyazido compounds containing no carbon-carbon bonds that transcend the carbon-carbon paradigm.  These organic compounds are the ideal feedstocks for carbon-based and carbon-nitride-based ultrapure nanomaterials.

Marc Kamionkowski, a theoretical physicist and astrophysicist, has described how precise observations of the cosmic microwave background radiation can lead to deeper understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe.  Kamionkowski and his collaborators have inspired a new generation of very sophisticated experiments that have begun the search for the signature of the Cosmic Gravitational-wave Background.

John Zachara, an environmental geochemist, has made seminal scientific contributions to understanding geochemical and microbiologic factors that are critical to the fate and transport of metals and radionuclides in the environment.  His studies of how toxic metals travel in the subsurface environment of the Department of Energy Hanford site are helping provide science-based environmental cleanup solutions with broad applications.

Steven Zinkle, a materials scientist, is an expert on the effects of radiation on the properties of materials and has applied this understanding to help establish performance limits of materials in radiation environments.  His work has focused on irradiation damage to materials required for nuclear fission and fusion reactors and for space reactor technologies

Additional information on the winners and their work is available on the Web at http://www.sc.doe.gov/lawrence/.

Media contact(s):

Jeff Sherwood, (202) 586-5806

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