Department of Energy

Secretary Chu Announces 2011 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Winners

November 28, 2011

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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced today the winners of the 2011 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for their outstanding contributions in research and development supporting the Department of Energy and its missions.  Nine winners were named today in eight categories.  Winners in each category will receive a gold medal, a citation and $20,000.  In the case of co-nomination, the honorarium is shared.  Winners will be honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC, early next year.

"These researchers have made significant contributions to the national, economic, and energy security of the United States," Secretary Chu said.  "I congratulate the winners and thank them for their work on behalf of the Department and the Nation."

The Lawrence Award was established in 1959 to honor the memory of Dr. Ernest Orlando Lawrence who invented the cyclotron (a particle accelerator), and after whom two major Energy Department laboratories in Berkeley and Livermore, California are named.

The 2011 E.O. Lawrence Award winners are:

David E. Chavez (Los Alamos National Laboratory) - Atomic, Molecular, and Chemical Sciences

David E. Chavez will be honored for discovery of new chemical synthetic schemes used to advance development of fundamentally novel, highly energetic, environmentally friendly (high‐nitrogen) molecular materials important to national security missions.

Thomas P. Guilderson (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) - Biological and Environmental Sciences

Thomas P. Guilderson will be honored for ground-breaking radiocarbon measurements of corals, advancements in understanding the paleo-history of ocean currents and ocean processes revealing past climate variability, and the elucidation of how physical and biogeochemical oceanic processes affect the global carbon cycle.

Lois Curfman McInnes and Barry F. Smith (co-nominees, Argonne National Laboratory) -Computer, Information, and Knowledge Sciences

Lois Curfman McInnes and Barry F. Smith will be honored for scientific leadership in advancing the innovative and transformative numerical software package PETSc, which provides robust, efficient, scalable, and extensible tools that are the backbone of numerous high-performance DOE simulation computer codes.

Paul C. Canfield (Ames Laboratory) - Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences

Paul C. Canfield will be honored for innovative syntheses and high-quality single crystal solution growth of novel new materials and the collaborative consummate elucidation of their fundamental properties using a range of techniques.

Amit Goyal (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) - Energy Science and Innovation

Amit Goyal will be honored for pioneering research and transformative contributions to the field of applied high temperature superconductivity, including fundamental materials science advances and technical innovations enabling large-scale applications of these novel materials.

Riccardo Betti (University of Rochester) - Fusion and Plasma Sciences

Riccardo Betti will be honored for a series of impactful theoretical discoveries in the physics of inertial confinement fusion including seminal transformative work on thermonuclear ignition, hydrodynamic instabilities and implosion dynamics, and the development of innovative approaches to ignition and high energy gains.

Bernard Matthew Poelker (Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility) - High Energy and Nuclear Physics

Bernard Matthew Poelker will be honored for leading a transformative effort to achieve production of electron beams possessing remarkable properties advancing parity-violation and polarization-transfer experiments now yielding key information on nucleon quark-gluon structure.

Mark B. Chadwick (Los Alamos National Laboratory) - National Security and Nonproliferation

Mark B. Chadwick will be honored for innovative scientific contributions to advance understanding of fission product yields and other key nuclear reactions resulting in the resolution of a long-standing problem in national security.

For more information about the Ernest O. Lawrence award, visit

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