National Nuclear Security Administration

Five NNSA researchers honored for early career excellence

March 10, 2017

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Five researchers at NNSA’s laboratories are among the 102 recipients of the 2017 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). PECASE is the highest honor the U.S. government gives to scientists and engineers for innovative research and community service in the early stages of their careers.

Dr. Eric Duoss of Lawrence Livermore National LaboratoryDr. Eric Duoss of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) technical staff received the PECASE for his innovative application of materials science research to additive manufacturing processes. His work in predictive simulation and innovations led to new fabrication techniques, and he developed new devices for electro-chemical energy storage and antennas by collaborating with scientists at Harvard and the University of Illinois. With 15 journal publications, nine presentations, three patents, four patent applications, and 12 records of invention, Duoss also mentored two undergraduates and a high school student from underrepresented groups who are now pursuing STEM careers. Duoss also contributes to the design of a water system in India for “Engineers Without Borders."

Dr. Jonathan Belof of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.Also of LLNL, Dr. Jonathan Belof received the PECASE for his ability to apply exceptional and broad knowledge of chemistry, physics, and computational science to longstanding challenges in predictive capability. His work on stockpile stewardship furthered research to gain a better understanding of plutonium and had a direct effect on weapons science. Belof’s insights and innovations in dense plasmas, phase transitions in condensed systems, and simulations of warm dense matter contributed to the National Boost Initiative and LLNL's Cimmaron Project. He is active in scientific education and outreach at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

Dr. John Yeager of Los Alamos National Laboratory.Dr. John Yeager of NNSA’s Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) was selected to receive the PECASE for his scientific leadership and breakthrough measurements of dynamically compressed materials using LANL's Impact System for Ultrafast Synchrotron Experiments. Yeager also helped establish experimental platforms, diagnostics and user models for the Dynamic Compression Sector and the Advanced Photon Source. His work has been instrumental for advancing the Joint Munitions Program and for modeling explosives. He has an impressive publication record and is a sought-after expert in energetic materials.

Stephanie Hansen of Sandia National Laboratories.Sandia researcher Stephanie Hansen studies the behavior of atoms in extreme environments and is working under a five-year Early Career Award from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Her work contributes to the tools used to model and interpret data from high-energy-density experiments and astrophysical plasmas. She also led an experiment to study the response of irradiated metal foils at the high-intensity X-ray laser at Stanford’s Linear Coherent Light Source. Her main work combines models with data collected on high-precision instruments developed and fielded by other scientists, with the goal to find a consistent story about what happens on the nanosecond time scales of the Z experiments.

Alan Kruizenga of Sandia National Laboratory.Another Sandia researcher, Alan Kruizenga received the PECASE for his leadership and investigation of materials compatibility, materials selection, materials degradation, and efficiency-generating technology for solar power systems and advanced reactor concepts. His research works to provide long-lasting, efficient, and clean energy. Research in the field Kruizenga is advancing will be critical in reducing costs and ensuring long-term productivity by minimizing outages and down-time of energy sources.