Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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Fellows' Leadership Prize Winners

Demonstrating outstanding leadership in science or engineering.

Fellows' Prize for Leadership Recipients

Citations used where available



Brian Albright, of Los Alamos' Primary Physics and Design Group, led a team to make substantial progress in understanding the physics of nuclear weapons, which required going back to basics and rethinking the accepted paradigm.  He developed metrics for weapons measurements, which point to the direction of future subcritical experiments. Albright is the winner of numerous awards, including the 2016 Distinguished Performance Award. He has authored more than 200 publications with more than 4,500 citations.

Tess Light, is the chief scientist for the Los Alamos' Space Nuclear Detonation Detection program, leading strategic and tactical planning. She serves as the Electromagnetic Pulse phenomenology chief scientist and was recognized as national authority for the EMP nuclear detonation signatures. Light has codified the Laboratory's integrity of analysis and interpretation of EMP signatures and established Los Alamos leadership within the U.S. Nuclear Detonation Detection System, making the Laboratory the EMP center of excellence for the system.


Dana Dattelbaum, of Explosives Science and Shock Physics, led teams in pioneering new techniques and approaches to problems that have previously defied solution, including leadership of collaborations that made the first-ever measurements of reaction rate variation as a function of shock amplitude. She has mentored 13 students and 14 postdocs that have gone on to be highly successful in research and management positions in government and industry; her influence has been significant.  Dattelbaum has 136 peer-reviewed publications3, been named APS Fellow and received 10 NNSA Defense Program Awards of Excellence.

Christopher Stanek, of Materials Science in Radiation and Dynamics Extremes, maintained and enhanced the Laboratory's involvement in the Consortium for the Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), and succeeded in turning the Fuels, Materials and Chemistry focus area of CASL into a strong performer. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said CASL is the most successful of the energy innovation hubs; this success is due to his efforts.  Stanek is now the national technical director of Nuclear Energy's Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS).  His work has been a boost for the Lab's reputation.


Rebecca Chamberlin, of the Laboratory’s Actinide Analytical Chemistry group, leads the development of chemistry for advanced micro and millifluidic systems for nuclear material separations work, which is critically important to national security and has important applications in plutonium processing and purification. She also has led key efforts in analytical chemistry, nuclear proliferation detection and experimental component fabrication. Her contributions and accomplishments over the years stretch across several Laboratory missions with profound benefits to diverse programs and people.

David Morris, of the Chemistry Division at the Laboratory, demonstrated immense organizational and scientific leadership in establishing a sustainable, strong and trusting partnership between Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories that enabled the CINT to become a premier Nanoscience Research Center. He has an international reputation of leadership in actinide spectroscopy and electrochemistry and established the Laboratory as the best place in the world for comprehensive development in this area. He is an inspiring technical leader and recruited, supported, mentored and promoted next-generation scientists. He nominated four successful Fellows Prize candidates, one Lab fellow and one American Physical Society fellow.


Jon Rau of MPA-11 has shown exemplary leadership in assembling and leading interdisciplinary teams of scientists to bring chemistry solutions and insight to bear on challenges in nuclear weapons. This approach was well received by numerous federal entities in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Rau also has mentored more than 25 young Lab staff members.

Francois Nortier of Inorganic Isotope and Actinide Chemistry (C-IIAC) was recognized for a lifetime of dedication and contribution to the field of radioisotope production. He also was honored for his leadership in the construction, design and operation of the Laboratory's Isotope Production Facility (IPF), the world's leading high-current charged particle radioisotope facility, and his leading of improvements in high current targetry, which has led to a seven-fold increase in production since the IPF was commissioned in 2004.


Andrew Bradbury

Throughout his exemplary research career in antibody engineering and phage display, Andrew Bradbury has demonstrated an extremely high level of technical leadership aimed largely at advancing antibody research and in helping younger scientists realize their full potential.  Over the past four years, he assembled a cross-institutional team with collaborators from Sweden, Norway, Italy and Canada. The team received a National Institutes of Health U19 award to develop technologies needed to select antibodies against the entire human proteome. The team’s approach provides a new, highly successful route to reproducible affinity reagents for virtually any target.

At the Laboratory, Bradbury lends great enthusiasm and consistent support to early and mid-career staff in navigating the Los Alamos environment. He works with them to develop competitive proposal applications to external funding agencies and recently initiated a program development course to educate young staff in developing finished NIH proposal applications. 


Fernando Garzon

Over the course of a 20-year career at the Lab, Fernando Garzon’s efforts in the development of electrochemical sensors have become recognized world-wide, and have received sustained support through a multi-million dollar program from DOE’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy program office.  This work has led to an R&D 100 award and a DOE Fuel Cells Technology award, as well as forming the basis for Garzon’s recognition as a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. Key to Garzon’s success was his ability to create and lead technical teams engaging students, technicians, postdocs, and staff within the Laboratory and inspire them toward common goals.


McMillan and the Laboratory’s Fellows organization have awarded the 2011 Fellows Prize for Leadership in Science or Engineering to

•   John Gordon of Inorganic Isotope & Actinide Chemistry

•   Geoffrey Reeves of the Space Science & Applications


The Fellows Prize for Outstanding Leadership in Science or Engineering commends individuals who stimulate the research interests of talented younger Laboratory staff members and who encourage junior researchers to make the personal sacrifices necessary to become effective leaders. The selection committee chose Kerry Habiger for being key to creating the SUMMIT program—a rapid-response engineering organization serving the United States intelligence community. Habiger has expanded the program from a $200,000-a-year endeavor in 1998 to its current sustained annual value of $40 million a year during the past five years. The program involves hundreds of Los Alamos scientists, engineers, technicians, and support staff.

Cliff Unkefer is leader of the newly formed Bioenergy and Environmental Science Group at the Laboratory and also serves as director of the National Stable Isotope Resource funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The selection committee cited the repeated praise Unkefer has received for taking a genuine interest in, and directly assisting, the career development of students, postdocs, and staff. A generous collaborator and mentor, Unkefer has more than 80 publications in scientific journals, has developed 15 patents, and has emerged as a leader in efforts to promote the Lab’s prominence in transportation and biofuels research.

In addition to the two traditional prize categories, the Fellows Prize selection committee this year found it fitting to award the Fellows Prize for Special Achievement to Antoinette Taylor, who led the Nuclear Defense Research and Development Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council.


  • David S. Moore, DE-9
    For his inspirational technical leadership in the fields of shock physics and the science of explosives detection


  • Andrew Shreve, MPA-CINT
    For his stimulation of young Laboratory staff to develop skills and to make personal sacrifices necessary to become effective leaders


  • Dan Thoma, INST-OFF
    For his strong scientific leadership both within and outside the Laboratory, including his support to the JOWOG 22 collaboration, and his serving as a mentor in MST Division, as a senior advisor at the directorate level, in national societies, and most recently in the Lab Institutes
  • Juan Fernandez, P-24
    For his strong leadership within the Laboratory, for excellence in mentoring, and for leadership in the external U.S. and international scientific community. Juan is also recognized for his demonstrated balance among leadership, technical excellence, people skills, and the ability to nurture collaborations
  • Jeff Bedell, IAT-1: Special Fellows Prize
    For his truly exceptional performance in the area of nonproliferation and national security. Jeff is clearly an international resource in nonproliferation and export control, providing intellectual leadership that helps define this country's agenda.


  • G. Andrew (Andy) Erickson, IT
    For his outstanding technical success, unequaled enthusiasm, and savvy leadership in the international technology area


  • Rick Luce, STB-RL
  • Bob Little, X-7


  • Nancy Sauer, C-SIC


  • Toni Taylor, MST-10
  • Chuck Farrar, ESA-WR

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