Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Fellows' Research Prize Winners

Demonstrating outstanding research in science or engineering.

Fellows' Prize for Research Recipients

Citations used where available

2019

David Chavez (M-7) for establishing himself as an international leader in energetic materials chemistry and synthesis — through the discovery of novel compounds and scaling them up for characterization and enhancing the mission for both insensitive munitions and higher performance with novel energetic compounds.

Baolian Cheng (XCP-6) for having transformative impact — through conceiving groundbreaking generally applicable ignition criteria that can be used to validate next-gen radiation-hydrodynamic codes — on weapons certification.

Han Htoon (MPA-CINT) for developing quantum light emitters for quantum communication and discovering optical phenomena in semiconductor nanocrystals.

2018

Cynthia Reichhardt, Condensed Matter Theorist, was noted for her model of long-term aging behavior of stockpile materials and computational models to understand the role of defects, dislocations and interfaces in matter, and the role that phase transitions play in non-equilibrium systems. She is a member of the Physics and Chemistry of Materials group (T-1) of the Theoretical division, and she has had a large impact in support of the Laboratory’s stockpile stewardship mission during the past 10 years. Reichhardt is an author of 215 peer reviewed papers, with 5,900 citations and H index 40 (35 Web of Science). She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and recipient of many other awards. Her peers noted that her broad scientific impact as well as positive and unselfish mentoring of younger colleagues preserves the future of scientific endeavors at Los Alamos and elsewhere.

Hari Viswanathan’s work has led to understanding and manipulating fracture creation and fluid flow in subsurface geosystems, helping enable the nation’s hydraulic fracturing shale gas energy revolution. A researcher in the Computational Earth Science group (EES-16) group of the Earth and Environmental Sciences division, he has 97 publications on subsurface flow and mechanics in the last decade and more than 65 papers on hydraulic fracturing in the last five years. Viswanathan was named a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2017. His nomination notes that he is an intellectual leader and team builder in subsurface science and has effectively showcased Los Alamos research to the international community. Two key capabilities that resulted from his work are dfnWorks and HOSS, which simulate fractured subsurface systems using supercomputing. HOSS was a 2016 R&D 100 finalist and dfnWorks an R&D 100 winner in 2017.

2017

Eric Flynn, of the Space and Remote Sensing group at Los Alamos, invented imaging/high-frequency acoustic wavenumber spectroscopy for structural health assessment. This measures surface and subsurface defects 30 times faster than current technology.  This system will significantly advance the way that nondestructive testing is performed on a wide variety of aerospace, civil and mechanical infrastructures. He also wrote the innovative software analysis for this tool. Flynn has won an Early Career Award and multiple R&D 100 awards.

Harshini Mukundan, of Los Alamos' Nuclear and Radiochemistry group made critical breakthroughs in optical detection techniques of diseases such as tuberculosis, allowing rapid detection in the field, and discovered an entirely new class of diagnostic molecules that led to chemical recognition of various biomarkers. She has numerous awards and patents, and her work is involved in diverse applications including E. coli, breast cancer, traumatic brain injury and biosurveillance.

Nikolai Sinitsyn, of Los Alamos' Physics and Condensed Matter and Complex Systems group, works on a wide range of problems including the smart electrical grid, biochemical reactions and spin noise spectroscopy; he experiments to find new problems. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed papers with more than 3,700 citations and made a major discovery that illustrates fundamental limitations in quantum computing.

2016

Marc Janoschek, of Condensed Matter and Magnet Science, led the first experiment of its type with a multi-disciplinary team at the Spallation Neutron Source that utilized plutonium-242; many have said this is the most significant measurement on plutonium in a generation.  His research focuses on the use of elastic and inelastic neutron scattering to elucidate complex behavior in materials exhibiting emergent phenomena. This important work supports the programmatic efforts of the Laboratory and helps Los Alamos maintain its position as the recognized leader in actinide science and correlated electron materials research.

Jennifer Martinez, of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, is among the best-known nano-cluster scientists in the world. Her research focuses on the development of biosensors for threat reduction, tuberculosis and breast cancer and the synthesis and characterization of optical and biologically reactive polymers.  This research has demonstrated the ability to control the synthesis and tailoring of the photophysical properties of small metal nano-clusters, which represents an emerging and interesting class of materials that can be used to create new biological detectors that overcome many difficulties of earlier approaches.

Jian-Xin Zhu, of Physics of Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, broadly impacted actinide science and nanotechnology work at the Laboratory by upending the conventional picture of when the transition to strong correlations occurs in delta and alpha plutonium.  His research focuses on the development and application of quantum, many-body, first-principles electronic structure theory to strongly correlated electronic materials.  Zhu's work on plutonium is an achievement in computational and theoretical physics that represents a dramatic leap forward; it has attracted a great deal of attention in the field of correlated electron systems.

2015

Hou-tong Chen, of the Laboratory’s Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies (CINT), is a recognized authority and international leader in defining, shaping and leading the field of metamaterials, which is supported by his many seminal discoveries published in influential journals including Nature, Science, Nature Photonics, Physical Review Letters and Optics Express. Metamaterials are smart materials that have been engineered and have not been found in nature. The impact of Chen’s innovative ideas and technical excellence has been far reaching at the international level.

Manvendra Dubey, of the Lab’s Earth System Observations group, combines significant scientific achievements with technical leadership in the international, global climate community to significantly advance our understanding of global climate dynamics. Dubey has scientifically driven and integrated Laboratory and Department of Energy capabilities in far-reaching science and technology developments. He practices a subtle form of leadership by motivating and coordinating multiple scientific teams to work toward a common purpose, generously sharing credit with all team members. His career at the Laboratory epitomizes outstanding research and sustained scientific leadership at its best.

Herbert Van De Sompel, of the Research Library at Los Alamos, introduced the concept of date-time negotiation for the web, which makes it possible to uniformly access archived pages that exist in web archives and resource versioning systems. He developed the Memento protocol, which has transformed access to Web archives. It has not only solved the difficult problem of accessing previous versions of a Web page preserved in a Web archive, but it has also enabled multiple archives to be aggregated into a single resource.

2014

Patrick Chain of Bioenergy and Biome Sciences (B-11) provides a high level of performance, broad scientist achievement and leadership in bioinformatics and genomic sciences. He has worked with the Naval Medical Research Center to develop the Empowering the Development of Genomic Expertise (EDGE), which has raised the Laboratory's prominence in genomics to a new level. Chain has published more than 135 articles that have been cited more than 9,200 times.

Piotr Zelenay of Materials Synthesis and Integrated Devices (MPA-11) is world-recognized in the area of inexpensive, nonprecious metal electrocatalysts intended to replace platinum in polymer fuel cells. Zelenay led the use of nonprecious transition metal catalysts in a composite form, taking advantage of the latest developments in nanostructured materials engineering.

2013

Jennifer Hollingsworth has made remarkable accomplishments in defining, shaping and leading the field of core/shell semiconductor nanocrystalline quantum dots (NQDs), nanomaterials with unique optical emission properties and enormous technological ramifications in next-generation lighting and biological imaging applications.  Hollingsworth’s breakthrough discovery of “giant” NQDs removed the nanomaterial’s problematic photophysical phenomenon of “blinking” and provided an exciting test bed for advancing the understanding of semiconductor physics in the quantum confinement regime. Her NQD research alone—published in series of 50 papers since 2000 and cited by other researchers more than 3,500 times—has had a significant international impact on the synthesis and elucidation of the underlying photophysical properties of nanocrystalline quantum dots through her discovery of giant NQDs.

As team leader at the Lab’s Center for Materials at Irradiation and Mechanical Extremes (CMIME), Blas Uberuaga has led the work on defect recovery at interfaces. Uberuaga has had three outstanding scientific achievements over the past 10 years: accelerated molecular dynamics method development, amorphization resistance of complex oxides, and the discovery of a new mechanism for point defect recovery at interfaces.  Uberuaga’s work played a significant role in establishing CMIME’s unique contribution to the field of radiation damage. Since 1999, Uberuaga has published 123 papers, which have been cited 3,323 times, putting him at the very top amongst his peers at his seniority level in the field of structural materials.

2012

Cristian Batista

Cristian Batista is a theoretical condensed matter physicist who has made seminal contributions to the understanding of quantum magnetism. Batista has pioneered the discovery and explanation of remarkable, often counterintuitive, quantum states of matter.  In addition to making foundational analytical and numerical contributions to basic theory, a hallmark of Batista’s theoretical work is his close involvement with experimentalists, with more than half of his publications in the last eight years being written jointly with experimental colleagues. The combination of fundamental theoretical insights and phenomenological explanations that he has provided have resulted in significant impact on the field. Batista has published 148 papers, including 46 – fully one third of his publications – in Physical Review Letters, Science, or Nature. These papers have already been cited by other researchers some 1,900 times.

Irene Beyerlein

Irene Beyerlein works at the forefront of several areas of materials science research that are relevant to Los Alamos programs.  She has done significant research on multi-scale modeling for dislocation physics and dynamics, providing insights into how materials yield under stress loading. Her work in the area of nanoscale materials and microstructural evolution during severe plastic deformation has lead to advances in our understanding of this class of materials. She has also made considerable progress in the ability to make macroscale predictions of stress-strain response. This research has lead to many important research publications.  “This year’s prizes again show the depth and breadth of the scientific talent at Los Alamos,” said Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan. “I’m proud that Los Alamos continues to be a home for such creative and innovative work. Congratulations to Fernando, Cristian, Irene, and their collaborators.”

2011

McMillan and the Laboratory’s Fellows organization have awarded the 2011 Fellows Prize for Research to

•   Stephen Doorn of the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies

•   David Jablonski of the XTD Primary Physics

2010

The Fellows Prize for Outstanding Research in Science or Engineering commends individuals for exemplary research performed at the Laboratory within the past 10 years that has had a significant effect on a scientific discipline or program. The Fellows Prize selection committee selected Sergei Tretiak in part for his development of organic light-emitting diodes for flexible displays, organic lasers, light-harvesting energy devices, and other important technologies. Tretiak has published more than 90 papers in the past 10 years in esteemed scientific journals and is often invited as keynote speaker at international scientific conferences.

Geoff Waldo is coauthor of four important articles in Nature Biotechnology, beginning in 1999 as first author of “Rapid Protein Folding Assay using Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP).” GFP has since become one of the most important tools in bioscience, and Waldo’s work has been integral to securing more than $50 million in research grants at the Laboratory.

2009
Turab Lookman, T-4
For his wide-ranging contributions to the understanding of intrinsic inhomogeneity in functional materials.
2008

Jaqueline L. Kiplinger, MPA-10
For her remarkable accomplishments in organometallic actinide chemistry.

Amit Misra, MPA-CINT
For his long-standing research contributions to the understanding of deformation in materials and particularly for his recent accomplishments in nanomechanics.

2007

Tom Vestrand, ISR-1
For his outstanding research in explosive transients and large-area sky monitoring, contributing to our understanding of gamma-ray bursts.

Scott Crooker, MPA-NHMFL
For his outstanding research in the development of novel magneto-optical spectroscopies and their application to problems in solid state and atomic physics systems.

2006

Cheryl Kuske, B-1
For her extraordinary impact in the areas of environmental microbiology and biothreat reduction.

Tim Germann, X-1
For his research in material physics, specifically shock plasticity and shock-induced phase transitions, as well as his highly innovative work on molecular dynamics simulations of pandemics.

2005

Neil Harrison, MST-NHMFL
For his outstanding contributions to condensed matter physics using high magnetic fields to make ground-breaking discoveries in strongly correlated materials.

Robert Roussel-Dupré, EES-2
For his outstanding contributions to the understanding of upward propagating lightning discharges, in particular through the universally accepted theory of electron runaway breakdown initiated by cosmic-ray showers.

2004

Roger Johnston, C-ADI
For path-breaking work on the problem of the vulnerability of critical facilities and materials to theft or tampering.

John Sarrao, MST-10
For outstanding contributions to condensed matter physics of rare earth and transition metal oxides, borides and 4f- and 5f intermetallics, in particular toward an understanding of superconductivity in PuCoGa5 and in Cerium-based 115 compounds.

2003
2002

Carole Burns, C-DO
For her outstanding contributions to the understanding of metal-ligand multiple bonding in organometallic chemistry of actinide elements.

Robert Hixson, DX-2
For his seminal contributions to the understanding of dynamic properties of plutonium and explosives materials, which have been critical to the success of stockpile stewardship.

Roman Movshovich, MST-10
For his outstanding research in experimental low-temperature condensed-matter physics and, in particular, for his research on unconventional superconductivity and correlated-electron physics.

2001

Joseph Carlson, T-16
For his critical breakthrough in Quantum Monte Carlo techniques that allowed exact numerical descriptions of many-body nuclei.

Kurt Sickafus, MST-8
For his major contributions to the understanding of radiation damage in materials, including a class of complex oxides highly resistant to radiation damage.

Giday WoldeGabriel, EES-6
For his profound contributions to the understanding of early hominid evolution in East Africa.

2000

David Clark, NMT-DO
For outstanding contributions to the understanding of the molecular behavior and of the solution chemistry of actinide ions.

Richard Epstein, NIS-2
For pioneering work in laser cooling of solids and for leading Los Alamos' Solid State Refrigerator (LASSOR) development program.

Martin Maley, MST-STC
For outstanding contributions to the understanding of quantized vortices in high-temperature superconductors, including the development of the Maley analysis technique.

1999
Victor Klimov, CST-6
For his experimental research and interpretation of the behavior of 'quantum dot' systems.
1998

Shiyi Chen, CNLS
For his work on fluid turbulence.

Paul Kwiat, P-23
For groundbreaking experiments in quantum mechanics.

Dave Vieira, CST-11
For several outstanding achievements in nuclear and atomic science.

1997
Richard Hughes, P-23
For his work in quantum information physics.
1996

R. Brian Dyer, CST-4
Role of molecular dynamics in protein structure and function.

George T. (Rusty) Gray III, MST-5
Structure/property effects of high-rate shock deformations on metals and alloys.

1995

Michael Nastasi, MST-4
For work on ion-solid interactions.

Joe D. Thompson, MST-10
For work on correlated electron physics.

Stuart Trugman, T-11
For work on superconductors and fullerenes.

1994

Bob Benjamin, DX-13
For work on fluid interfaces.

Chris Hammel, MST-10
For experiments on magnetic and electronic properties of high-temperature superconductors.

Jill Trewhella, CST-4
For biophysical measurements of proteins in solution.

1993

John Petrovic, MST-4
For studies on high temperature silicides.

Gregory Swift, MST-10
For studies on thermoacoustic engines.

1992
Charlie E. Strauss, CLS-4
For studies on chemical dynamics.
1991

Aloysius J. Arko, P-10
For developing new experimental approaches to determine the electronic structure of materials that exhibit high-temperature superconductivity.

Robert E. Ecke, P-10
For precise measurements of Rayleigh-Benard convection in a helium superfluid, which was a major advance in nonlinear dynamics and chaos.

Robert K. Moyzis, Center of Human Genome
For research on the organization of chromosomes, specifically, for identification of the human telomeric DNA sequence.

1990
Ralph Menikoff, T-14
In recognition of outstanding research contributing to the understanding of fluid flow in real materials and advancing predictive capabilities in numerical hydrodynamics.
1989

Judith Binstock, X-6
For outstanding work and major impact in the area of material mix in nuclear weapons.

J. Doyne Farmer, T-13
For pioneering work on noise reduction and forecasting. These important applications of chaos to real-world phenomena are one of the premier developments to come from dynamical systems research in recent years.

Paul S. Follansbee, MST-5
For theoretical and experimental work on the rate sensitive behavior of metals especially with regard to the hardening behavior of metals and alloys with large changes in plastic strain rate and the application to DoD armor/anti-armor technology.

1988

Darryl Smith, MEE-11
Contribution to the understanding of semiconductor superlattices, particularly for studies of their electronic structures and design implications for a variety of applications.

Wojciech Zurek, T-6
Contributions to the understanding of the structure of the universe, especially for clarifying the role of cosmological strings in galaxy formation and distribution.