Recent awards given to ALS staff and users in recognition of their scientific and technical achievements.
Gabor Somorjai of the Materials Sciences Division was one of 18 individuals recognized by the National Academy of Sciences for outstanding scientific achievement in the physical, biological and social sciences. Somorjai, who is also a professor in the UC Berkeley Chemistry Department, received the NAS Award in Chemical Sciences for his “groundbreaking experimental and conceptual contributions to the understanding of surface chemistry and catalysis at a microscopic and molecular level.” Supported by the Merck Company Foundation, the award and $15,000 prize honors innovative research that contributes to a better understanding of the natural chemical sciences and to the benefit of humanity. Read more...
This year’s American Physical Society (APS) Fellows include six scientists from Berkeley Lab, three of whom are currently or have previously been at the ALS: John Byrd, Howard Padmore, and Dave Robin. Only half of one percent of APS members are elected by their peers to be Fellows in any given year for exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise, including outstanding research, important applications, leadership or service to physics, and significant contributions to physics education. Berkeley Lab’s six Fellows (out of 250 announced for 2012) represent a high count for a single institution. See our feature Six Berkeley Lab (Three ALS) Scientists Are 2012 APS Fellows or read the Berkeley Lab News Release for more information.
See the full write up on our User Meeting Awards recipients.
R&D 100 Award for the Development of the Compact Variable Collimator
A team led by Simon Morton and Jeff Dickert of Berkeley Lab’s Physical Biosciences Division has been awarded an R&D 100 Award for the development of the Compact Variable Collimator (CVC). The CVC, installed at the ALS Berkeley Center for Structural Biology (BCSB) beamlines, is small, easy to use and readily adapted to any configuration of an x-ray beamline where it allows researchers to quickly and accurately adjust X-ray beams for protein crystallography, x-ray microscopy and small angle x-ray scattering to optimize resolution. This optimized resolution allows researchers to extract the highest quality data from less-than-perfect protein crystals rather than discard crystals with defects and spend time and money preparing new ones. The CVC has already been used to make critical discoveries in areas that include Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, Lassa fever, antibiotic resistance and food crop improvements. Co-nominating the CVC with Berkeley Lab were Takeda Pharmaceutical and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation.
Two ALS Users Win DOE Early Career Research Award
Kevin Wilson, Beamline Scientist on the Chemical Dynamics Beamline 9.0.2, has been granted an Early Career Research award by the DOE’s Office of Science. Wilson’s work focuses on hydrocarbon free radicals formed at hydrocarbon/water and electrolyte interfaces. He plans to use his research award to study the roles they play in chemistry as initiators or propagators of surface reactions or as reactive intermediates.
Berkeley Lab Scientist and ALS user Oliver Gessner is another recipient of the Early Career Research award by the DOE’s Office of Science. Gessner, who is associated with the Chemical Sciences Division, will use his award to study the role that chemically engineered devices play in the development of sustainable energy production and storage solutions. He’ll employ experimental techniques using intense, ultrashort x‐ray pulses to monitor the light‐induced creation and transport of charges in complex molecular systems in real time and from the perspective of specific atomic sites.
ALS EH&S Program Manager Jim Floyd is a recipient of the Director's Award for Exceptional Achievement in Safety. The award, announced in Today at Berkeley Lab on May 21, is for, "Accomplishments and leadership in promoting a safety culture."
Peidong Yang, an ALS user from the LBNL Materials Sciences Division, was elected to the 2012 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Yang, a chemist whose research focuses on the synthesis of new classes of materials and nanostructures, is expert on nanowires and has found ways to use them for photovoltaics and as a thermoelectric material. He is director of the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP)-North and earlier this year, Yang was named by Thomson Reuters as the world’s top materials scientist of the past decade and the tenth most influential chemist, based on an analysis of the citation impact of published papers.
ALS user James Berger of the Physical Biosciences Division, was also elected to the 2012 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Berger is a biochemist and structural biologist who studies protein machines and develops models to explain DNA replication, chromosome superstructure, and other essential nucleic acid transactions. Last year he received the National Academy of Sciences Award in Molecular Biology “for elucidating the structures of topoisomerases and helicases and providing insights into the biochemical mechanisms that mediate the replication and transcription of DNA.”
ALS user Brandy Toner has been named the National Science Foundation Ridge 2000 Distinguished Lecturer for 2011. Toner, an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, studies the biogeochemical processes that move metals through pristine and contaminated environments. She is particularly interested in the mineralogy and chemistry of hydrothermal plumes. A specialist in synchrotron radiation spectroscopy and diffraction technologies, Dr. Toner is using novel tools to address these questions, leading to exciting discoveries at hydrothermal vent sites around the globe.
Two Berkeley Lab researchers received this year’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE): Christian Bauer (not shown, Physics Division) and Feng Wang of the Materials Sciences Division. Wang was previously an ALS doctoral fellow on Beamline 8.0 and is an ALS user on Beamline 1.4 (see ALS Science Highlight Bilayer Graphene Gets a Bandgap and this month's Berkeley Lab News Center article A Whole New Light on Graphene Metamaterials). Wang is cited for “pioneering research on ultrafast optical characterization of carbon nanostructures that has advanced the fundamental understanding of the electronic structure of graphene and is expected to enable the development of advanced-energy-relevant technologies.” PECASE awards are the U.S. government’s highest honors to outstanding scientists and engineers, early in their independent research careers.
ALS user Ting Xu of the Materials Sciences Division, and assistant professor of materials science and engineering at UC Berkeley, recently received the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. To read more about the award, go here; to read an ALS Science Highlight about her work on Beamline 7.3.3, see "A New Route to Nano Self-Assembly."
Scott Mullin was awarded the Padden award at the APS meeting in March, 2011, for his contribution of "Electric Field Induced Ordering of Battery Electrolyte" using data from ALS Beamline 7.3.3. Scott is a student of Prof. Nitash Balsara from UC Berkeley, who has been a user at ALS Beamline 7.3.3 from its start and has published many important contributions in polymer related research.
APS Fellows for 2010 were recently announced and many frequent ALS users received the honor, including Harald Ade, Musahid Ahmed, Pupa Gilbert, and Zi Qui. Go here to view the full list of 2010 APS Fellows.
Steve Leone, Chemical Sciences Division Director and UC Berkeley professor of chemistry and physics, recently received the 2011 Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics from the American Physical Society "for his pioneering use of soft x-rays in probing ultrafast dynamics in atomic and molecular systems." This prize is made to one person who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of chemical physics or physical chemistry. For more information about Dr. Leone's research activities, view his Web page and the APS prize information .
James Berger, of Berkeley Lab's Physical Biosciences Division and UC Berkeley, has won the 2011 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Molecular Biology Award for “elucidating the structures of topoisomerases and helicases and providing insights into the biochemical mechanisms that mediate the replication and transcription of DNA.” This work was featured in ALS Science Highlight Rotary Firing in Ring-Shaped Protein Explains Unidirectionality. The $25,000 award, sponsored by Pfizer Inc., recognizes recent notable discoveries in molecular biology by a young scientist.
Gabor Samorjai, a senior scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and long-time ALS user, has won a "Frontiers of Knowledge Award " from Spain's BBVA Foundation. The Basic Sciences award recognizes Somorjai for “his pioneering contributions to the understanding of surface chemistry and catalysis at a microscopic and molecular level.” It comes with a cash prize of approximately $550,000. See Samorjai's recent Science Highlight Platinum Nanoclusters Out-Perform Single Crystals. A Berkeley Lab News Release about this award is also available here .
Charles Fadley is among the 503 newly-elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). A faculty scientist with Berkeley Lab’s Materials Sciences Division and Distinguished Professor of Physics at UC Davis, Fadley, one of the world’s foremost practitioners of photoelectron spectroscopy, and uses the Advanced Light Source to study systems that are relevant to next-generation magnetic information storage and logic devices. Election as a Fellow of AAAS is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers in recognition of meritorious efforts to advance science or its applications. Go here to view a complete list of new fellows.
Musahid Ahmed of the Lab’s Chemical Sciences Division has been elected as a fellow to the American Physical Society. Ahmed was recognized “for his creation of a world-class synchrotron chemical dynamics facility serving the community and his unique marriage of lasers with synchrotron science, used to study small molecule spectroscopy and energetics, biological imaging, combustion, nanoparticle reactivity, and chemical dynamics.”
Other ALS users elected as fellows include Harald Ade, Pupa Gilbert, Zi Q. Qiu, and Craig Taatjes. Go here to view a full list of 2010 APS fellows.
At the March American Physical Society Meeting (APS) the following scientists, who have performed extensive research at the ALS, were acknowledged for their groundbreaking work:
Alessandra Lanzara, University of California Berkeley and Berkeley Lab: 2010 Maria Goeppert Mayer Award for "High-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy and imaging studies of the cuprate superconductors and graphene that elucidate their electronic properties.
Ramamoorthy Ramesh, University of California, Berkeley: 2010 James C. McGroddy Prize in New Materials for "Groundbreaking contributions in theory and experiment that have advanced the understanding and utility of multiferroic oxides."
Feng Wang, University of California, Berkeley: IUPAP Young Scientist Award for "Bilayer graphene: Tunable bandgap and electron-phonon Fano resonances."
Eli Rotenberg, Berkeley Lab: VUVX (for Vacuum UltraViolet and X-Ray) Conference Award for “his outstanding contributions to angle-resolved photoemission with synchrotron radiation in the study of surfaces and electronic structure.”
Feng Wang, University of California, Berkeley and LBNL: Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Research Program Award Winner for “Control of Graphene Electronic Structure for Energy Technology,” funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
Zhi-Xun Shen, Director of the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science (SIMES), has been awarded the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award by the U.S. Department of Energy for his pioneering work in materials science. Shen has been a very active user of the ALS and has carried out much of his research at ALS BL 10.0.1.
Shen’s award, announced on December 16, 2009, is "for his ground breaking discoveries and pioneering use of high resolution angle-resolved photoemission to advance understanding of strongly correlated electron systems including high-transition temperature superconductors and other complex oxides." It is one of the highest scientific honors bestowed by the U.S. government.
Eli Rotenberg, The Kai Siegbahn Prize for "The creation and development of the "Electronic Structure Factory" end-station at the Advanced Light Source, which could legitimately be called the most useful ARPES end-station in the World. This endstation has been used to tease out many first results in a wide variety of complex and exotic materials. Eli Rotenberg’s artful application of ARPES has greatly contributed to the understanding of some of the quantum electronic properties of nano-phase and reduced dimensionality materials."
René Bilodeau, Western Michigan University and LBNL: The Yong-Ki Kim Award for Excellence in Research Post Doctoral Award for the paper "Promoting a core electron to fill a d shell: A threshold law and shape and Feshbach resonances."