Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2004
Chris Harrington (202) 997-3150


The U.S. Department of Energy announced today (Wednesday) that six University of California scientists are this year's recipients of the E.O. Lawrence Award, given to scientists and engineers for exceptional contributions in the broadly defined field of atomic energy.

Awards are presented in the areas of life sciences, physics, national security, chemistry, materials research, environmental sciences, and nuclear technology -- UC scientists received recognition in six of the seven fields.

Each winner will receive a gold medal, a citation and $50,000 at a Washington, D.C., awards ceremony set for Nov. 8.

" This year's Lawrence award winners highlight the tremendous national contributions that UC scientists are making in the atomic energy fields," said UC President Robert C. Dynes. "These awards recognize the breadth of scientific and technological work being done at both the UC managed national laboratories and our campuses.

" These researchers are to be commended for their scientific accomplishments."

" We are all enriched by the contributions these researchers have made, ranging from engines with no moving parts to better ways to see the stars," said Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. "These awards, and the research for which they are given, show that DOE could easily be called the Department of Science and Energy."

The UC recipients of this year's E.O. Lawrence Awards, by category, are:

Life sciences: Bette Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory for "her pioneering studies delineating the genetic characteristics of the HIV virus after its transmission from mother to child, during the progression of the disease, and within different tissues in the host; and for her painstaking development of the Los Alamos HIV database, which forms the foundation for HIV research for the scientific community. This resource has been used to aid in the design of successful therapies, for vaccine design and for understanding the implications of the evolution of variation in this extraordinary diverse virus." Korber is a technical staff member in the theoretical biology and biophysics group at Los Alamos.

Physics: Claire Max of University of California, Santa Cruz and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for "contributions to the initial theory of adaptive optics with laser guide stars, and for leadership in its subsequent application to ground-based observational astronomy." Max is a professor and astronomer at UC Santa Cruz and physicist at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at Lawrence Livermore.

National security: Fred Mortensen of Los Alamos National Laboratory for "his outstanding technical contributions in nuclear weapons design and for his leadership and expert judgment that have enabled the continued certification of the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons in an era without nuclear testing." Mortensen is a project design leader in the thermonuclear applications group at Los Alamos as well as a Laboratory Fellow.

Chemistry: Richard J. Saykally of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for "the invention of velocity modulation spectroscopy of molecular ions; for the development of far infrared vibration-rotation spectroscopy of radicals, clusters and carbon chains; for the elucidation of the structure and potential energy surfaces for water clusters; and for the development and application of cavity ringdown spectroscopy techniques." Saykally is a professor at UC Berkeley and senior scientist with the national laboratory's chemical sciences division.

Materials research: Ivan Schuller of UC San Diego for "creating the field of metallic superlattices and recognizing the impact of these materials on magnetism and superconductivity through their remarkable thermodynamic and transport properties." Schuller is a professor of physics in UCSD's division of physical sciences.

Environmental science and technology: Gregory W. Swift of Los Alamos National Laboratory for "developing the theory of thermoacoustics and for designing, constructing and testing practical devices. These devices will have many applications as refrigerators, engines, pumps and materials separators. He and his team have brought this discipline from a theoretical and laboratory curiosity to a practicality of enormous potential." Swift is a technical staff member in the laboratory's condensed matter and thermal physics group as well as a Laboratory Fellow.

The seventh winner of the E.O. Lawrence Award is Nathaniel Fisch from Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Princeton University.

The E.O. Lawrence Award was established in 1959 in memory of Ernest Orlando Lawrence, winner of the 1939 Nobel Prize in physics for his invention of the cyclotron, a circular particle accelerator that opened the door to high-energy physics. He was the founder and director of the Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories in California.

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