Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing For Ernest Moniz For Energy Secretary

WASHINGTON – U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today announced nine exceptional U.S. scientists and engineers as recipients of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for their contributions in research and development that supports the Energy Department’s science, energy and national security missions. Since 1959, the Lawrence Award has recognized mid-career scientists and engineers in the United States who have advanced new research and scientific discovery in the chemical, biological, environmental and computer sciences; condensed matter and materials; fusion and plasma sciences; high energy and nuclear physics; and national security and nonproliferation.

“These mid-career researchers have made significant advances in fundamental science and technology innovation,” Secretary Moniz said.  “They will help sustain America’s research and development leadership.  I congratulate the winners for their outstanding achievements, thank them for their work on behalf of the Department and the Nation, and look forward to their continued accomplishments.”

The 2014 E.O. Lawrence Award recipients include:

  • Carolyn R. Bertozzi (University of California, Berkeley) – Atomic, Molecular, and Chemical Sciences Honored for her significant scientific research contributions at the interface of chemistry, biology and nanoscience, including major advances in the chemistry and biology of complex carbohydrates, including the development of nanotechnologies and chemistries for probing biological systems, optimizing bioreactors, and innovating tailored devices and materials.  These new biochemical synthetic methods have enabled many advances for biological and non-biological systems, including profiling changes in cell surface glycosylation, nanoscience-based modifications of cell function, and new diagnostic and materials synthesis approaches.
  • Jizhong (Joe) Zhou (University of Oklahoma) – Biological and Environmental SciencesHonored for his outstanding accomplishments in environmental genomics and microbial ecology, including the development of innovative metagenomics technologies for environmental sciences, for groundbreaking discoveries to understand the feedbacks, mechanisms, and fundamental principles of microbial systems in response to environmental change, and for transformative leadership to elucidate microbial ecological networks and to link microbial biodiversity with ecosystem functions.
  • Pavel Bochev (Sandia National Laboratories) – Computer, Information, and Knowledge Sciences Honored for his pioneering theoretical and practical advances in numerical methods for partial differential equations (PDEs), which includes the invention of new algorithms, the rigorous mathematical analysis of algorithms and of the mathematical models to which they apply, the implementation of computational algorithms for solving applications problems of general interest that are also of particular relevance to Department of Energy missions, and the development of production software.
  • Peidong Yang (University of California, Berkeley) – Condensed Matter and Materials Sciences Honored for his seminal research advancing the synthesis and understanding of nanoscale materials, including semiconductor nanowires and metal nanocrystals, and their impact to structures and devices for applications in nanophotonics, nanoelectronics, and energy conversion.
  • Brian D. Wirth (University of Tennessee) – Energy Science and Innovation Honored for his visionary contributions to fission and fusion energy technology and specifically, for transformational research on computational modeling and experimental validation of fuel performance and radiation effects in materials, providing influential leadership within the fission and fusion technology communities, and impacting research areas that are of foundational importance for evaluating the safe operating lifetime of current nuclear reactors, as well as for the development of advanced fission and fusion energy systems.
  • Christopher L. Fryer (Los Alamos National Laboratory) – Fusion and Plasma SciencesHonored for his major advances addressing fundamental questions in astrophysics, computational multiphysics, and high-energy density science, and more specifically, for supernova core collapse work using 3-dimensional modeling assimilation to model, explain, and predict astrophysical observations (e.g. from NASA’s Swift mission) and phenomena. His computational astrophysics work involving the largest explosions in the universe has impacted some of the most important open questions in astrophysics, including the origin of the elements, the nature and evolution of the first stars, the gravitational wave signals from compact binary systems, and the mechanism responsible for gamma ray bursts.
  • David J. Schlegel (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) – High Energy PhysicsHonored for his exceptional leadership of major projects making the largest two-dimensional and three-dimensional maps of the universe, which have been used to map the expansion rate of the Universe to 10 billion light years and beyond. His fundamental technical contributions to high precision measurements of the expansion history of the Universe, and his massive galaxy redshift surveys to detect baryon acoustic oscillations, has helped ascertain the nature of Dark Energy, test General Relativity, and positively impact fundamental understanding of matter and energy in the universe.  These efforts have made precision cosmology one of the most important new tools of high-energy physics.
  • Mei Bai (Brookhaven National Laboratory) – Nuclear Physics Honored for her outstanding contributions advancing understanding of the dynamics of spin-polarized beams and for the acceleration of polarized protons at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), making it the world’s first and only high energy polarized proton collider. The successful acceleration of polarized proton beams up to 255 GeV, and the collision of polarized protons up to a center-of-mass energy of 510 GeV in RHIC, has impacted fundamental nuclear physics, since it allowed for the first direct measurement of the gluon and sea quark contribution to the spin of the proton.
  • Eric E. Dors (Los Alamos National Laboratory) – National Security and Nonproliferation Honored for his development of a new generation of exo-atmospheric radiation sensors used to fulfill a critical mission need for satellite-based nuclear explosion monitoring crucial to DOE’s nonproliferation mission of global nuclear detonation monitoring and verification of the Limited Test Ban Treaty.

The Lawrence Award was established to honor the memory of Dr. Ernest Orlando Lawrence, who invented the cyclotron – an accelerator of subatomic particles – and was named the 1939 Nobel Laureate in physics for that achievement. Dr. Lawrence later played a leading role in establishing the U.S. system of national laboratories, and today, the Energy Department’s national laboratories in Berkeley and Livermore, California bear his name. The nine Lawrence Award recipients announced today will receive a medal and a $20,000 honorarium at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., later this year.

For more information about the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award and the contributions each award recipient has made to U.S. leadership in energy, science and security, please visit