Last week the Department of Energy announced the Early Career Award recipients for 2012, and I am pleased to congratulate our four winners: Brendan Casey, Tengming Shen, Pavel Snopok and Sam Zeller. The awards are highly competitive with only 68 awards granted out of more than 800 peer-reviewed proposals. Over the last couple of years we have encouraged our young investigators to compete for these awards. This great program encourages and rewards outstanding scientists early in their careers and gives them the flexibility to explore new directions in their research. Recipients typically receive $500,000 per year for five years to cover salary and research expenses.
Ours is mostly a team science, with credit and funding shared by many scientists working on a given program or project under strong leaders and as a result there are few avenues for young investigators to strike in new directions on their own. This DOE program provides one of those avenues and we are very appreciative of the effort and emphasis that DOE places on the program.
We are very proud of this year’s crop of awards, three to staff members of the laboratory and one to a scientist who holds a joint Fermilab/Illinois Institute of Technology appointment. The range of topics selected for awards at Fermilab covers new detector and accelerator technologies with emphasis on Intensity Frontier projects:
- Brendan Casey, Fermilab: “Tracking for the New Muon g-2 Experiment”
- Tengming Shen, Fermilab: “Engineering High Field Superconducting Materials for Frontier Accelerator Technology”
- Geralyn “Sam” Zeller, Fermilab: “Understanding Liquid Argon Neutrino Detectors: Moving from Art to Science”
- Pavel Snopok, joint appointee IIT-Fermilab: “Advanced Simulation Tools for Muon-Based Accelerators
You can find the complete list of awardees, including abstracts, here. Of course in a highly competitive environment with less than 10 percent of proposals selected, many meritorious proposals were not funded. Kudos go to all the scientists in our laboratory who participated in the program, and especially to those who were selected to receive awards.