DOE Names 3 2021 Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows

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September 23, 2021 — The Department of Energy (DOE) announced three DOE National Laboratory scientists as DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows. This honor, authorized by the America COMPETES Act, is bestowed on National Laboratory scientists with outstanding records of achievement and provides each Fellow with $1 million over three years to support activities that develop, sustain, and promote scientific and academic excellence in DOE Office of Science research.

The 2021 DOE Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows are:

Dr. Gregory W. Hammett of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory – Honored for “leading the development of the quantitative theory and simulation of plasma turbulence in fusion and astrophysics, and for educating and mentoring a diverse group of graduate students and early career researchers.”

Dr. Jay Keasling of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Honored for “national scientific leadership in synthetic biology that has advanced DOE’s strategy in renewable energy, especially the realization of biofuels and bioproducts that enable biomanufacturing at scale and inspire and grow the U.S. bioeconomy.”

Dr. L. Ruby Leung of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – Honored for “pioneering new approaches in climate modeling, the discovery of unexpected impacts of regional climate change, and understanding extreme weather events and their future changes.”

Fellows were selected following a highly competitive nomination and peer review process, which included nominations from all 17 DOE National Laboratories. Fellows were selected because of their outstanding scientific leadership and engagement with academic and university research communities; sustained scientific excellence and significant scientific achievement; relevance to programmatic goals of DOE’s Office of Science; service to the research community through agency, professional society, or advisory work; mentoring of early career scientists or engineers; and commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“The talented scientists that make up DOE’s Distinguished Scientist Fellows are advancing the scientific solutions for some of our nation’s greatest challenges, from measuring the impact of climate change to developing the bioeconomy and pursuing fusion as a future energy source,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk. “I look forward to their continued success in achieving impactful results as they also work to inspire and guide a diverse new generation of scientists.”

A virtual ceremony will be held on October 20, 2021 in celebration of the outstanding accomplishments of the 2021 Distinguished Scientist Fellows. Proceedings will include a brief awards presentation, followed by a roundtable Q&A with the three Distinguished Fellows. Fellows will share stories about their contributions to science, professional experiences, career trajectories, and working at the DOE National Laboratories.

For more information about the ceremony and contributions the 2021 Distinguished Scientist Fellows have made to U.S. leadership in energy, science and security, please visit the Office of Science’s Distinguished Scientist Fellows website.

The DOE encourages nominations of individuals from underrepresented groups and is committed to supporting a diverse cadre of investigators and fostering safe, diverse, equitable, and inclusive work, research, and funding environments; read the Office of Science’s Statement of Commitment here for more information on this commitment. Further information on eligibility, selection guidelines, and nomination requirements can be found at the Office of Science Distinguished Scientist Fellows website.