MIT professor wins first JSA Outstanding Nuclear Physics Award

Mar 28, 2011

An MIT professor recognized as a world leader and innovator in the field of experimental electromagnetic nuclear physics has been named the first recipient of the Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Award by Jefferson Science Associates.

The award, which also includes a $10,000 prize, will be presented to William Bertozzi in June during a ceremony to be held at the Thomas Jefferson National Facility in Newport News, VA.

Jefferson Lab is a world-leading research laboratory managed and operated by Jefferson Science Associates for the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Bill's contributions to the nuclear physics program at Jefferson Lab are many … (ranging from) his leadership in the development of the use of electron scattering as a tool for the study of nuclear and nucleon structure and in the development of experimental techniques and novel instrumentation to carry out these measurements … (to) his mentoring of many of the most active members of the Jefferson Lab community as Ph.D. students and postdocs," wrote Lawrence Cardman, former Jefferson Lab associate director for experimental nuclear physics, in a letter supporting the nomination of Bertozzi for the award.

SURA President & CEO Jerry Draayer and CSC/ATG President Alan Weakley, the owner representatives on the JSA Board of Directors, applauded the selection panel's choice, noting Professor Bertozzi's pioneering work in the field and career-long support for the physics being advanced at the Jefferson Lab.

"In making an inaugural award, it is especially important to choose someone distinctive. Bill Bertozzi has had a long history of leadership in his work at Jefferson Lab. Yet what makes him so unique is evidenced in a letter he wrote in response to notification that he had been selected where he spoke of his 'many brilliant graduate students, postdocs and colleagues at MIT and the universities along with the expert staff at Jefferson Lab'." said JSA President and Jefferson Lab Director Hugh Montgomery. "I believe the selection panel was successful in its mission."

Dr. Bertozzi, a physics professor at MIT since 1968, is the principal investigator leading the Nuclear Interactions Group at the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science. In that capacity, he is engaged in investigating the structure of nucleons and nuclei using high-energy electrons and photons as probes. During his career, he has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including the Mentoring Award from the American Physical Society (2008), the Shell Graduate Fellowship at MIT (1954-56), and fellowships with both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Physical Society, and the Summer Internship Program at Brookhaven National Laboratory (1953).

Director of the Laboratory for Nuclear Science at MIT, Richard Milner noted that the groundbreaking experiments of Bertozzi's group at MIT led to new experimental techniques and the education, training, and development of several generations of young physicists who today are leaders in the field.

The JSA Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Award was established to recognize an individual who has made outstanding and sustained contributions in experimental and/or theoretical research related to the nuclear physics program at the Jefferson Lab. The award – to be presented every two years – is funded through the JSA Initiatives Fund and managed by the JSA Programs Committee. It will be presented at Jefferson Lab when it hosts its annual Users Group Meeting. The Users Group is comprised of those scientists from the U.S. and abroad who use Jefferson Lab's facilities to conduct experiments.

The panel charged with making the selection for this year's inaugural award included: Thomas Appelquist, Yale University; John Hardy, Texas A&M; Robert McKeown, deputy director for Science and Technology, Jefferson Lab; Stephen Wallace, University of Maryland; and, Elizabeth Lawson, SURA chief governance officer and principal JSA/JLab liaison.

JSA was awarded the management and operating contract for the Jefferson Lab in April 2006 in a five-year operating contract from DOE that provided the ability to earn up to an additional 15 years. SURA was originally awarded the contract to design the lab in 1983 and operated the Lab for DOE following its completion. JSA was created by SURA and Computer Sciences Corp. specifically to manage and operate Jefferson Lab.

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