1998 Outstanding Scientist Named (Release)

1998 Outstanding Scientist Named

RICHMOND- Five Virginians are being honored in the state's top scientist and industrialist award program. A Newport News physicist has been named Virginia's Outstanding Scientist. A Virginia Beach CEO has been named Virginia's Outstanding Industrialist. An Eastern Virginia Medical School husband and wife have been selected to receive Virginia's Life Achievement Award. A retired reporter specializing in science and medicine has been selected to win a new award, the Beverly Orndorff Award for Exceptional Service to Public Understanding of Science. Top honors are made each year by the Science Museum of Virginia and the commonwealth of Virginia. The winners are being presented to the General Assembly at the State Capitol at noon on Feb. 23. An awards banquet will be held Monday, March 23, at the Science Museum.

Dr. Herman A. Grunder has been named Outstanding Scientist of 1998. Grunder is the director of the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, also known as the Jefferson Lab, in Newport News. Old Dominion University President James V. Koch calls Grunder a "scientific pioneer and a spinner of dreams." Grunder has built a world center for nuclear physics research into the inner most part of the atom- the quark. The Jefferson Lab has a unique continuous electron beam accelerator, known as CEBAF. This accelerator is enabling 12000 researchers from around the world to conduct experiments. In addition, private industry leaders including DuPont, 3M, IBM, Xerox, Lucent Technologies, Northrop Grumman and Newport News Shipbuilding as well as the U.S. Navy, the commonwealth of Virginia and many universities are involved in a new project called the free electron laser. This laser has the potential to make many industrial manufacturing processes more cost effective.

It all began in 1985 when Dr. Grunder arrived in Newport News to build a conventional electron beam accelerator. But instead of building a lab using conventional technology, he envisioned a racetrack shape using superconducting radio-frequency technology. Grunder took a gamble that paid off. His vision led to a more cost efficient accelerator with many scientific advantages. This unique facility is now the world's leader in superconducing technology. The science it produces is of the highest quality.

Grunder received his Ph.D at the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 1967. He began working for the Lawrence Berkely Laboratory in 1959. In 1982 he became a special assistant for advance facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy. He returned to the Lawrence Berkely Lab in 1983 as a deputy director. Grunder received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Senior U.S. Scientist Award in 1979 and the U.S. Department of Energy Distinguished Associate Award in 1996. Grunder has served on numerous professional committees including the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Policy Review Committee, National Institute of Standards and Technology Panel for Radiation Research, American Physical Society Division of Nuclear Physics Executive committee, Los Alamos Advisory Board, U.S. Particle Accelerator School Steering Committee, Governer's Task Force 2000 Committee, and NASA Advisory Committee.