Jefferson Lab Scientist Receives 2009 Presidential Early Career Award

Jefferson Lab Director Hugh Montgomery (left) congratulates Gianluigi Ciovati, who was named a 2009 recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award. Joining them in celebrating the award was Andrew Hutton, associate director for the Accelerator Division. Photo: Greg Adams

NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Gianluigi Ciovati, a superconducting radiofrequency scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, has been named a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers by President Obama.

Ciovati is one of just 100 young researchers selected for this year’s award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.  The recipients will receive their awards in the Fall at a White House ceremony.

The Presidential Early Career Awards embody the high priority the Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the nation’s goals and contribute to all sectors of the economy.  Nine Federal departments and agencies join together annually to nominate the most meritorious young scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for strengthening America’s leadership in science and technology and contributing to the awarding agencies' missions. Ciovati is one of just 12 recipients from the Department of Energy.

"These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent the best in our country," President Obama said Thursday in a prepared statement.  "With their talent, creativity, and dedication, I am confident that they will lead their fields in new breakthroughs and discoveries and help us use science and technology to lift up our nation and our world."

The awards, established by President Clinton in February 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: Pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach. Winning scientists and engineers receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions. 

Ciovati, who received a Ph.D. from Old Dominion University in 2005, is involved with the 12 GeV Upgrade program. When he joined JLab from INFN Milano in Italy, he worked on the design and prototype superconducting cavities for the Spallation Neutron Source in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

This year’s other DOE recipients are:

Cecilia R. Aragon, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Gary A. Baker, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Joshua A. Breslau, Princeton Plasma Physics
Stefan P. Gerhardt, Princeton Plasma Physics
Lynford L. Goddard, University of Illinois
Jason Graetz, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Jeffrey B. Neaton, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Thao D. Nguyen, Johns Hopkins University
Paul Sorensen, Brookhaven National Laboratory
Alexandre M. Tartakovsky, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Ivan Vitev, Los Alamos National Laboratory.


Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, manages and operates the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, or Jefferson Lab, for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science. JSA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA).

DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit