NEWPORT NEWS, VA. – Two scientists from Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility have won highly coveted awards totaling $3.25 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, joining a select group of just 65 individuals, including 21 from national laboratories, to win an award this year.
The scientists, Pavel Evtushenko and Jozef Dudek, won their awards under the Early Career Research Program. The program was created last year by the DOE’S Office of Science to bolster the nation's scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during their early career years, a crucial time when many scientists do their most formative work.
Evtushenko was awarded $2.5 million to be spread over five years to support his research at the lab’s Free-Electron Laser. He plans to develop high-dynamic range diagnostics for linear particle accelerators. Dudek, whose award comes through Old Dominion University, where he is an assistant professor, was awarded $750,000 over five years to support his research of sub-atomic particles known as mesons. Dudek and his colleagues are using supercomputers to predict the structure of mesons, which will be produced and studied at Jefferson Lab following the lab’s 12 GeV Upgrade.
"To win these prestigious awards speaks highly of the outstanding work done by Pavel and Jozef and to their future contributions," said Hugh Montgomery, the director of Jefferson Lab. "All of us at the lab are extremely proud of these two young scientists, and we look forward to sharing in the discoveries they may make."
To be eligible for an Early Career award, a researcher must be an untenured, tenure-track assistant professor at a U.S. academic institution or a full-time employee at a DOE national laboratory and the researcher must have received a Ph.D. within the past 10 years. This year, 1,150 university- and national laboratory-based scientists applied. Winners were selected based on peer review by outside scientific experts.
"It’s always encouraging to have your work recognized as important, and this funding award is ideally timed to support our research efforts in preparation for the 12 GeV upgrade," Dudek said.
"To say that it is exciting to win this award would not really explain how it feels. Electrifying seems to be a better word, but that might be because of what we do at the FEL," Evtushenko said. "I firmly believe that I could not have written my proposal had I not been at the JLab FEL working with the people here. It is our working together combined with our experience and some forward thinking that resulted in the proposal. I am happy to give something back to the group and the facility, and to contribute to moving us forward to a next-generation light source. Most important to me now is to take advantage of this opportunity and to do good work. This is what I will concentrate on."
Jefferson Lab is a world-leading nuclear physics research facility operated and managed for the Department of Energy by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC. Scientists from around the world use Jefferson lab’s unique electron beam accelerator to explore the nucleus of the atom and its Free-Electron Laser to conduct related research.
More information is available at the Department of Energy website at: http://science.energy.gov/early-career/