Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne appoints Distinguished Fellows for 2017

By Dave BukeyMay 25, 2017

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has chosen scientists Alexander Zholents, David Tiede, Wai-Kwong Kwok and Tijana Rajh as Distinguished Fellows, the laboratory’s highest scientific and engineering rank.

To be named an Argonne Distinguished Fellow is an achievement on par with receiving an endowed chair at a top-ranked university. Approximately three percent of the research staff share this title, which requires sustained outstanding scientific and engineering research and can also be associated with outstanding technical leadership of major, complex, high-priority projects.

"Their unique talents in fundamental science and devotion to collaborative research helps the laboratory develop energy breakthroughs and understand the world around us."

“I am pleased to welcome Alexander, David, Wai-Kwong and Tijana as Argonne Distinguished Fellows,” said Paul Kearns, Argonne’s interim director. “Their unique talents in fundamental science and devotion to collaborative research helps the laboratory develop energy breakthroughs and understand the world around us.”

Alexander Zholents

Alexander Zholents is the director of the Accelerator Systems Division (ASD) at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. He oversees the performance of the Advanced Photon Source accelerators, upgrades to the accelerator systems and the division’s research and development efforts. He has a Ph.D. in experimental high-energy physics from the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Before joining Argonne in 2010, Zholents was deeply involved in the design and commissioning of high-luminosity electron-positron colliders, third-generation light sources, and the world’s first source of femtosecond X-ray pulses. He also helped design the world’s first seeded X-ray free electron laser (FEL). He proposed many innovative accelerator techniques including optical stochastic cooling, generation of picosecond X-ray pulses at synchrotrons, enhanced self-amplified spontaneous emission for FELs, and generation of attosecond X-ray pulses.

At Argonne, Zholents applied his deep knowledge of accelerators to the operational effectiveness of the APS. Under his leadership, the Accelerator Systems Division has improved accelerator reliability and availability and advanced the state-of-the-art in development of innovative insertion devices, X-ray beam position monitors, and development of new approaches in beam orbit stability. Zholents has also worked together with scientists from the Argonne Wakefield Accelerator Facility and the Argonne Tandem Linear Accelerator System on several successful projects.

Zholents is a Senior Scientist of the Russian Academy of Sciences and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He received the Klaus Halbach award for innovative instrumentation.

David Tiede

David Tiede is a senior chemist and Photosynthesis Group Leader in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. He is also a founding co-principal investigator of the Argonne-Northwestern Solar Energy Research (ANSER) Center, a partnership that explores the sun’s potential to supply energy. He holds a B.S. in biology and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

Before joining Argonne in 1984, Tiede held postdoctoral research positions at the Eastern Pennsylvania Research Institute and the Centre d'Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay in Gif-sur-Yvette, France. In both roles, he focused his research on photosynthetic reaction centers.

At Argonne, Tiede is a leading specialist in developing solar cell technology and studies the potential for harnessing photochemical energy in natural and artificial photosynthesis. He was promoted to staff scientist in 1989, took the helm at the Photosynthesis Group in 1995 and became a senior chemist in 2001.

Tiede’s research interests also include biomimetic supramolecular chemistry, as well as using steady-state and pulsed synchrotron X-ray scattering to visualize the structural dynamics of biological molecules and synthetic biomimetic molecular systems.

He received the University of Chicago Distinguished Performance Award, is a Fellow at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and holds four patents.

Wai-Kwong Kwok

Wai-Kwong Kwok is a senior scientist and leader of the Superconductivity and Magnetism Group. He is also co-associate director and theme leader for the Center for Emergent Superconductivity, an Energy Frontier Research Center collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory and the University of Illinois that investigates superconductivity across materials. He earned a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics as well as an M.S. from Purdue University and a B.A. in physics and mathematics from Kenyon College.

Kwok began his postdoctoral work at Argonne in 1987, joined the staff a year later and was promoted to senior scientist in 2001. His research interests include thermodynamic studies of novel and exotic superconductors, dynamic studies of vortex behavior in high-temperature superconductors, exploration of novel physical phenomena in hybrid magnetic and superconducting nano-structures and the prospects of high-power terahertz emissions from mesoscopic high-temperature superconductors.

He was a co-recipient of the Department of Energy's Materials Science Award, as well as the University of Chicago Awards for Distinguished Performance at Argonne for work on vortex lattice melting in superconductors. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Tijana Rajh

Tijana Rajh is deputy director of the Nanoscience and Technology division and a senior scientist in the Center for Nanoscale Materials, a DOE Office of Science User Facility. She holds B.A., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physical Chemistry from the University of Belgrade in Serbia.

Before arriving at Argonne in 1994, Rajh conducted postdoctoral research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel and spent six years as a chemist at the Boris Kidric Institute in Belgrade, Serbia.

At Argonne, she has focused on the use of titanium dioxide semiconductor nanoparticles and how they can promote chemical and spectroscopic processes. Rajh has also studied surface modification of semiconductor nanoparticles via surface interactions with chemical and biological species in order to tailor physical properties and promote catalytic activity.

In her multiple roles at Argonne, Rajh has been responsible for conceiving, planning and managing the cross-cutting science and interdisciplinary research that led to several successful programs and partnerships within the laboratory and with industry. Her collaborations have explored nanoarchitectured high-power batteries, new medical therapies using bioluminescence, and photocatalytic carbon dioxide conversion to chemical fuels and hybrid systems for the detection of biomolecules.

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and holds seven patents.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation's first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America's scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy'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 the Office of Science website.