Argonne radar meteorologist Scott Collis named one of Popular Science’s 'Brilliant 10'

By Brian GrabowskiSeptember 16, 2013

ARGONNE, Ill. – Dr. Scott Collis, a radar meteorologist in Argonne National Laboratory’s Environmental Science Division, has been named one of Popular Science’s “Brilliant 10” for his climate and meteorology-focused research as part of the magazine’s 13th annual awards list. The Brilliant 10 are a group of 10 researchers under 40 who have made revolutionary contributions to their fields.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Scott Collis, who is a leader in Argonne’s climate research initiatives,” said Eric D. Isaacs, Director of Argonne National Laboratory. “Dr. Collis’ great work is helping us to better understand how clouds form and move, and how changes in clouds can affect the weather across vast distances. His research is vital to Argonne’s ongoing efforts to create reliable, useful climate models that will enable us to understand the impacts of changing climate around the globe.”

Much of Collis’s work focuses on the areas of climate and meteorology, and he is an expert in the remote sensing of precipitating cloud systems. He currently leads the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) centimeter radar products team at Argonne and is the science lead on the Python-ARM Radar Toolkit (Py-ART), which he invented. This community-based, open-source software project serves as an architecture allowing the scientific community to easily interact with complex remotely sensed data and to contribute back to the project.

The primary thrust of Collis’s research is in bridging the gap between highly specialized remote sensing measurements and numerical models of the atmosphere, both fine scale (storm resolving) and course scale (global climate or single column). By developing observational targets for models, Collis’s group is enabling process level understanding of atmospheric phenomena crucial for the development of next-generation climate models.  

Popular Science prides itself on revealing the innovations and ideas that are laying today's groundwork for tomorrow's breakthroughs, and the Brilliant 10 is one of the most exciting ways we do that,” said Jake Ward, Editor-In-Chief of Popular Science.  “This collection of 10 brilliant young researchers is our chance to honor the most promising work – and the most hardworking people – in science and technology today. This year's winners are particularly distinguished, and I'm proud to welcome them all as members of the 2013 Brilliant 10.”

To find candidates for their annual list, Popular Science typically speaks with a variety of individuals in different branches of science, including past Brilliant 10 winners, scientists who are well-regarded in their fields, professional societies and industry researchers.

Collis received his Ph.D. in Physical Sciences from the Australian National University in 2007.

His work is funded and supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program.

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. Dept. 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, please visit the Office of Science website.