Skip to main content
Awards and Recognition | Physical Sciences and Engineering

Argonne staff recognized with 2019 Physical Sciences and Engineering Excellence Awards

Each year, individuals and teams who have distinguished themselves through outstanding achievement and personal excellence are selected to receive this honor.

The Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) directorate is proud to announce the recipients of the 2019 PSE Excellence Awards:

  • John David Carter and Brian Ingram from the Chemical Sciences and Engineering (CSE) division
  • Mihai Anitescu and Charlotte Haley from the Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) division and Ray Osborn and Stephan Rosenkranz from the Materials Science Division (MSD)
  • Robert Scott from the Physics (PHY) division
  • Dean Carbaugh, Scott Massow and Eugene Stewart from the Nanoscience and Technology (NST) division

The awards recognize teams and individuals for outstanding achievements and distinguished service during the previous fiscal year. Each award falls under one of two categories: Programmatic Scientific Achievement or Operational Excellence.

2019 PSE Excellence Award: Programmatic Scientific Achievement category

PSE recognizes John David Carter and Brian Ingram of CSE for taking advantage of an opportunity from DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to create a new program within PSE that could grow into a significant long-term DOE funded effort. The program focuses on research and development of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) — specifically, the structure-property relationships and processing science of SOFCs.

Over the course of several years, Carter and Ingram leveraged NETL support to advocate for greater investment from DOE to build the new SOFC program at Argonne, ensuring its growth and success. In fiscal year 2019, NETL granted a significant amount of new funding to the project, allowing the team to grow in number of part- and full-time members and for Carter and Ingram to continue to add to the project’s list of capabilities. In addition to program development, Carter and Ingram are recognized for their mentoring skills and efforts, which they have demonstrated by equipping and empowering their team members to form and develop collaborations within Argonne and across institutions.

2019 PSE Excellence Award: Programmatic Scientific Achievement category

PSE recognizes Mihai Anitescu and Charlotte Haley from MCS and Ray Osborn and Stephan Rosenkranz from MSD for developing a new approach to combine high-energy X-ray scattering, machine learning and spectral analysis, enabling powerful new methods of structural analysis to address the problem of hidden order. Led by Osborn, the team was awarded funding for their project, titled Structural signatures of hidden order in spin-orbit coupled systems”, from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Basic Energy Sciences through their Data science for discovery in chemical and materials sciences” call for proposals.

The project is a collaboration between Cornell University and Argonne’s MSD and MCS. The new program involves machine learning, artificial intelligence and advanced data science, and it will lead to a suite of innovative tools that will impact future investigations of crystalline materials whose properties depend on structural correlations that are short-ranged or too weak to be measured by conventional diffraction methods. This research is relevant to a range of quantum material applications, including quantum computing, smart sensors and actuators and low-power electronics, all of which are of interest to the lab and its sponsors.

2019 PSE Excellence Award: Operational Excellence category

PSE recognizes Robert Scott from PHY for his contributions to the addition of a Carbon-14 (C-14) ion source at the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Since C-14 is radioactive, its introduction into any of the existing ion sources could severely hinder future source operations. Scott successfully conceived, designed and planned the new source installation with no disruptions to ATLAS operations.

Over the course of the project, Scott coordinated with several other entities, including machine shops, electrical safety advisors, vendors and scientific staff. He maintained effective communication with other project contributors and kept detailed records on all aspects of the project. Scott’s attention to detail, methodical approach and careful consideration of the integration of the new source into the ATLAS framework serves as an example of proper project management and personal dedication. His efforts on this project further the scientific goals of ATLAS in a cost-effective way, extending the scientific impact of the facility for years to come. 

2019 PSE Excellence Award: Operational Excellence category

PSE recognizes Dean Carbaugh, Scott Massow and Eugene Stewart from NST for their instrumental efforts in the construction of the new Quantum Matter and Devices Laboratory at Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM), a DOE Office of Science User Facility. Their unique design allowed for significant cost savings under a tight deadline.

The project required the conversion of a machine shop into a laboratory, as well as the installation of unique utilities necessary for research, including chilled water for a helium compressor and high-power plugs and cables for superconducting magnets. The team worked together from design to construction to complete the conversion effectively and creatively. For example, the new lab required significant ceiling and roof modifications in order to fit new instrumentation. An initial design from an external engineering firm estimated a cost of about $150k for the renovations. Massow and the team worked with other Argonne personnel to find an alternative approach that only cost $50k, while still satisfying all safety requirements.

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 https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.