11 Lawrence Livermore scientists named Distinguished Members of Technical Staff

May 26, 2015
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Eleven Lawrence Livermore researchers have been named Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff. Top row from left: Gilbert (Rip) Collins, Dale Darling, Bronis de Supinski, John Elmer and Steve Haan. Bottom row from left: Harry Martz, Brian MacGowan, Roger Miller, Stephen Payne, Dean Williams and Natalia Zaitseva. (Download Image)

11 Lawrence Livermore scientists named Distinguished Members of Technical Staff

Breanna Bishop, bishop33@llnl.gov, 925-423-9802

LIVERMORE, California – Eleven Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have been named Distinguished Members of Technical Staff (DMTS) for their extraordinary scientific and technical contributions to the Laboratory and its missions, as acknowledged by their professional peers and the larger community.

Gilbert (Rip) Collins of Physical and Life Sciences (PLS), Dale Darling of Global Security, Bronis de Supinski of Computation, John Elmer of Engineering, Steve Haan of Weapons and Complex Integration, Brian MacGowan of NIF and Photon Sciences, Harry Martz of Engineering, Roger Miller of Engineering, Stephen Payne of PLS, Dean Williams of Computation and Natalia Zaitseva of PLS have earned the DMTS designation by reaching the highest technical staff level achievable by a scientist or engineer at the Lab.

The DMTS classification, created to serve as a career ladder for LLNL scientists and engineers, appropriately recognizes science, technology and engineering (ST&E) excellence with distinction and compensation while allowing the honored recipients to remain focused on delivering ST&E solutions to critical mission areas of the Laboratory. Only a limited number of scientists and engineers are selected for DMTS recognition – following the practices of other laboratories and industry, Lawrence Livermore expects its DMTS population to remain within 2-3 percent of the eligible pool of scientists and engineers.

Gilbert (Rip) Collins

Over the past 17 years, Rip Collins has been a leading figure in establishing a new branch of science – experimental condensed matter physics at extreme, high-energy-density (HED) conditions. His pioneering work on the measurement of the equation of state of deuterium, which used laser-generated shocks to compress the sample, launched an international effort to use a new generation of HED facilities to explore the properties of material at these extreme conditions, which had previously been experimentally inaccessible. Now, as more HED facilities are becoming available, Collins is playing a pivotal international leadership role in building a broad scientific community to fully exploit these emerging capabilities for scientific discovery.

“What a great feeling it is to be selected as a DMTS,” Collins said. “Frankly, this honor is a reflection of the outstanding people I have had the privilege to work with during my years at Livermore.”

Dale Darling

During his 35-year career at LLNL, Dale Darling has had a sustained history of distinguished scientific and technical achievements. Early in his career, his collaboration with researcher Richard Sacks in the invention of wetted foam cryogenic capsules was a key contributor to the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program, with important implications for the establishment of National Ignition Facility parameters. In later years, Darling became a recognized authority on foreign nuclear weapons programs. He also has been a key player in Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty issues and how the test ban might relate to future nuclear weapons threats.

“Being named a DMTS is a great honor and a privilege,” Darling said. “My career at LLNL has allowed me to pursue a variety of interests and has greatly benefited from a wide range of inspiring coworkers.  After 35 years at LLNL, mainly working national security issues, I realize that sometimes a career path that is less traveled can result in the most interesting journey.”

Bronis de Supinski

In his 17 years at the Laboratory, Bronis de Supinski has established himself as a prolific researcher and an influential voice in the high performance computing (HPC) community. As an internationally respected leader in HPC system operations and efficiencies, particularly programming models, algorithms, performance, code correctness and resilience, he has made a direct impact on large-scale computing systems as well as shaping the Lab – and national – agenda for next-generation computing systems. His efforts have helped sustain LLNL’s extraordinary tradition of innovation and preeminence in HPC.

“I am honored to be included in the ranks of LLNL's distinguished scientists,” de Supinski said. “The Lab's commitment to high-quality science in general and high performance computing in particular creates an exciting work environment that has provided me with an excellent position from which to influence supercomputing.”

John Elmer

As an internationally recognized expert on welding and joining, John Elmer has been impacting the Department of Energy complex for more than 20 years. In addition to contributing to the advancement of the field through basic research, Elmer has been extremely effective at transforming those scientific advances into practical solutions for laboratory problems. He is best known for his pioneering development and application of synchrotron-based, in-situ, spatially resolved X-ray diffraction techniques to welding and phase transformation research. This work has had a major impact on materials research and is now applied by researchers around the world.

“LLNL has offered me the opportunity to extend welding research outside the traditional national security programmatic mission, and in doing so foster collaborations within the larger welding metallurgy community,” Elmer said. “Being recognized as a DMTS is a great honor that would not have been possible without these collaborations and the contributions of the outstanding scientists that I have had good fortune to work with during my career.”

Steve Haan

Steve Haan, a 34-year LLNL veteran, is recognized for his compelling contributions to the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) programs, both inside and outside the Lab; his in-depth knowledge of ICF science; and his ability to integrate science, technology and manufacturing. As a world-leading expert in the area of hydrodynamics, Haan is considered a pioneer in understanding hydrodynamic instabilities and mix in ICF implosions. In addition, Haan played a leading role in the design, fielding and analysis of the Halite-Centurion series of underground nuclear test experiments, knowledge that is still drawn from today by the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Stockpile Stewardship Program.

“It’s great to be recognized this way, and I am grateful to the people who put this through. I feel like everything I’ve done here has been a group effort, with other people helping me to figure out what questions we need to answer, and what kind of answers we need,” Haan said. “It’s been a lot of fun tracking ICF through the series of experimental programs — Halite-Centurion, Shiva, Novette, Nova, Omega and Naational Ignition FaciIity (NIF) — and I am excited about the progress that we continue to make. I'm glad I could be a part of it. And finally, it’s been fun watching new scientists grow into the field and I’m grateful that I could be a part of that process.”

Brian MacGowan

For more than 30 years, Brian MacGowan has made significant contributions to science and programs important to LLNL. MacGowan became an internationally recognized expert in the field of soft X-ray lasers. He was instrumental in laying the experimental foundation that led to their development. His work in this area still is cited more than 20 years later. In addition, MacGowan has been a significant contributor to the physics basis of ICF on NIF through control of laser plasma interactions. He continues to be instrumental in developing, commissioning and operating NIF.

“I appreciate the varied career opportunities at LLNL that have allowed me to work with world-class people and facilities,” MacGowan said.

Harry Martz

A national and international leader in his field, Martz has spent nearly three decades advancing X-ray computed tomography in the field of non-destructive characterization, resulting in significant impacts to United States aviation and portal security. His work has made important contributions to national security in the area of X-ray imaging for detection of illicit materials. This world-renowned expertise has been leveraged to position the Lab as an independent adviser to government agencies at critical stages of technology development in this area. 

“I am honored and humbled to be selected as a DMTS. When I started at LLNL about 30 years ago to work on computed tomography, I could not imagine how rewarding my career would be. I have and continue to be fortunate to work with many brilliant and professional colleagues, as well as contribute to several important national security areas,” Martz said. “I share this honor with all of my colleagues. Without them this would not be possible. It is an opportune time for non-destructive characterization, and I hope my colleagues and I can continue as well as build upon our past successes into the future.”

Roger Miller

Roger Miller is recognized for his myriad achievements in the national security arena as one of the United States’ premier technical experts on foreign nuclear programs, especially enrichment activities. He has been a key technical expert supporting U.S. negotiations in Iran. His expertise, recognized by his peers as well as senior domestic and international policymakers, directly results from his ability to apply his technical acumen to important national security challenges. Miller’s numerous assessments have provided the foundation for major U.S. policy initiatives in this area.

“I’m honored by the Laboratory’s recognition,” Miller said. “Any credit belongs to the dedicated professionals I work with — within the Lab, at various government agencies and among our international partners. I’ve been lucky to have a job that is exciting and offers the opportunity to support our nation’s goals by providing policymakers with the best possible technical analysis and understanding.”

Stephen Payne

During his 29-year tenure at LLNL, Stephen Payne has distinguished himself in two technical areas. As an internationally recognized expert on the material science and physics of solid-state laser materials and systems, Payne was the leader of teams that systematically identified, characterized, developed and demonstrated a variety of novel materials, several of which have been successfully commercialized and are used internationally. More recently, Payne turned his scientific and leadership capabilities to the identification, fabrication and demonstration of numerous novel materials for use in radiation detectors, a topic of critical importance for national security and other applications. He emphasizes that LLNL’s tradition of forming strong teams enabled his successes.

“I want to thank my current colleagues and all those I've had the pleasure of working with over the years,” Payne said. “Our shared moments of discovery and accomplishments have led to this honor, and for that I am most grateful.”

Dean Williams

For more than 25 years, Dean Williams has contributed high-level achievements in climate science. As the principal investigator for the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) – a multi-agency international collaboration that provides interactive views of future climate changes based on projected natural and human factors – Williams has delivered an unrivaled and robust resource that allows scientists around the world unprecedented understanding of climate change, extreme weather events and environmental science. The project was asked to support the fourth Intergovernmental Program and Climate Change, work which was later honored with a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded jointly to former Vice President Al Gore and the IPCC team.

“It has been my deepest honor and pleasure to serve the climate research community and to work alongside some of the most talented scientists in the world,” Williams said. “Over the past 28 years, we have helped to create and develop multiple data and analysis frameworks that have been adopted by many global Earth system science projects. Obtaining this honor would not have been possible without the support and trust of my colleagues and the climate community at large.”

Natalia Zaitseva

Over the course of her more than 20-year career at LLNL, Natalia Zaitseva has revolutionized the fields of crystal growth and radiation detection. She discovered mechanisms of solution growth that allowed high-quality crystals to be grown at rates up to 50 times faster than previously possible, a discovery that had immeasurable impact on the development of optical materials for NIF. The resulting scientific discoveries and technology developments have opened the way for other materials to be grown rapidly from solution and have significantly contributed to other areas of materials science. More recently, Zaitseva led a new area of crystal growth research based on applying solution methods to large-scale production of organic scintillators, which are of increasing importance for national security applications.

"I am very honored by this recognition, but at the end, any accomplishment I’ve been a part of became possible only because of the hard work and devotion of the people I’ve had a privilege to work with,” Zaitseva said. “I greatly appreciate the support of my colleagues, as well the support of the Lab itself for giving me the opportunity to do the work I like so much.”

Breanna Bishop