07/19/2011

Lindl, Rosen, Santer and Spencer named Distinguished Members Technical Staff

Anne M Stark, LLNL, (925) 422-9799, stark8@llnl.gov



John Lindl of the NIF and Photon Science Principal Directorate, Mordy Rosen of the Weapons Complex and Integration Principal Directorate, Ben Santer of the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate and Cary Spencer of the Global Security Principal Directorate have earned the DMTS designation by reaching the highest technical staff level achievable by a scientist or engineer at the Lab.

Four Laboratory employees 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.

John Lindl of the NIF and Photon Science Principal Directorate, Mordy Rosen of the Weapons Complex and Integration Principal Directorate, Ben Santer of the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate and Cary Spencer of the Global Security Principal Directorate have earned the DMTS designation by reaching the highest technical staff level achievable by a scientist or engineer at the Lab.

The DMTS classification was created to serve as a career ladder for LLNL scientists and engineers within the Science & Engineering (S&E) classification structure. It appropriately recognizes outstanding S&T excellence with distinction and compensation while allowing the honored recipients to remain focused on delivering science and engineering solutions to critical mission areas of the Laboratory.

Lindl has more than 38 years of exceptional contributions in plasma physics, High Energy Density (HED) physics and Inertial Confinement Fusion research, as well as significant scientific management experience. He is currently serving as the chief scientist for the National Ignition Campaign.

Lindl joined the Laboratory in 1972 as a physicist after receiving his bachelor's degree in engineering physics from Cornell University and Ph.D. in astrophysics from Princeton. In 1990, he was selected as program leader of the Nova Laser Program. His integrated model for ignition served as the basis for the Nova Laser program, which was designed to test the key physics issues and to ultimately set the design requirements for the National Ignition Facility.

"It was my great good fortune to join Livermore just as the capabilities in modeling, lasers and diagnostics were reaching a level of maturity that would enable a sustained effort to achieve fusion ignition in the laboratory," Lindl said. "Livermore's long-standing willingness to take big risks for big rewards, culminating in the completion of NIF and the National Ignition Campaign, has provided me with the unique opportunity to pursue this grand challenge scientific goal."

Rosen's 35-year career at the Laboratory began when he was hired by former Director John Nuckolls into X-Division (ICF design) in 1976. Not only did Rosen design the first demonstrated Laboratory soft X-ray laser in 1984, he led X-Division during in the 1990s when the Nova Technical Contract was completed, leading to DOE's final approval of NIF construction.

Other achievements include design and analysis of many of the first laser-driven HED physics experiments, key contributions to solving the 50-year-old energy balance problem in nuclear testing, recent important contributions to understanding the very difficult and crucial boost physics problem and many significant theoretical contributions during the past 20 years to understand ICF experimental results at the Nova, Omega and NIF laser facilities.

"I've had the extraordinary good luck to have spent my entire career here at LLNL surrounded by a 'living encyclopedia' of the world's experts," Rosen said. "To be able to call upon them at any time has proven invaluable in accomplishing a great deal of the big-science, multidisciplinary work of national importance that we all do here. As such, far more than my being a 'distinguished member of the technical staff,' I truly consider myself  fortunate to 'simply' be a member of a distinguished technical staff."

Ben Santer is a world renowned expert in the climate change research community, who joined the Lab in 1992. Bill Goldstein, associate director of the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, said he nominated Santer for his history of distinguished scientific achievements, his impact on the scientific community and "for fearlessly providing objective scientific advice to policy-makers." Santer's research focuses on climate model evaluation, the use of statistical methods in climate science and the identification of natural and anthropogenic "fingerprints" in observed climate records. His work has had major influence on the field of climate-change attribution.

He has worked in the Laboratory's Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI) for nearly 20 years, and is a frequent contributor to congressional hearings on the science of climate change.

Cary Spencer joined the Lab in 1981 when he was hired by Director George Miller as a nuclear designer in A Division. In that capacity, he participated in a number of nuclear weapons programs and was a key designer on six nuclear tests. After joining Z Program in 1993, he has been instrumental in advancing the intelligence community's and policy community's technical understanding of foreign nuclear weapons systems capabilities and articulating the implication for U.S. national security. He skillfully uses U.S. nuclear weapons codes and data to conduct rigorous, physics-based all-source analysis of foreign nuclear weapons systems.

In addition, Spencer's technical expertise across a wide range of topics related to foreign nuclear weapons systems is unparalleled, and he is a widely recognized leader and mentor in the U.S. and United Kingdom national security communities.

"Now that I know the DMTS population, I am absolutely astounded to have been selected," Spencer said. "It has been an honor (and great fun) to work with all the phenomenal talent at LLNL for the past 30 years and being part of the charter group of DMTS is more than I would ever have dared to aspire to."

Appointment to the DMTS is reserved for Laboratory scientists and engineers who have demonstrated at least one of the following:
  • A sustained history of high-level achievements in programs of importance to the Laboratory.

  • A sustained history of distinguished scientific and technical achievements, having become a recognized authority in the field.

  • A fundamental and important discovery that has led to widespread impact.
Only a limited number of scientists and engineers are selected for recognition at the DMTS level. Following the practices of other laboratories and industry, it is expected that the population of DMTS will never grow to more than roughly 3 percent to 5 percent of the eligible pool of scientists and engineers.


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory provides solutions to our nation's most important national security challenges through innovative science, engineering and technology. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.