Award named for noted LLNL physicist Kennedy Reed

Dec. 1, 2005

Award named for noted LLNL physicist Kennedy Reed

LIVERMORE, Calif. — The California Section of the American Physical Society has named a student award for noted Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist Kennedy Reed.

During the 2005 fall meeting of the California Section of APS, the Kennedy Reed Award for Best Theoretical Research was given to three graduate students and/or postdoctoral researchers. The award consists of three different cash prizes.

“I’m pleased to have my name associated with an award that encourages students who have an interest in physics,” Reed said. “This prize will recognize students who have excelled in physics.”

The executive committee of the California Section of APS named five new awards after notable physicists. In addition to Reed, awards were named for Margaret Burbidge, Luis Alvarez, Steven Chu and Charles Kittel. Because the California Section is devoted largely to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers the awards were named after physicists known for their educational outreach.

“We were looking for people who had made outstanding contributions to education,” said Michael Barnett, chair elect of the California Section of APS. “Kennedy came to our attention as someone who has made contributions to Africa and to education there.”

Reed has contributed significantly to the promotion of physics research and education in Africa. He has developed agreements for exchange of faculty and students between the United States and African institutions, and has been a strong advocate for increased U.S. and international involvement with physics in Africa.

Reed worked as a visiting scientist at universities in the West African countries of Senegal and Ghana during the summers of 1997 and 1999. He also has made scientific visits at institutions in Botswana, Benin, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa, and has organized several international physics conferences in Africa. He was the recipient of the American Physical Society’s 2003 John Wheatley Award.

The John Wheatley Award is given to a physicist who, working in a developing country, has made an outstanding contribution to the development of physics in that region by working with local physicists in research or teaching. This was the only time the award has been given to a physicist for work in Africa.

Reed also has been active in U.S. programs that provide opportunities for students in the physical sciences, and a leader in national efforts to increase minority participation in physics.

“He really stood out easily in this group of people,” Barnett said. “He’s obviously a benefit to physics students. It was an easy choice in this case.”

Reed is a researcher in V Division of the Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate, and is also director of the Research Collaborations Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities & Minority Institutions (HBCUs and MIs), which is within the Laboratory’s University Relations Program.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.