John Edwards, associate program director for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and high energy density (HED) science and the ICF program leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), is a recipient of the Leadership Award from Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Board of Directors.
FPA Leadership Awards have been given annually since 1980 to recognize those who have shown outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion as a commercial power source. Edwards is cited for "many scientific contributions and the managerial leadership you are providing to national and international research efforts on inertial confinement fusion and high energy density plasma physics," and noting especially "your leadership of the scientific program on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) for both high energy density physics and for the eventual achievement of ignition leading toward a commercial fusion power source."
Edwards joined LLNL in 1998, and, over the course of his first five years, worked on developing much of the foundations for the HED laser program in place today. Previously, he served as an HED program leader at the U.K.'s Atomic Weapons Establishment. He received his Ph.D. in 1990 from Imperial College in London and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
"This is quite an unexpected honor. Right now we have three remarkable facilities in the NIF, Z and Omega leading the way in the national security missions of high energy density and fusion research," Edwards said. "The excitement in the international community is almost tangible as we probe and learn about new states of matter and start to see signs of significant self-heating in ignition experiments. We have an incredibly talented and dedicated international team working on this, and the progress they've made this last year is quite remarkable to me and the prospects for further advances look promising. I'm very fortunate to be able to work with these people.
"None of this would be possible without an equally dedicated and talented body of people who have built these facilities, keep them running at peak performance and provide the targets and diagnostics capabilities we need," he added. "Much of the progress on the NIF this year would not have been possible without the strong encouragement and support of our colleagues at the National Nuclear Security Administration. This is truly an exciting time to be around, and it's a privilege to be part of it."
The awards will be presented at the FPA's 35th Annual Meeting and Symposium, Dec. 16-17, in Washington, D.C.