Oct. 8, 2002

LLNL Physicist Wins Award For Physics Research and Teaching In Africa

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Lab physicist Kennedy Reed has been named the 2003 recipient of the American Physical Society’s 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 physics research or teaching. The award is given every two years, and includes $2,000 and a certificate citing the recipient’s contributions.

Reed is cited for "multifaceted contributions to the promotion of physics research and education in Africa, for developing agreements for exchange of faculty and students between the United States and African institutions, for organizing and conducting international workshops and conferences on physics in Africa, and for advocating increased U.S.A. and international involvement with physics in Africa."

A researcher in V Division of the Physics and Advanced Technologies Directorate, Reed worked as a visiting scientist at universities in the West African countries of Senegal and Ghana during the summers of 1997 and 1999. That work was supported by a Visiting Scholar’s Award from the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. He has also made scientific visits at universities in Botswana, Benin, Namibia and South Africa and has organized international physics conferences throughout Africa.
The John Wheatley Award has been given to physicists for work in Latin America and Asia, but this is the first time it has been awarded for work in Africa.

"I am very happy to receive the award," Reed said. "I hope this will help bring more recognition and support to physics programs in Africa."

Reed said the dedication and resourcefulness of physicists working in Africa made a strong impression on him.

"Many of them are highly trained scientists, and I was struck by the way they manage to do research and train students in spite of very difficult circumstances and extremely limited resources," he said.

In 1998, Reed was appointed to the American Physical Society’s Committee on International Scientific Affairs. While serving on that committee he spearheaded an APS initiative to increase collaboration between American and African scientists. As part of the initiative, Reed brought physicists from Africa to universities and laboratories in the United States, including a visit to LLNL for two African physicists. He also engaged other scientific agencies such as the National Science Foundation, andinternational agencies such as the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

"Kennedy is very deserving of this award and it is long overdue," said Karl van Bibber, PAT chief scientist, and deputy director of the Laboratory Directed Research & Development Program.

The award will be presented during a special ceremony at the general meeting of the American Physical Society in Philadelphia in April 2003. As the award recipient, Reed will deliver an invited talk at that meeting.

In addition to his research in V division, Reed is director of the Research Collaborations Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities & Minority Institutions, which is within the Lab’s University Relations Program.

The John Wheatley Award was established in 1991 with the support of the Forum on International Physics, a voluntary association of APS members who are particularly interested in the international aspects of physics.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with 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.

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