Physicist named Fullbright Scholar

March 29, 2002

Physicist named Fullbright Scholar

March 29, 2002



If all goes according to plan, physicist Charles Carrigan and his family will be on a jet to England come July 1. And he won’t be on vacation.

Carrigan, who works in the Geosciences and Environmental Technologies Division, has been selected as one of typically 11 recipients of the prestigious Fulbright Scholar award to the United Kingdom. He has been invited by the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University to pursue research in the UK. He also has been selected as a visiting fellow of St. Edmund’s College, which is one of the colleges comprising Cambridge University.

Only four U.S. faculty and professionals received awards to travel to the UK in the “general category” of the Fulbright award this year. Applicants like Carrigan, whose specialties do not fit into the established categories of the Fulbright, apply in this category.

Carrigan, 52, chose Cambridge because of the institution’s reputation as a leader in geophysics.

“Cambridge has expertise in fluid mechanics and earth sciences that is world class,” he said. “I stand to benefit significantly by interacting with them and also hope to establish a long term technical relationship that is beneficial to both the Lab and Cambridge.”

So Carrigan, group leader of the subsurface flow and transport group in the Energy & Environment Directorate, will take a year off from the Lab for professional and teaching leave to work at Cambridge. He plans on taking his wife and fourth grade son with him while he rents out his home in Tracy.

“Our little boy will spend the fifth grade in an English school,” Carrigan said. “We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity.”
The Fulbright Program was established in 1946 under legislation introduced by former Sen. J. William Fulbright of Arkansas. After World War II, Fulbright viewed the program as a vehicle for promoting mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries of the world.

The Council for International Exchange of Scholars estimates that universities garner the majority of awards. In 2000, for example, several prestigious universities earned a number of the awards, with MIT garnering five, Purdue earning five and UC Berkeley receiving two.

“For a researcher like Charles to receive this award is a huge personal and professional accomplishment,” said Robin Newmark, acting division leader of the Geosciences and Environmental Technologies Division.

Fulbright grants are made to U.S. citizens and nationals of other countries for a variety of educational activities, primarily university lecturing, advanced research, graduate study and teaching in elementary and secondary schools. The Fulbright Program awards approximately 4,500 new grants annually.

Since 1946, more than 250,000 participants, 94,000 from the United States and 155,600 from other countries, have observed each other’s political, economic and cultural institutions.

The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation by the U.S. Congress. Foreign governments and private organizations contribute through cost-sharing and indirect support, such as salary supplements, tuition waivers, university housing, etc. The Congressional appropriation for the Fulbright Program in fiscal year 2002 is $119 million. Foreign governments contribute an additional $28 million directly to the Fulbright Program.