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Kimberly Thomas, director of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Science and Technology Base Programs Office, has become the first Los Alamos researcher to be named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The ACS created the Fellows program to “recognize members of ACS for outstanding achievements in, and contributions to, Science, the Profession and the Society.” Fellows are selected for demonstrable excellence in the chemical sciences and outstanding service to the society.
Thomas has served as member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Improving Practices for Regulating and Managing Low-Activity Radioactive Waste, and as Division and Program Chair of ACS’s Nuclear Chemistry and Technology division.
She served on the U.S. Department of Energy Advisory Committee on Nuclear and Radiochemistry Education, and is a member of the State of New Mexico Public Education Department’s Math and Science Advisory Council. Thomas is long-time member of the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering.
At LANL, Thomas has received the Outstanding Mentoring Award for her efforts in fostering career development of women at the Laboratory. She is a sponsor of and advocate for the annual Expanding Your Horizons conference—a science, technology, math, and engineering exploration event designed for middle-school-age girls. In her role as Science and Technology Base Program Director, Thomas oversees LANL’s student and postdoctoral programs, and teacher enhancement programs, where she is committed to ensuring a positive experience for students at the laboratory.
With 33 years of service at the lab, Thomas has excelled in myriad research and management positions, including weapons radiochemical diagnostics, isotope separation, waste transmutation and nuclear waste management, environmental chemistry, study of nuclear reactions, and many other disciplines. She served as LANL’s program manager on Hanford Waste Tanks characterization, leader of LANL’s role in the Yucca Mountain Project, and numerous leadership roles in the Laboratory’s Chemistry Division.
Thomas received degrees from Middlebury College and — as a student of Glenn Seaborg, Nobel Prize winner and discoverer or codiscoverer of many of the actinide elements, and Cornelius Tobias, pioneer in space and radiation biology — the University of California at Berkeley.
“It is delightful and fitting that Kimberly Thomas was selected as the first ACS Fellow from Los Alamos National Laboratory,” said Terry Wallace, principal associate director for Science, Technology, and Engineering. “Her contributions to her field and her continuing efforts and enthusiasm to mentor and motivate the next generations of scientists is laudable and inspiring.”