Three Fellows tapped for 2008

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By The Staff

Los Alamos National Laboratory has named three new Fellows for 2008.


In an announcement Thursday, Robert C. Albers, Paul A. Johnson and Kurt E. Sickafus were recognized for outstanding scientific contributions and exceptional promise for continued professional achievement


“The selection of these distinguished scientists was based on a very rigorous peer review process and honors their considerable scientific accomplishments,” said Terry Wallace, principal associate director for Science, Technology and Engineering. “I am pleased to have such a distinguished class of Fellows for 2008 that reflects the amazing breadth of scientific talent at LANL.”


The title of Fellow is highly selective, currently including only about 2 percent of the lab’s technical staff. Fellows play a variety of roles at the laboratory as advisors and advocates who are called upon to uphold scientific excellence and conduct.


Among their notable activities recognized by the laboratory were the following:


• Albers of the Laboratory’s Theoretical Division is an internationally recognized expert on the role of electronic structures on the physical properties of complex materials.


He has accomplished pioneering work in understanding the electronic structures of actinides and other metals and alloys. He has had a large impact on X-ray studies, and other scientists have cited his publications more than 7,000 times.


• Johnson of the Laboratory’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Division is recognized as a driving force behind a new field of research: nonlinear, nonequilibrium dynamics.


His research has identified and defined a new class or domain of materials that exhibit large degrees of nonlinear, nonequilibrium elastic behavior. Recently, Johnson became widely known for research that showed how earthquakes can trigger one another, sometimes long after the original event has subsided.


His work is also leading to possible development of new diagnostic tools for osteoporosis, and he has contributed to programs that monitor for potential nuclear explosions. Johnson’s published papers have been cited nearly 1,200 times.


• Sickafus of the Laboratory’s Materials Science and Technology Division is among the world’s leading experts in understanding the effects of radiation on solid materials. In particular, Sickafus is an expert in the radiation tolerance of complex oxide ceramics. Such materials are key for possible use in nuclear reactors or possibly for safe, long-term disposal of high-level nuclear waste.


Sickafus’ work has also led to insights into the structure of complex ceramic materials, and he is regarded as being among the nation’s leaders in electron microscopy. His scientific papers have been cited 2,100 times.