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Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore Teams Rewarded for Science Excellence

August 4, 2009 National Labs’ Teams Among the 47th Annual R&D 100 Award Winners

R&D Magazine announced that eight project teams from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and five from its Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) were among the winners in its annual R&D 100 Awards competition. Bechtel is on the teams that manage and operate the two labs.

Among the lab projects honored by the award are:
  • A LANL team’s research uses ultra-low-field magnetic resonance imaging to distinguish harmless shampoos and sodas from dangerous compounds. The team's work could speed airport security lines by 2012 by making airline restrictions on liquids obsolete.
  • LLNL, in collaboration with other national laboratories including LANL, four universities, and a commercial partner, has led the development of an experimental artificial retina. The prosthetic implant transforms digital images into electrical signals that the brain uses to creative visual images.
  • Other winning projects from the labs explored greenhouse gas reduction; developments for using microelectronics, lasers, and robotics; and work toward developing an aerial land mine detection system that greatly improves safety.      
Since the R&D Awards began in 1963, LLNL projects have won 129 of the awards; LANL has won 111.

For the past 47 years, the editors of R&D Magazine determine 100 best new high-technology products for their ability to improve everyday life and their likely commercial value. The awards, often known as “Oscars of Invention,” have a special value in the scientific and academic community as they represent the most innovative ideas of the year.

To find out more about the awards, please visit:

R&D 100 Awards
LANL news release
LLNL news release

Presidential Awards for Lab Scientists

President Obama recently named two Department of Energy lab scientists as winners of Presidential Awards. Kennedy Reed, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was presented a prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering Mentoring. Reed is a theoretical physicist researching atomic collisions in high-temperature plasmas.

Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist Ivan Vitev received a prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Vitev is an expert in quantum chromodynamics, and in energy loss of high-energy particles in hot, dense matter.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, awarded each year to individuals or organizations, recognizes the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science or engineering and who belong to minorities that are underrepresented in those fields. By offering their time, encouragement and expertise to these students, mentors help ensure that the next generation of scientists and engineers will better reflect the diversity of the United States.

The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers present the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. The awards, established by President Clinton in February 1996, are awarded on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

For more on Bechtel's role on LLNL and LANL, see the U.S. national laboratories project page.