Particle physics laboratory

Four Los Alamos researchers named 2021 lab fellows – Los Alamos Reporter


The 2021 Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows are: Elizabeth Hunke and Baolian Cheng, top row, and David A. Smith and Blas Uberuaga, bottom row. Photo courtesy of LANL


Four researchers were named 2021 Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows: Baolian Cheng, Elizabeth Hunke, David A. Smith and Blas Uberuaga.

“To be a member of the lab is to be a leader in our workplace and within the scientific community at large,” said Thom Mason, director of the lab. “I am honored to recognize these four scholarship recipients and to thank them for their extraordinary contributions and accomplishments. “

About the fellows

Baolian Cheng, of the Plasma Theory and Applications Group, has made sustained high-level contributions to national security and the lab’s mission over the past 25 years. His findings fundamentally affected the methodology of weapon certification. Throughout his career, Dr Cheng has made vital contributions to hydrodynamic instabilities and mixtures, pit life studies, primary certification metrics, primary boost metrics, and thermonuclear ignition metrics for the inertial confinement fusion. Additionally, she is a global expert in boost and ignition metrics, and is known for her strong fundamental theoretical developments and first principles.

Elizabeth Hunke, of the Laboratory’s Fluid Dynamics and Solid Mechanics group, is internationally recognized as the world leader in sea ice modeling. Dr Hunke leads the CICE Consortium, an international collaboration of modelers sea ​​ice, and is a senior member of the laboratory’s climate modeling team, which contributes cutting-edge research and development for the Department of Energy’s Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) project. She has played a key role in mentoring two generations of climate team members. She is also a program director for the Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences division within the DOE Science Office, a $ 30 million portfolio of experimental research and modeling.

David A. Smith of the Space and Remote Sensing group has made groundbreaking contributions to the fundamental understanding of natural and man-made RF signatures. He led the transfer and implementation of these findings into a satellite electromagnetic pulse (EMP) sensor array for the US nuclear detonation detection system. He is also a very effective leader of complex and high consequence space systems. His fundamental work in lightning physics includes the discovery of a new class of lightning. He developed advanced techniques for classification of EMP signatures, which enabled the automated separation of nuclear detonation signatures from lightning and other natural and man-made signatures.

For more than 20 years, Blas Uberuaga, of the Materials Science in Radiation and Dynamics of Extremes group, has contributed to the field of atomistic modeling of the effects of radiation in materials where he carried out pioneering research on complex oxides and nanomaterials. He is the director of DOE’s Fundamental Understanding of Transport Under Reactor Extremes (FUTURE), which studies the extreme conditions of irradiation and corrosion that affect materials in nuclear reactors. His scientific work to understand these effects continues to showcase Los Alamos’ expertise. In addition, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership in mentoring 27 postdoctoral laboratory researchers and six graduate students.

About Laboratory Fellows

A Los Alamos Fellow nomination is an honor bestowed in recognition of outstanding achievement in science and / or engineering, recognizing the full breadth of the laboratory’s accomplishments, from basic research to applied missions. Applications are evaluated on the basis of three criteria:

  • Sustained, high-level achievement and / or leadership in the advancement of Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) or its applications.
  • One or more revolutionary STEM discoveries, inventions or applications of STEM that have made significant progress in a disciplinary field, bringing widespread acceptance and recognition.
  • To have become a recognized authority in a field or discipline as evidenced by citations, awards, scholarships in prestigious companies and / or commitment at national / international level due to their expertise.

On Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Los Alamos National Laboratory, a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science in the name of national security, is managed by Triad, a public service-oriented national security scientific organization owned equally by its three founding members: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) and the University of California (UC) regents for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the Department of Energy.

Los Alamos strengthens national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the US nuclear stockpile, by developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction and by solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, to global health and security concerns.