Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory chemist Dawn Shaughnessy has been named No. 9 on Fast Company magazine’s Top 100 Most Creative People in Business for 2016. This year’s list spans educators to scientists, jazz saxophonists to startup founders, fashion designers to rappers.

Shaughnessy is the principal investigator within Livermore’s Heavy Element Group, where she has worked as a nuclear and radiochemist since 2002. In December 2015, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry added three new elements to the periodic table that had been synthesized by a team of researchers led by Shaughnessy. Partnering with the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia, the group has discovered five new “superheavy” elements since 2004, bearing the atomic numbers 114 to 118. Element 116, Livermorium, was named after the Laboratory and the city where it resides.


Livermore scientists Félicie Albert and Karis McFarlane were selected by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Science Early Career Research Program (ECRP) to receive $2.5 million each over five years for their proposed research projects. ECRP, now in its seventh year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years, when many scientists do their most formative work. Livermore researchers have won 15 ECRP awards since its inception in 2010.

Albert, an experimental plasma physicist at the National Ignition Facility and expert in ultrafast x-ray sources and laser–plasma interactions, won the award for her work in laser-driven x-ray sources for high-energy-density science experiments. She will explore x-ray sources from laser–plasma accelerators to probe plasmas under extreme temperature and pressure conditions.

Karis McFarlane, a staff scientist at the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry, was awarded a grant to study the impact of climate change on carbon cycling in tropical forests. She plans on joining the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments-Tropics (NGEE-Tropics) project, headed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to gather radiocarbon data on soil and tree roots.


Lawrence Livermore Director Bill Goldstein received the Director of the Year Award for fiscal year 2015 from the Department of Energy’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU). Goldstein was honored for encouraging and promoting collaborations with small businesses at the Laboratory. Goldstein is the second annual honoree for this award, which recognizes a national laboratory director for displaying leadership and commitment to maximizing small business utilization through policies, procedures, and outreach, and creating an atmosphere of “small business first” throughout his or her organization.