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Livermore plasma physicists Max Tabak and Scott Wilks along with two physicists from Japan and one from Great Britain received the 2006 Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research from the American Physical Society. The recipients are cited “for developing the fast ignition inertial fusion concept and for demonstrating key aspects of it in a series of experiments that have catalyzed the worldwide effort on the concept.” Fast ignition, a technique for developing fusion energy, optimizes laser energy by giving a target a preliminary burst of laser energy followed by second shorter burst that ignites the resulting plasma.

Livermore retiree Mike Uzelac, who previously served as director of the Conflict Simulation Laboratory, was honored by the Department of Defense for his contributions to the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation (JCATS) software. JCATS is a high-resolution conflict simulation model that is widely used to train for combat operations. Richard Wightman, deputy commander of the Joint Forces Command, presented Uzelac with several mementos, including a framed U.S. flag that had flown over the Joint Forces Command Headquarters and commemorative CDs containing the first version of JCATS, which was delivered to the military in 1997, and version 7.1, which was delivered in 2006. The Secret Service also recognized Uzelac for the contributions made by JCATS to the service’s mission.

Former Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Wendelin Wright and Livermore collaborator Michael Zingale received Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Wright, who is now a professor at Stanford University, was cited “for research into the deformation and failure of metals and polymers under dynamic loading using high-speed and spatially resolved infrared measurements of temperature, for guidance and leadership of fellow researchers, and for her exceptional ability to communicate difficult technical concepts to colleagues and students.” Zingale, an assistant professor at Stony Brook University, was cited “for advancing the detailed simulation of turbulent combustion and demonstrating parallel, multi-physics methods used in national security–related applications, for pioneering collaborations with fellow researchers, and for training students in computational astrophysics.” Wright and Zingale are among 56 researchers to receive PECASE awards. They also received the Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award from the Department of Energy’s Office of Defense Programs.

Livermore researchers Jim Trebes and Mike Newman are part of a research team that received the U.S. Army’s Ten Greatest Inventions for 2005 for developing an around-the-clock surveillance technology to track terrorists and protect U.S. military forces. The team also includes researchers from the Army’s Program Management for Robotics and Unmanned Sensors, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. The Army gives these awards to recognize technologies that improve Army capabilities, demonstrate inventiveness, and have potential use outside the Army. The surveillance technology, which was deployed in Iraq in October 2004, helps U.S. forces prevent terrorist attacks, capture terrorists, and discover weapons caches.

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UCRL-52000-06-10 | October 19, 2006