Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Workforce Recognition
Acknowledging exceptional performance and expertise

Recognition from the scientific community and other stakeholders affirms the high quality of Livermore’s work and innovative spirit. The awards listed on these pages showcase the efforts of the Laboratory’s talented staff.

In addition to external recognition of excellence, important accomplishments are honored with Laboratory Director’s Excellence awards. Individual and team efforts are recognized in each of six categories (shown on commemorative coins) ranging from scientific publications to diversity and inclusion.

Early Career Research Award

Tammy Ma, a plasma physicist at LLNL, received a prestigious DOE Office of Science Early Career Research Program Award.

DOE Secretary’s Achievement Award

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry honored chemist Bill McLean with a Secretary’s Achievement Award in recognition of “pioneering technical contributions that have led to significant advancements in science-based stockpile stewardship.”


Chemist Bill McLean and physicist Tammy Ma both won high-level honors from DOE.

NNSA Gold Awards

Livermore physicist George Anzelon was presented an NNSA Administrator’s Distinguished Service Gold Award. The award recognized his work in nonproliferation and nuclear security.

John Nasstrom, chief scientist of the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center, also received an Administrator’s Distinguished Service Gold Award for his service to U.S. national security.

NNSA Excellence Awards

NIF Operations Manager Bruno Van Wonterghem’s contributions to NIF’s important role in stockpile stewardship earned him an NNSA Defense Programs Exceptional Achievement Award. Four LLNL teams were also honored with Excellence awards.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Charles Orth was presented with the 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who, a directory of short biographies of notable figures.

Defense Service Award

Livermore physicist Chris Cross earned an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering for his work during a two-year assignment at the Department of Defense.

Professional Society Fellows and Seniors

Andrew MacPhee, Lorin Benedict, Patrice Turchi, and Nir Goldman were elected 2018 American Physical Society (APS) fellows. Nathan Barton, LLNL Director William Goldstein, and Robert Kirkwood were elected 2017 APS fellows.

Tayyab Suratwala and Jay Dawson were elected 2018 fellows of the Optical Society of America (OSA). Constantin Haefner and John Heebner were elected 2017 fellows of OSA.

William Pitz and LLNL retiree Charlie Westbrook were elected fellows of the Combustion Institute.

Computational mathematician Panayot Vassilevski was named a 2018 fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Fady Najjar, a design physicist, was elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Photonics engineer and staff scientist Corey Bennett has been elevated to senior status within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Science and Technology Awards

Materials scientist Patrice Turchi has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 J. Willard Gibbs Phase Equilibria Award for outstanding contributions to the field of phase equilibria.

Computation Associate Director Bruce Hendrickson was presented with the George Cotter Award for Vision and Leadership in the field of data analytics at the Chesapeake Large-Scale Analytics Conference.

Magnetic fusion physicist Max Fenstermacher was awarded the 2018 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research from APS.

LLNL retiree Bruce Cohen was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society’s Charles K. Birdsall Award.

Christopher Holcomb, a Livermore physicist stationed at General Atomics, was selected to receive Fusion Power Associates’ 2017 Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award.

Scott McCall was chosen by the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS) as recipient of the 2017 TMS Light Metals Award.

LLNL postdoctoral fellow David Weisz, who was mentored by Laboratory scientist Ian Hutcheon, has been named the first recipient of the Department of Homeland Security’s new fellowship that honors Hutcheon.

Optimas Awards

The LLNL Strategic Human Resource Management directorate’s International Services Office (Debbie Eaton, Linda Canaan, Michael Nguyen, Sheril Burke and Jorge Intal) received the 2018 Optimas Gold Award for managing change. The office handles services for more than 600 international Laboratory employees and visitors to LLNL each year.

An Optimas Silver Award from Workforce magazine was also presented to the Livermore Laboratory Employee Services Association for its visionary attention to work–life balance for employees.

Role Model Recognition

Marisol Gamboa was featured in the 2018 “New Mexico Women of STEM” (science, technology, engineering, and math) calendar. The calendar is produced by the New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge, in which Gamboa had once participated.

“Forty Under Forty”

Five Laboratory researchers join Diablo Magazine’s annual “Forty Under Forty” list, which recognizes young professionals in the San Francisco East Bay who lead the charge in their fields. The five are: Sarah Baker, Louisa Pickworth, Marcus Worsley, Alicia Williams, and Leily Kiani.

The Nobel Prize
Former Laboratory staff scientist Donna Strickland and her mentor, French physicist Gérard Mourou, were named Nobel Prize laureates on October 2, 2018, for their work in developing chirped-pulse amplification to boost the power of ultrashort laser pulses up to the petawatt (quadrillion-watt) level. Strickland’s Nobel Prize-winning research in Livermore’s Laser Programs Directorate was instrumental in developing a series of groundbreaking short-pulse, high-energy laser systems. Strickland, who worked at LLNL in 1992, is only the third woman in history to win a Nobel Prize in physics.

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