NEWS | Sept. 11, 2012

Dr. Berend Jonker Receives Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional

By Donna McKinney

Dr. Berend Jonker, Senior Scientist for Magnetoelectronics at the Naval Research Laboratory, is the recipient of the 2011 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional. The Presidential Rank Award recognizes Dr. Jonker for leading long-term basic research in developing magnetoelectronic materials and technologies, and demonstrating prototype device concepts that offer increased performance for information sensing, processing and storage for supporting the Navy/Marine Corps of tomorrow and the global war on terrorism.

Each year the President recognizes and celebrates a small group of career Senior Executives and senior career employees with the Presidential Rank Award. Recipients of this prestigious award are strong leaders, professionals, and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service.

Dr. Jonker's career accomplishments include:
  • Developing solutions for key problems and demonstrating essential enabling steps in utilization of electron spin as an alternate state variable for information storage and processing in semiconductors, including electrical spin injection, detection and generation of pure spin currents.
  • Research that has provided significant advances in the fundamental science of magnetoelectronics, particularly in interfacing the two dominant materials technologies of information storage and processing: that of ferromagnetic metals (magnetic storage) and semiconductors (logic, processing).
  • Results that enable the development of future spin-based electronics that are faster, instant-on, non-volatile with higher functionality and lower power consumption than existing charge-based electronics, that will advance capabilities of Navy / Marine Corps platforms of the Navy after next.
  • Being the center of multidisciplinary research efforts, providing scientific leadership and vision to develop magnetoelectronic materials and technologies for information sensing, processing and storage.
  • Initiation and coordination of several large research programs from 2007 to 2010 totaling ~ $15 million.
  • Advising on science/technology problems of extraordinary scope: panel member and contributing author for the 2007, 2009 and 2011 editions of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors, advisor on strategic research planning for the Office of Naval Research, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office.
Dr. Jonker is a Fellow of the American Physical Society from 2003 to the present, and a Fellow of the American Vacuum Science and Technology Society from 1998 to the present. Recent honors include the 2010 NRL Edison Chapter's Sigma Xi Award (Pure Science), 2009 NRL Technology Transfer Award, 2008 Dolores M. Etter Top Navy Scientist Award, 2008 NRL Review Outstanding Paper Award, and the 2007 and 2011 NRL Alan Berman Research Publication Awards. In addition, he was elected chair of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Magnetism in 2010.

Dr. Jonker has published over 200 refereed journal papers, invited reviews and conference proceedings. These publications have been cited over 5,800 times by other scientists, indicating their significance and impact on advancing the state-of-the-art. In 2007, the Nobel Prize nomination in physics cited Dr. Jonker's work. He has presented over 100 invited lectures and was the invited speaker in the Office of Naval Research's World Class Science Lecture series in 2010. He has authored or co-authored five patents and three book chapters.

Dr. Jonker received his bachelor's degree in physics from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1977, and his master's and doctorate degrees in physics from the University of Maryland in 1981 and 1983, respectively. Dr. Jonker came to work at NRL as a National Research Council postdoctoral associate in 1984, and was hired as a research physicist in the Materials Science and Technology Division in 1986.