Dr. Joseph Huba elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) -- Dr. Joseph Huba was elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The honor of fellowship was awarded to Huba "for seminal advances in modeling the dynamics of Earth's ionosphere, magnetic reconnection, and the theory of kinetic/fluid plasma instabilities." Being elected an AGU Fellow is a special tribute for those who have made exceptional scientific contributions. This designation is conferred upon not more than 0.1% of all AGU members in any given year.

Dr. Joseph Huba receives Dr. Dolores Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award (2012) -- Dr. Joseph Huba received the Dr. Dolores Etter Top Scientists and Engineers of the Year Award for his pioneering development of the NRL ionosphere models SAMI2 and SAMI3 that describe the complex dynamics of the coupled ion-neutral system at the edge of space. This model is world-class and arguably the most comprehensive ionosphere model in the world.

NRL scientist selected as CEDAR Prize Lecturer-- Awarded the 2011 Coupling, Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) Prize Lecture, Dr. J.D. Huba gave a presentation on “Modeling Global Ionospheric Phenomena” held June 28, 2011 in Santa Fe, NM. Huba was chosen for the presentation because of his “pioneering work in modeling the earth's ionosphere and ionospheric irregularities" and is the second NRL scientist to receive this honor.

NRL scientist selected as CEDAR Prize Lecturer-- Awarded the 2010 Coupling, Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions (CEDAR) Prize Lecture, Dr. Paul A. Bernhardt gave a presentation on “Using Active Experiments to SEE and HEAR the Ionosphere” held June 22, at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Bernhardt was chosen for the presentation because of his “pioneering work” in the areas of ionospheric modification with high-power radio waves and chemical releases, satellite-based radio beacon sensing of space plasmas, and analysis and numerical modeling of plasma instabilities and is the first NRL scientist to receive this honor.

Dr. Jack Davis receives the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professional--Dr. Jack Davis received Presidential Rank Award as Meritorious Scientific ST for his pioneering work in developing a computational methodology for simulating the interaction of intense ultrashort pulse lasers with thin foil or rare gas cluster targets to produce highly energetic particles that can serve as sources for the remote interrogation of explosives and nuclear materials. The Presidential Rank Award recognizes Dr. Davis for his exemplary record of achievement distinguished by exceptional originality, interdisciplinary breadth, scientific excellence and programmatic relevance as a theoretical physicist with expertise in plasma spectroscopy, atomic collision theory, and radiation physics. Each year, the Senior Executives and senior career employees who 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. Arati Dasgupta elected fellow of American Physical Society-- Dr. Arati Dasgupta was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society APS), Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics (DAMOP). Dr. Dasgupta is cited “for contributions to the theory of electron collisions with atoms and ions, and their applications to gaseous electronics, short laser pulses, inertial confinement fusion, and astrophysical plasmas.” Dr. Dasgupta’s highly accurate and extremely challenging atomic structure and collision calculations of rare gases and other complex atoms are of critical importance for a widerange of applications. Her benchmark calculations used to model unique electron- beam pumped KrF and Ar-Xe gas lasers developed at NRL were instrumental for providing understanding of their inversion dynamics, gain, and efficiency.

Dr. Phillip Sprangle, Chief Scientist (ST) for Directed Energy Physics in the Plasma Physics Division of the Naval Research Laboratory, has been named Fellow of the Optical Society of America. The OSA recognized Dr. Sprangle for his “Seminal innovations in advanced radiation sources, laser accelerators and the generation and propagation of high-power lasers beams.” The OSA bestows this honor to no more than 10% of its members who have served with distinction in the advancement of the optical sciences.

Dr. Gerald Cooperstein received a DOE NNSA Defense Programs Award of Excellence in January 2011 “For significant contributions to Stockpile Stewardship through innovative science and exceptional technical leadership in the areas of Inertial Confinement Fusion, Radiation Effects, and Advanced Radiography.’

Dr. Steven Gold was appointed Technical Program Chair of the 38th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS 2011). This is one of the world’s premier conferences covering research in plasma science and applications.

Dr. John D. Sethian, a member of the Laser Plasma Branch at the Naval Research Laboratory, was appointed Technical Program Co-Chair of the 24th IEEE International Conference on Fusion Engineering (SOFE 2011), one of the world’s premier conferences on Fusion Energy and one of the few that concentrates on the engineering and technical aspects.

Drs. Scott Walton, Evgeniya Lock, Richard Fernsler, et al was chosen to be recognized as the Code 6000 NRL Review Award winner. This ceremony recognizes one short article from each directorate and one featured article for meeting the following criteria: (1) Relevance of the work to the Navy and DoD; (2) readability to the college-graduate level; (3) clear, concise content; and (4) the use of graphics that are interesting and informative.

Ms. Mary Austin received Commanding Officer’s Award for Excellence in Secretarial Support. Award recognizes significant contributions of outstanding achievement and dedication to the US Navy and exceptional administrative support in the Plasma Physics Division.

Defense Program Awards of Excellence to PPD Personnel: A number of past and present members of the Plasma Physics Division (PPD) shared a 2010 National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Award of Excellence from Dr. Donald Cook, Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs at the Department of Energy. The award represents significant contributions to the Stockpile Stewardship program whose objective is the safety, security, maintenance, and assured reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrence. Over the years the PPD has made significant contributions to the development of intense plasma radiation sources from Z-pinch implosions on short pulse current generators. The commendation specifically notes the work on enhancing the cold x-ray source radiation yields, improved source characterization, and debris mitigation techniques, which are important elements to qualify stockpile components on the refurbished Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). The PPD continues to have support from the National Nuclear Security Administration and strong interactions with scientists at SNL for performing magnetohydrodynamic simulations of the Z-pinch compression physics and using atomic physics models along with radiation transport for plasma spectral diagnostics. The awardees within the PPD include Drs. Alexander (Sasha) Velikovich, Ward Thornhill, Jack Davis, Arati Dasgupta, Robert Clark, John Apruzese, John Giuliani, and Mr. Young-Kil Chong.

Dr. Thomas Mehlhorn, NRL Plasma Physics Division Superintendent, appointed as a member of a new National Research Council (NRC) Panel on the Assessment of Inertial Confinement Fusion Targets (ICF). This Panel will serve for a 24 month period as a technical resource to the NRC Committee on Inertial Confinement Energy Systems and will prepare a report that describes the R&D challenges to providing suitable targets, on the basis of parameters established and provided to the Panel by the Committee. Additionally, Dr. Mehlhorn, was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics (DPP). Members of the Executive Committee serve a three-year term. Additionally, in 2011 Dr. Mehlhorn was named Fellow of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics. Election to Fellowship in the APS is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the membership and is recognition of outstanding contributions to physics. Dr. Mehlhorn was recognized “For scientific leadership in developing physics-based simulation tools, discriminating diagnostics, and validation experiments, producing a predictive capability that contributed to major advanced in ion and electron beam physics, Z-pinches, inertial confinement fusion, and dynamic materials.”