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Breakthroughs Magazine

Notable Achievements

Fuel cell researcher powers path to the future

Fuel cell pioneer Subhash Singhal has received the Christian Friedrich Schoenbein Gold Medal for his contributions to the development and promotion of solid oxide fuel cells for clean and efficient power generation.

The biennial award is the highest honor presented by the European Fuel Cell Forum, an international organization commissioned to promote innovative fuel cell technologies. The gold medal is named for the Swiss scientist credited with identifying the fundamental chemistry of fuel cells and later for the collaborative creation of the fuel cell in 1839.

As director of fuel cell research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Singhal provides senior technical, managerial and commercialization leadership to the Laboratory's fuel cell program. Singhal's research supports the Department of Energy's Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance Program. Projects currently under way include the development and use of thermomechanical and electrochemical computer models that predict fuel cell performance and assess the reliability and lifetime, fuel use, and thermal and flow characteristics of the cell. His work emphasizes embedding fuel cell solutions into strategies working to establish a sustainable energy future.

Singhal is one of five PNNL scientist who have been named a Battelle Fellow, the organization's highest recognition for individual achievement in science and technology.

(Photo caption: Subhash Singhal)

Mass spectrometry expert recognized

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Jean Futrell has been awarded the 2007 American Chemical Society (ACS) Frank H. Field and Joe L. Franklin Award for Outstanding Achievement in Mass Spectrometry. This award is the highest recognition given by the ACS for fundamental contributions to mass spectrometry.

Futrell was selected for his work developing and modifying mass spectrometry instrumentation for specialized research purposes. His invention of tandem mass spectrometry is deployed in nearly every commercial mass spectrometer available. Futrell's research has answered several fundamental questions about mass spectrometry, including a detailed analysis of the mechanisms of ions.

Co-author of nearly 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, Futrell is internationally recognized for his significant scientific contributions. He holds the distinction of Battelle Fellow, the organization's highest technical appointment for international scientific leadership.

(Photo caption: Jean Futrell)

PNNL scientist wins Humboldt Research Award

Lai-Sheng Wang, a long-time researcher at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory situated on the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory campus, has received the Humboldt Research Award for his achievements in nanoscience. This award is bestowed annually to the top 100 internationally renowned scientists. Recipients are invited to research a project of their choosing in Germany for up to a year.

Dr. Wang is touted as a world leader in nanocluster research. His work helped create hollow nanoscale cages of gold atoms, which are the first known metallic equivalent of the buckyball—a hexagon of rigid, natural molecules composed of exactly 60 carbon atoms. Wang also helped pioneer the study of multiply-charged negative ions.

A physics professor at Washington State University Tri-Cities, Guggenheim Fellow, and member of several scientific societies, Wang has authored more than 250 publications, including features in Nature and Science.

(Photo caption: Lai-Sheng Wang)

Five PNNL scientists awarded fellowship by AAAS

Five scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). James Fredrickson, Richard Smith, S.K. Sundaram, William Weber, and John Zachara were officially named at the Association's national meeting in San Francisco in February. The fellowships were given for their meritorious efforts to advance science; each recipient received a certificate bearing a blue and gold rosette as a symbol of their accomplishments.

AAAS is the world's largest non-profit, general scientific society. Its mission is to advance science through projects, programs and publications in the areas of science policy, science education and international scientific cooperation. Founded in 1848, AAAS has grown to include more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals.

The organization publishes Science magazine, first established by Thomas Edison in 1880, which showcases several top research papers in the biological and physical sciences field. Science has the highest paid circulation—more than one million—of any scientific journal worldwide.

James Fredrickson, Ph.D. and PNNL Fellow, was elected to the biological sciences section. A chief scientist in the Biological Sciences Division within PNNL's Fundamental Science Directorate, Fredrickson has made significant contributions within the field of microbial ecology and environmental microbiology. In addition to his Laboratory role, he serves as chief scientist for the Department of Energy's Genomics: Genomes to Life program, whose mission is to study fundamental biological processes and ultimately understand how living systems operate.

Richard Smith, Ph.D. and Battelle Fellow, was inducted into the chemistry section. Smith is chief scientist in the Biological Sciences Division. His fellowship recognizes his leadership in analytical chemistry, specifically in the deployment of advanced separation methods with high-performance mass spectrometry for the study of proteins. In addition, Smith serves as director of the National Institute for Health Research Resource Center for Integrative Proteomics. He is an adjunct professor of chemistry at Washington State University, the University of Idaho and the University of Utah.

S.K. Sundaram, Ph.D., was elected to the engineering section. Sundaram is chief materials scientist in PNNL's Advanced Processing and Applications Group in the Environmental Technology Directorate. His fellowship rewards his leadership and innovative contributions to a diverse cross section of materials science, particularly new tools for synthesis and characterization of novel materials, diagnostics and nanomaterials. Sundaram serves as adjunct faculty member in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering for Washington State University and has visiting appointments at MIT, Harvard and Princeton.

William Weber, Ph.D. and PNNL Fellow, was named to the physics section. A scientist in the Laboratory's Fundamental Science Directorate, Weber was recognized by the AAAS for his continued work and research on the defects, ion-solid interactions and radiation effects in ceramics, especially pertaining to modeling and simulations of radiation damage processes. Weber also serves on PNNL's Council of Fellows as chairman and on the Laboratory's Publication Advisory Committee.

John Zachara, Ph.D., was inducted into the geology and geography section. Zachara is senior chief scientist for environmental chemistry in the Laboratory's Chemical & Material Sciences Division. The fellowship acknowledges his contributions to environmental science, predominantly for work on the chemical and microbial processes affecting subsurface contaminant transport at the Hanford Site in Washington state. Zachara, chief scientist for in-ground contaminants at Hanford, is widely recognized for leading a multi-organizational team to resolve important science issues pertaining to contaminant fate and transport in Hanford's vadose zone and groundwaters.

(Photo caption #1: Fredrickson)

(Photo caption #2: Smith)

(Photo caption #3: Sundaram)

(Photo caption #4: Weber)

(Photo caption #5: Zachara)

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