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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

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Menard earns Presidential Early Career Award

Jonathan Menard , a scientist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, received a Presidential Early Career Award at a White House ceremony May 4.

Menard was among 57 researchers to receive the award, which is the nation's highest honor for scientists and engineers at the outset of their independent research careers. The awards were presented by John Marburger, science adviser to the president and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

In addition to a citation and plaque, the recipients received a commitment from their sponsoring federal agency for continued funding for five years. Menard was among seven researchers sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, which funds the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Menard also was one of five researchers to win the Early Career Scientist and Engineer Award from the Department of Energy.

Menard was cited for "performing studies to optimize the stability of fusion plasmas and providing the heart of the physics basis for a new, spherical fusion plasma reactor." Researchers at the Plasma Physics Lab are seeking to harness nuclear fusion, the reaction that powers the sun, as a safe and economical source of energy. The effort involves creating superheated gasses called plasmas.

Menard received a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 and a Ph.D. in plasma physics from Princeton in 1998. He conducted postdoctoral research at the PPPL before joining the research staff in 1999.

Contact: Tom Bartus (609) 258-3601

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