PPPL scientists win several honors

Oct. 20, 2005 11:51 a.m.

Researchers from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory have been named as recipients of awards in recognition of their achievements in plasma science and fusion development.

The PPPL, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and managed by the University, is a collaborative national center for science and innovation leading to an attractive fusion energy source.

William Tang, chief scientist at the PPPL, has received the Chinese Institute of Engineers-USA Distinguished Achievement Award. The institute, which is the oldest Chinese-American professional society in North America, honored Tang "for his outstanding leadership in fusion research and contribution to fundamentals of plasma science."

In addition to serving as chief scientist at the PPPL, Tang is a lecturer with the rank of professor in astrophysical sciences at Princeton. He also is associate director for the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, an interdisciplinary initiative involving researchers in computer science, applied mathematics, engineering and the physical sciences.

Tang served as head of the PPPL's theory department from 1992 through 2004, leading the establishment of relationships between theory and experimental projects within the plasma lab and with international plasma physics institutions. Under his leadership, theoretical research at PPPL was diversified into nonfusion areas, especially high-performance computing activities.

Tang also played a prominent leadership role in the Department of Energy's development of a multidisciplinary program in advanced scientific computing applications, known as Scientific Discovery Through Advanced Computing .

Dale Meade, a scientist who recently retired from the PPPL, has received the Fusion Power Associates 2005 Distinguished Career Award.

The awards have been given since 1987 to individuals who have made distinguished career contributions to fusion development. Fusion Power Associates, a foundation that promotes fusion development and other applications of plasma science and fusion research, recognized Meade for his decades of "outstanding contributions to the fusion effort … and his inspirational guidance in the search for an affordable path to fusion power."

From 1986 to 1991, Meade was head of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor program at the PPPL, one of the world's largest and most successful experimental fusion machines.

Elena Belova, a research physicist at the PPPL, has been named the recipient of the Katherine E. Weimer Award from the American Physical Society-Division of Plasma Physics.

The society cited Belova for pioneering analytical and numerical contributions to the fundamental physics of magnetically confined plasmas.

The Weimer Award is given to recognize and encourage outstanding achievement in plasma science research by a woman physicist in the early years of her career. Weimer (1919-2000) was a pioneering physicist at the PPPL. The award, established in 2001, is presented every three years and includes a $2,000 prize.