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President Obama Honors Outstanding Early-Career Scientists

President Obama named 102 researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

“The impressive achievements of these early-stage scientists and engineers are promising indicators of even greater successes ahead,” President Obama said. “We are grateful for their commitment to generating the scientific and technical advancements that will ensure America’s global leadership for many years to come.”

“The Presidential Early Career Awards are an important way for the President of the United States to recognize the central role that outstanding scientists and engineers play in advancing the Nation’s goals, tackling grand challenges, and contributing to the American economy,” said Berkeley Lab Director Paul Alivisatos. “I am delighted that four scientists affiliated with Berkeley Lab merit recognition this year for their scientific achievements and high promise for additional contributions to national needs.”

The recipients are employed or funded by various federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, which join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies’ missions.

Receiving recognition from the DOE were 13 investigators including Berkeley Lab researchers Daniel Kasen, with the Nuclear Science Division, and Adam Weber from the Environmental Energy Technologies Division.

The National Science Foundation recognized in total 19 investigators including two UC Berkeley faculty, Junqiao Wu and Ahmet Yildiz; these faculty members are also associated with Berkeley Lab, in the Materials Sciences Division and the Physical Biosciences Division respectively.

The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President.

Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.

The winners will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, ceremony in the coming year. For a full list, visit:

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Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more, visit


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