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ORNL's Bardayan among nation's top young scientists
Daniel Bardayan is ORNL's latest recipient of the DOE Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). (hi-res image)
Bardayan, who studies nuclear astrophysics in ORNL's Physics Division, is being cited for his pioneering work at ORNL's Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility toward understanding stellar explosions.
The Presidential Early Career Award program was established in 1996 to encourage and recognize the work of the nation's young scientists and engineers. In those years, ORNL researchers have received 13 of the awards. Physics Division researchers have accounted for six PECASE awards. Seven researchers from DOE national laboratories and collaborating universities were honored in today's ceremony.
"All of us here at the Energy Department are very pleased that these individuals are being recognized by the president for the intellectual rigor, relevance and high technical standards of their work," Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman said. "We are proud to honor these seven awardees as a means of encouraging promising young scientists and engineers to pursue work in areas of importance to the Department of Energy's energy research and national security missions."
ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth said Bardayan's selection for the PECASE is indicative of the laboratory's ongoing record of excellence in scientific research.
"Dan's award represents a progression of outstanding scientific achievements in physics-related research at ORNL, notably by researchers in the early stages of their careers," Wadsworth said. "ORNL is working hard to attract scientists like Dan who are capable of exceedingly creative and imaginative work."
Bardayan's research at ORNL's Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility explores the nuclear processes and extreme environments in supernovae that create many of the elements responsible for life on Earth. He developed and is improving a device called the silicon detector array, or SIDAR, that detects alpha particles and other light ions emitted when radioactive ion beams collide with targets at the Holifield Facility.
His thesis experiment with radioactive ion beams, which changed the expected amounts of some nuclei produced in exploding stars by factors of as much as 10,000, won Bardayan the 2001 Dissertation in Nuclear Physics Award from the American Physical Society, "for the best dissertation in nuclear physics over a two-year period by a graduate student at a North American university."
Bardayan, a native of Nashville, first came to ORNL in 1996 as a graduate student. He held a postdoctoral appointment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a two-year Eugene P. Wigner postdoctoral research fellowship at ORNL before joining the lab research staff in 2003. He received his master's and doctorate degrees from Yale University and did his undergraduate work at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.
Bardayan, his wife, Melissa, and sons, Mac and Grant, reside in Farragut.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.