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Tourassi named top scientist at ORNL's annual Awards Night

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Oct. 28, 2017—Georgia Tourassi of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Computing and Computational Sciences Directorate has received the ORNL Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology.

The top scientist award was presented to Tourassi by ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia during Saturday night’s annual Awards Night event hosted by UT-Battelle, the management and operating contractor of ORNL for the Department of Energy.

Tourassi was recognized for advancing the research, development and deployment of artificial intelligence in data-driven biomedical discovery and medical imaging, including applications for cancer diagnosis and management. She was also cited for her support of the missions of biomedical scientific societies and federal agencies and for mentoring students in biomedical science and technology.

Tourassi, who works in the Computational Sciences and Engineering Division and directs the laboratory’s Health Data Sciences Institute, also received the Distinguished Researcher award.

Brian Weston of the Neutron Sciences Directorate’s Research Reactors Division received the Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Mission Support.

Weston, who also received the evening’s Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Mission Support award, was cited for distinguished contributions to the High Flux Isotope Reactor’s outstanding performance, which has included providing seven operation cycles each of the past two years and greater than 98 percent reliability for a decade. He was also recognized for sustained contributions to other laboratory and DOE projects.

Timothy Burress, Jason Pries, Lixin Tang and Randy H. Wiles received the Director’s Award for Outstanding Team Accomplishment for their development of a low-cost, high-power-density prototype motor that is 75 percent more powerful than same-sized commercial motors. The prototype motor also contributes to national energy security by replacing magnets made from imported rare earth materials with inexpensive ferrite, which is found in abundance in the United States. All four work in the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate’s Electrical and Electronics Systems Research Division.

Awards Night winners are selected by committees and approved by the laboratory director. Nominations are made by division, program or directorate managers. The Director’s Awards are selected by the laboratory director with input from the deputy director for science and technology and the deputy director for operations.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. DOE’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit