For his innovation in the production and application of medical isotopes; for advancing the separation and purification of actinides and heavy elements; and for his leadership in the use of alpha emitters to save the lives of cancer patients.
For his broad scientific contributions and international reputation in aqueous chemistry and geochemistry; for his research into the structure, dynamics, and reactions at fluid–solid interfaces; and for his leadership and service to ORNL and the international scientific community.
Since 2001, Mike Simpson has been a group leader for the Nanofabrication Research Laboratory and theme leader in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences. His research focus includes noise biology, nano-enabled synthetic biology and controlled synthesis and directed assembly of carbon nanostructures.
For innovative research in nuclear structure physics, particularly in areas leading to a quantitative understanding of the excitation and decay of the elementary collective modes of nuclei, and for vision and scientific and technical leadership in building the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility into a forefront laboratory for nuclear science.
For significant contributions and leadership in the processing and properties of materials, particularly intermetallic alloys, which have led to his reputation as one of the world's leading scientists in these areas.
For outstanding contributions to many areas of solid-state physics, including the electronic structure of metals, ultrarapid melting and solidification phenomena, pulsed-laser deposition and epitaxial film growth, high-temperature superconductivity, and beam-assisted processing of thin films and superlattices.
For contributions to understanding plasma turbulence and the nonlinear properties of magnetohydrodynamic instabilities, especially their role in explaining the behavior of magnetically confined plasmas, and for development of new magnetic confinement concepts that overcome these limitations.