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July 12, 2000


Richard Osgood, Jr. Named Head of Brookhaven Lab1s Basic Energy Sciences

UPTON, NY. Richard Osgood, Jr. has been named Associate Laboratory Director for Basic Energy Sciences (BES) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory effective May 15. Osgood succeeds Denis McWhan, who has retired from this position and has returned to research.

In his new position, Osgood is responsible for overseeing the Department of Energy's basic energy programs at the Laboratory. He also is in charge of the Chemistry Department, which includes fundamental research programs in many areas of chemistry; the National Synchrotron Light Source Department (NSLS), a facility that supplies ultraviolet light, infrared light and x-rays for experiments in biology, materials science, physics and applied technologies; and the Center for Neutron Sciences, which oversees research involving the use of neutrons to study the structure of materials. The BES directorate has a collective staff of 260 people and a budget of about $76 million .

Two new areas of scientific inquiry that Osgood believes will be important to the future of BES are nanoscience, which is the study of the unique physics and chemistry of ultrasmall structures, on the scale of one-billionth of a meter, with possible future applications in molecular electronics, computer chips and tiny electronic devices. In addition, he anticipates that the free electron laser currently being tested at Brookhaven will be an important accelerator technology that will complement experiments performed at the NSLS.

Osgood said he faces several challenges in his new position. Since the Laboratory's High Flux Beam Reactor, the major source of neutrons for the Center for Neutron Science, was closed in November 1999, one of Osgood's priorities will be to develop a new plan for neutron sciences at Brookhaven. He also plans to upgrade many beam lines at the NSLS and explore new modalities for operating the facility to keep it at the forefront of synchrotron research. The NSLS attracts 2,400 researchers from around the world each year.

Additionally, Osgood will aggressively recruit new talent to all the BES departments, and he plans to form collaborations with other departments and directorates at the Laboratory to broaden the scope of talent for working on interdisciplinary projects. Since funding for BES has been flat in recent years, Osgood plans to increase support for his directorate from its primary funding source, the Department of Energy. He also plans to start new initiatives with funding from diverse sources, such as the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense.

Osgood's professional background is ideally matched to a wide range of current and future BES research. He is widely known for his research in laser physics, chemical physics, and materials science. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He was the recipient of the R. W. Wood Prize from the Optical Society of America in 1991.

Osgood earned a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy in 1965, an M.S. in physics from Ohio State University in 1968, and a Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1973. From 1973-81, he was a member of the staff of Lincoln Laboratory at MIT, and, in 1981, he joined Columbia University as an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He currently retains an appointment as Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Applied Physics at Columbia.

Osgood has served as Vice Chairman of the Brookhaven Science Associates' Science and Technology Steering Committee, 1998 to 2000; and he has served on many national scientific committees, including the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.
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NOTE TO LOCAL EDITORS: Richard Osgood is a resident of Chappaqua, New York, and Winchester, Massachusetts.