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News Release

Number: 03-16
Released: February 26, 2003
Writer: Patrice Pages
Contact: Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347 or Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056

Brookhaven Lab Physicist Elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

UPTON, NY – Pavel Rehak, a physicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). IEEE is a non-profit, technical professional association that is a leading authority in technical areas ranging from computer engineering to biomedical technology to aerospace.

“I am very honored to be elected as an IEEE Fellow of this prestigious institution,” Rehak said. “This nomination represents a very nice recognition of my past technical and professional achievements, which would not have been possible without the support and help of my colleagues at Brookhaven, the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, CERN — the European Laboratory for Particle Physics — and last but not least, the Polytechnic Institute of Milan.”

The honor of being named a Fellow is reserved to no more than one-tenth percent of the total voting institute membership. IEEE offers Fellowships to members of the organization with an “extraordinary record of accomplishments in any IEEE field of interest,” as stated on the IEEE web site. Rehak, who was one of 260 members of IEEE chosen as Fellows for 2003, was cited for "contributions to the theory and development of particle and photon detectors.”

Rehak invented a device called the silicon drift detector with Emilio Gatti, a physicist at the Polytechnic Institute in Milan, Italy. This device has been used in many high-energy physics experiments – the most recent ones being the STAR detector at Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and the future ALICE experiment at CERN – to detect charged particles. Silicon drift detectors are also used in electron microscopes to determine the nature of atoms in materials, and in astronomical projects such as the European Space Agency's X-ray Multi-Mirror Newton (XMM Newton) satellite, the most powerful x-ray telescope ever placed in orbit.

Rehak's silicon detectors won him a BNL Distinguished Research and Development Award, the highest honor in the Laboratory’s employee awards program, in 1997, and an IEEE Region 1 Award for contributions to particle physics research in 1999.

Rehak holds two Ph.D.s in physics: one from Charles University in Czechoslovakia, and the other from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, Italy. After working as a visiting scientist in the Kernforschungcentrum (Center for Nuclear Physics) in Karlsruhe, Germany, from 1972 to 1973, and as an assistant professor at Yale University from 1973 to 1976, he joined Brookhaven Lab in 1976, first in the Physics Department from 1976 to 1995, and then in the Instrumentation Division since 1995. Rehak holds three patents and has authored more than 150 publications in refereed scientific journals.