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founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle

News Release

Number: 03-55
Released: July 14, 2003
Contact: Diane Greenberg, 631 344-2347 or Mona S. Rowe, 631 344-5056

Steven Dierker Named Associate Laboratory Director for Brookhaven Lab’s New Light Sources Directorate

UPTON, NY — Steven Dierker, a forefront scientist and administrator in synchrotron light research, has been named Associate Laboratory Director for the new Light Sources Directorate at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dierker, who has been Chair of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) Department, will also retain that position.

The NSLS at Brookhaven is one of the world’s most widely used scientific facilities. Each year, about 2,500 researchers from more than 400 universities, companies, and government labs use its bright beams of x-rays, ultraviolet light and infrared light for research in such diverse fields as biology and physics, chemistry and geophysics, medicine and materials science. For example, scientists have used the NSLS to produce images of the AIDS virus as it attacks a human cell, develop a method for breast cancer detection that is more accurate than mammography, and create a method to make faster, denser computer chips. The facility has 175 employees and a current annual budget of about $38 million.

“I am pleased about the continued growth of the NSLS Department,” Dierker said. “Since its commissioning in 1982, the NSLS has continually updated and expanded its capabilities to remain at the forefront of science. Now we are proposing a major upgrade — essentially a new light source at Brookhaven.”

The Laboratory created the new Light Sources Directorate and promoted Dierker to his present position because of the importance of upgrading NSLS facilities within the next decade.

The project represents the next major step in Brookhaven’s long history of building and operating world-class scientific facilities and is expected to have enormous impact in the life sciences, materials and chemical sciences, nanoscience, geoscience, environmental science, and other areas. Advanced light source capabilities would also complement the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at Brookhaven, which is due to be built starting in 2005 and to become fully operational by 2008.

After earning B.S. degrees in both physics and electrical engineering in 1977 from Washington University, Dierker earned both an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in 1978 and 1983, respectively. In 1983, he joined the Semiconductor and Chemical Physics Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories (now Lucent Technologies), and, in 1990, he joined the University of Michigan, where he was Professor of Physics and Applied Physics. He joined Brookhaven in May 2001 to become Chair of the NSLS.

Since 1992, Dierker has been a member of the NSLS Users Group, and he performed initial experiments at the NSLS to develop a novel synchrotron technique called x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, which uses coherent, or highly ordered, synchrotron beams to study colloidal systems, or particles dispersed in a solid, liquid or gaseous medium, and polymers.

Since 1996, Dierker has been a member of the Advanced Photon Source (APS) Users Organization at Argonne National Laboratory, and he chaired that organization from 1998-2000. He also helped to plan the construction, design and operation of beam lines at the APS, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.