discover Brookhaven
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Welcome to the third issue of discover Brookhaven, a magazine dedicated to exploring and explaining the scientific research and discoveries made at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Introducing Our New Laboratory Director

Beginning before he became Laboratory Director on April 1st, Praveen Chaudhari has been mapping the terrain of Brookhaven National Laboratory. In preparation for charting Brookhaven’s future course, the new Director is getting to know the lay of the laboratory, by surveying our people, gauging our personalities, and appraising our relationships with our internal and external communities.

Praveen Chaudhari

Brookhaven National Laboratory Director and President of Brookhaven Science Associates Praveen Chaudhari.

These communities are many and varied. They include our biggest customer, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as well as the other federal and state agencies for which we work. Within the Lab, we have communities of scientific and support staff, and facility-users and other guest researchers. Outside our geographical boundaries are our immediate Long Island neighbors; the elected and appointed officials of the county, state, and nation; and the local, national, and international media reporting upon us.

In noting our coordinates, the new Director is not only learning his way around our campus-like site, with its address-free, numbered buildings and facilities, and its 5,300 acres of scrub oak and pitch pine. But, more importantly, Chaudhari is also finding out what inroads we have made over our 50-plus years, where we stand in the field nowadays, and what frontiers we have the ability and motivation to challenge in the future.

In the process, we are learning what expectations the Laboratory’s seventh Director has for us, individually and collectively as members of this dynamic scientific institution. So far, the one theme articulated by Chaudhari that is resonating within many of our 2,900 scientific and support staff is this: We are one Laboratory, united in our effort to advance scientific understanding and technological solutions for the good of the nation and the world.

“It is clear to me that this national laboratory plays a vital role in the world of science,” says Chaudhari. “But only by working as one can we further strengthen and expand our science programs, to become and be perceived as the best value for the money invested in any national laboratory.” For instance, by employing the research abilities that cut across Brookhaven’s scientific departments in a coordinated fashion, we can use Laboratory-wide skills to find answers to the even more probing questions in science, as well as to develop technical solutions to the nation and world’s ever more difficult problems.

A distinguished scientist and proven research and laboratory-operations manager with a 36-year career at IBM, Praveen Chaudhari was selected as Laboratory Director by Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA). Chaudhari also serves a President of BSA, the company founded by Stony Brook University and Battelle Memorial Institute which has been managing and operating Brookhaven since 1997 for DOE’s Office of Science (OS). As OS Director Raymond Orbach noted about the appointment: “Dr. Chaudhari’s scientific leadership and international breadth of experience will shape Brookhaven’s future, so this is a great choice for the Laboratory, its local community, and the nation.”

discover BROOKHAVEN is published three times a year by the Community, Education, Government & Public Affairs Directorate of Brookhaven National Laboratory

Editor: Marsha Belford
Writers: Marsha Belford, Peter Genzer, Patrice Pages, Karen McNulty Walsh

Roger Stoutenburgh

Web Adaptation:
Gary Schroeder

Marge Lynch, Assistant Laboratory Director for Community, Education, Government & Public Affairs

Mona S. Rowe, Manager, Media & Communications Office

Chaudhari earned his B.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1961, and an M.S. and Sc.D., both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1963 and 1966, respectively. In 1966, he joined IBM’s Research Division, headquartered at the Watson Research Center in Yorktown, New York. Appointed Director in 1981 and Vice-President of Science in 1982, Chaudhari was responsible for IBM’s science programs not only at Watson, but also at the Almaden Research Center in California, and at the Zurich Research Laboratory in Switzerland. Under Chaudhari’s watch, IBM scientists captured Nobel Prizes in physics for two consecutive years: in 1986, for developing the scanning tunneling microscope; and, in 1987, for discovering high-temperature superconductivity in a new class of materials. In 1991, Chaudhari returned full-time to research.

As a scientist who has published over 150 papers and who holds over 20 patents, Chaudhari is most well known for the discovery of amorphous magnetic materials and their development into read-write, optical storage technology, which has made fast, affordable, high-volume computer-data storage possible. For his achievements, Chaudhari has been recognized with a number of awards, among them the 1995 National Medal of Technology. Upon coming to Brookhaven, he was already a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Physical Society. Then, at the end of his first month at the Laboratory, Chaudhari was again honored, this time by being named a Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

BNL press release announcing Dr. Chaudhari's appointment.


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