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Contact: Peter Genzer, (631) 344-3174  |  Written by Mona S. Roweshare:

Samuel Aronson Named Interim Laboratory Director

Photo of Samuel Aronson

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Samuel Aronson (click image to download hi-res version).

UPTON, NY - The Board of Directors of Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA), which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, announced today that Samuel Aronson, the Lab's Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for High Energy and Nuclear Physics, would become the Laboratory's Interim Director when current Director Praveen Chaudhari steps down on April 30, 2006. Chaudhari announced on February 17, 2006, that he would step down at the end of this month.

Aronson, a physicist, has been managing Brookhaven National Laboratory's largest directorate since his appointment to the ALD position last April, overseeing the operation of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) and the Laboratory's Physics Department. Prior to that, he had been chair of the Physics Department.

"I am very pleased that Sam Aronson has agreed to undertake the responsibility of guiding Brookhaven National Laboratory through this interim period," said Shirley Strum Kenny, Chair of the BSA Board and President of Stony Brook University. "He is an outstanding scientist who is widely praised for his leadership on some of the Laboratory's most important high energy and nuclear physics projects, for his chairmanship of the Physics department, and most recently as ALD for shaping the scientific direction of the key High Energy and Nuclear Physics sector of the Laboratory. He understands the challenges we face to keep our science on the cutting edge and, as Interim Director, will work to see that progress on the important facilities in the Basic Energy Sciences directorate and in other areas of our science programs will be vigorous. He also understands that a condition for doing science is that all operations are done safely and in an environmentally benign way."

Kenny and BSA Board Vice Chair Carl Kohrt, CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute, have appointed Robert McGrath of Stony Brook and Donald McConnell of Battelle as co-chairs of a search committee charged with naming a permanent director. The committee expects to complete its duties by late summer 2006. BSA is a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation of State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

"Brookhaven National Laboratory's science agenda is very strong and on a good course," said Aronson. "My top scientific priority will be to advance this agenda, which includes the continued development of new scientific capabilities and user facilities to maintain Brookhaven's position as a world leader in science. At the same time, I will strive for continued excellence and improvement in environmental management, safety, security, and occupational health."

Aronson earned an A.B. in physics from Columbia University in 1964, and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1968. From 1968 to 1972, he worked at the University of Chicago's Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies as a research associate. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin, where he was a faculty member until 1977.

Aronson joined Brookhaven Lab's Accelerator Department in 1978 as an associate physicist, and was named physicist in 1979. He moved to the Physics Department in 1982, was appointed associate chair of the department in 1987, and promoted to deputy chair in 1988. In 1991, Aronson relinquished this position and, as a senior physicist, served as the head of the PHENIX detector project during the construction of RHIC, a challenge he successfully completed before he became chair of Physics in 2001. Aronson is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Note to local editors: Samuel Aronson is a native of Long Island and a resident of Poquott, New York.

2006-10468  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office