Brookhaven Lab's Sam Aronson Inducted into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame

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Brookhaven Lab Director Sam Aronson (center) receiving a plaque commemorating his induction into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame, from Yacov Shamash (left), Vice President of Economic Development and Dean of the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences, Stony Brook University, and Lawrence J. Waldman (right), Chair, LI Technology Hall of Fame Steering Committee and Partner In Charge of Practice Development, EisnerAmper LLP. Photo courtesy Stony Brook University.

UPTON, NY — Sam Aronson, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, has been inducted into the Long Island Technology Hall of Fame. One of three innovators honored at a ceremony held at the Garden City Hotel on March 7, Aronson was recognized for his numerous distinguished contributions to science and technology, including his leadership of Brookhaven Lab, a world-class scientific research institution with more than 3,000 employees and an annual budget of about $770 million.

Other inductees honored at the event included Kevin Tracey, director and chief executive officer, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research; professor and president, Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine; and vice president, research, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System; and Paul Richman, chair and chief executive officer, Standard Microsystems Corporation (retired). In addition, an entrepreneur award was given to Robert M. Brill, managing general partner, Newlight Associates.

The Long Island Technology Hall of Fame recognizes, honors, and preserves the contributions, accomplishments, and dedication of historical figures or current leaders in science or technology who have an impact on society. The organization raises funds for scholarships, outreach, and research initiatives that will ensure Long Island’s economic and intellectual leadership.

“I’m honored by this recognition,” Aronson said. “I’m also proud of Brookhaven Lab – home to seven Nobel Prizes and countless discoveries. We’re very much part of the Long Island high-tech community — helping it to grow — and also part of the international scientific community that brings about progress in so many fields, from physics and chemistry to materials science and medicine.”

Sam 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, Aronson 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, Madison, 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 Lab’s Physics Department in 1982 and was appointed associate chair of the department in 1987, then deputy chair in 1988.

In 1991, Aronson relinquished his position, and, as a senior physicist, served as the head of the PHENIX detector project, overseeing the design and construction of one of the two largest detectors at Brookhaven Lab’s premiere accelerator, the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC). Experiments at RHIC have led to the discovery of quark-gluon plasma, a type of matter that is believed to have existed just microseconds after the Big Bang. Aronson successfully completed the challenge of overseeing the building and initial operations of PHENIX before becoming chair of the Laboratory’s Physics Department in 2001. He became associate laboratory director for nuclear and particle physics in 2005 and was named laboratory director in 2006.

Aronson is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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