Meet the 2019 Engineering Award Recipients

Engineering Awards are presented to recognize distinguished contributions to the Laboratory's engineering and computing objectives. The 2019 Engineering Award recipients are:

Steven Bellavia, Collider-Accelerator Department

Steven Bellavia is a versatile, go-to engineer for solving challenging new problems. He is recognized for his research, creative design solutions, computer engineering analysis skills, and sharing attitude.

Bellavia is the Collider-Accelerator Department’s leader for defining hardware and software needs for computer engineering analysis. He has assisted others with their most difficult and complex designs and analyses.

Bellavia’s outstanding engineering contributions have supported upgrades and operations for the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider complex, experimental programs, the Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer, the sPHENIX project, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).

Recently Bellavia was one of the lead engineers for designing and developing the LSST’s science raft assembly for imaging sensors and electronics. This required detailed thermal analysis and design. It also involved coordinating among systems at Brookhaven and other collaborating institutions. Now Bellavia is working to improve methods for processing targets at BLIP and analyzing the effects of higher beam flux on increasing yields.

Bellavia is exceptionally talented—as an engineer, designer, teacher, and analyst. He continues to be a great asset for the Laboratory.

Nathalie Bouet and Hanfei Yan, National Synchrotron Light Source II

Over the past 12 years, Nathalie Bouet and Hanfei Yan developed world-class nanofocusing x-ray optics—a unique set of multilayer Laue lenses (MLLs) that deliver a 12-nanometer x-ray beam to the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe beamline at the National Synchrotron Light Source II for user experiments.

Recently, Bouet and Hanfei broke their own world record. They produced an even more advanced form of lenses called wedged-MLLs that focus an x-ray beam down to 7.2 nanometers with 30 percent efficiency. This achievement is a world record in x-ray focusing and a huge step for the photon science community in the field of x-ray imaging.

This team showed expert knowledge, creative problem-solving skills, and enormous persistence. The fabrication process of these lenses required the team to solve several important technical limitations, such as controlling thin-film layer thickness down to less than several nanometers over 7,000 layers, while avoiding the buildup of stress and inter-layer diffusion. While Bouet worked on the lenses' fabrication process, Hanfei performed theoretical modelling and x-ray focusing experiments, so they could use experimental data to improve the fabrication process.

Bouet and Hanfei’s lenses can also be used at other facilities such as Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source beamlines.

Charles "Chuck" Finfrock, Nonproliferation & National Security Department

Charles "Chuck" Finfrock is a creative engineer who works to help protect the United States from those who would do it harm. He develops solutions for problems that are difficult and unanticipated. He is also recognized for his innovative uses of available equipment.

Finfrock tests nuclear detection equipment and instrumentation for the Department of Homeland Security. He is a member of the Radiological Assistance Program for the northeastern United States. Finfrock has in-depth knowledge of radiation detection technology, which he uses to mitigate performance issues. He has earned the respect and admiration of his sponsors and collaborators, including technical experts and local and regional law enforcement.

Finfrock demonstrates the highest levels of integrity and respect, and he always exceeds expectations. He shares knowledge with new engineers for the good of the team. Project sponsors recognize this, and because of it, they ask for him by name and have increased funding for projects in recent years.

Charles Hetzel, National Synchrotron Light Source II

From the construction of the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) through today, Charles Hetzel has provided NSLS-II with reliable machine performance through exceptional engineering expertise and leadership.

Among his many achievements in the past 10 years, Hetzel’s leadership, engineering expertise, and diligent analysis of NSLS-II’s accelerator system have increased the reliability of NSLS-II’s operations and the storage ring’s ramped-up current. More than 28 beamlines and their users benefit from Hetzel's work every day.

Beyond his achievements at NSLS-II, Hetzel's knowledge and skills have also supported development of the engineering design for an electron ion collider, as well as upgrades at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source and Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source.


Mourad Idir, Photon Sciences Division (NSLS-II)

Mourad Idir joined the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) in 2010, when the facility was still under construction. Thanks to his expertise, leadership, and dedication, Idir successfully established the optical metrology laboratory from its design through its construction and the performance validation of state-of-the-art optical metrology tools.

The need for a dedicated and advanced optical metrology laboratory was identified during the NSLS-II project phase and considered essential for the in-house measurement of x-ray optical elements. Idir showed in-depth knowledge of the subject, dedication to extensive research, and devotion to meticulous project execution during the establishing and validation phase of the laboratory and its instrumentation. The exceptional mirrors that are characterized in this new Lab enable NSLS-II beamlines to deliver their intense and well-focused beams to the user community. Additionally, characterizing mirrors in the Lab, prior to installation, can prevent costly re-works and delays.

Idir’s establishment and ongoing development of a world-class optical metrology laboratory has an immensely positive impact for NSLS-II and Brookhaven Lab.

Meet all 347 staff members at Brookhaven Lab recognized during the 2019 Employee Awards and VIP Service Celebration on Sept. 20.

2019-16817  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom