General Lab Information

Julian Baumert PhD Thesis Award

Nominations are being sought for the 2023 Julian Baumert Ph.D. Thesis Award. This award has been established in memory of Julian David Baumert, a young Brookhaven physicist who was working on x-ray studies of soft-matter interfaces at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS). The annual award, which was initiated in 2008 will be presented to a researcher who has recently conducted a thesis project that included significant measurements at NSLS-II.

Applications are due by Sunday, March 12, 2023, 11:59 pm.

Award Details

The Julian David Baumert Award consists of the winner's name engraved on a plaque located in the NSLS-ll lobby, and a $1000 honorarium for sharing their research. The winner will give a presentation on his/her thesis work during the users' meeting.

Award Eligibility and Nominations

Candidates must have completed all the requirements of their Ph.D within the last two calendar years*. Candidates should be continuing their careers in scientific research. Applications must follow these instructions:

  1. A letter of nomination (two pages maximum) with the following information about the candidate's Ph.D.:
    • summary of the scientific and/or technological impact of the thesis
    • Ph.D candidate's name and contact information
    • nominator's contact information
  2. An extended abstract (two pages maximum), prepared by student or nominator, that includes:
    • a first paragraph that explains the significance of the thesis results in layman's terms
    • a summary of the thesis research
    • identification and significance of NSLS II measurements to the thesis
    • contributions to the development of NSLS II beamlines or facilities (if relevant)
  3. The candidate's CV.

The nominations will be reviewed by a selection committee made up of the following members:

  • Christopher Homes, BNL – National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)
  • Ben Ocko (Chair), BNL – National Synchrotron Light Source ll (NSLS-II)
  • Christie Nelson, BNL – National Synchrotron Light Source ll (NSLS-II)
  • Vivian Stojanoff, BNL – National Synchrotron Light Source ll (NSLS-II)

* Candidates who were granted their Ph.D. degree prior to 12/31/2020 are ineligible for the award.

All materials should be sent by Sunday, March 12, 2023, 11:59 pm, via email, to: Mercy Baez,

About Julian

Julian David Baumert was a relatively new Research Associate in the Soft-Matter and X-ray groups in Brookhaven's Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department when he died of melanoma on June 24, 2006. He was 31.

Born in Berlin, Germany, Baumert was educated at the Institute of Experimental and Applied Physics (IEAP) at the University of Kiel and the Institute Laue-Langevin (ILL) in Grenoble, France, where he studied a compound known as methane hydrate, which is found naturally on the sea floor and is a promising energy resource. His thesis focused on the structure and dynamics of this compound using neutron and x-ray scattering techniques and numerical simulations. Baumert obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Kiel in February 2004, receiving the prestigious "Familie-Schindler Foerderungs-Preis" of the Faculty of Science in Kiel.

Baumert came to BNL in July 2004 and conducted his research at NSLS beamline X22, where he was part of a team of scientists learning to make smaller and more powerful molecular-scale circuit components that could someday make electronic devices more efficient. He was the principal investigator on a paper published in February 2006 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that described the first measurements of the structure of a molecular junction at buried interfaces, and just before his death, he was working to elucidate how the structural and electrical properties of these molecular junctions depend on the molecular coverage.

If the actual doctorate has not yet been granted, the committee will accept a letter from the Graduate School of the degree-granting institution, stating that the thesis has been defended and accepted by the institution.