Livermore Lab physicist selected for 2016 presidential award

Tammy Ma one of 106 chosen nationwide for her 'innovation and leadership'

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist has been selected for a 2016 presidential early career award for science and engineering.

Lab officials said Tammy Ma is one of 106 people who have been chosen nationwide and one of 13 who work for the U.S. Department of Energy who have been selected.

The White House said Ma was recognized for her "innovation and leadership in quantifying hydrodynamic instability mix in the hot spot of inertial confinement fusion implosions on the National Ignition Facility (at Lawrence Livermore), key contributions to experiments demonstrating fusion fuel gains exceeding unity and broad educational outreach and service to the scientific community."

Ma said in a statement, "I am incredibly honored to receive this award. My heart is filled with gratitude to all my mentors and advisers who have taught me so much and have continuously advocate for me, and for the amazing colleagues that I am humbled to get to work with every day."

Lab officials said the presidential early career award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

The awards, which were established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the executive office of the president.

The White House said awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.

Lab officials said that after Ma finished graduate school she completed a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore before becoming a staff scientist in 2012.

They said she now supports many of the inertial confinement fusion experiments at the National Ignition Facility, which is a large laser-based inertial confinement fusion research device.

Lab officials said Ma also is active in the its community outreach programs, participating in school visits, the annual "Expanding Your Horizon" programs for girls in grades six through nine and "Science on Saturday."

Former Lawrence Livermore postdoc Jonathan Hopkins also was selected to receive and award. Hopkins is now an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the UCLA.

Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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