Ten receive 2017 Postdoctoral Performance Award
At a recent reception, several Argonne postdoctoral appointees received the 2017 Postdoctoral Performance Award. The award recognizes exceptional performance in the areas of basic research, engineering research and applied research.
“Postdocs are an important part of our workforce here at Argonne and for science at large, as they hold the keys to the next generation of scientific discovery and innovation,” said Paul Kearns, Interim Laboratory Director.
“These awards are an opportunity to acknowledge some of our postdocs for significant intellectual contributions, ingenuity in problem solving, collaborative and leadership ability and contributions to the Argonne and U.S Department of Energy (DOE) missions.”
Kearns presented the Basic Research Award to Hanqi Guo (MCS) and In Soo Kim (MSD). “Dr. Guo’s contributions have been instrumental to his group’s success in numerous projects, and his technical expertise is essential to DOE projects involving emerging extreme-scale systems,” said Kearns.
“Dr. Kim’s work is directly applicable to the Argonne and DOE missions for groundbreaking science with immediate relevance to energy applications, including renewable energy generation and improving energy intensive catalytic process,” Kearns said in presenting the award.
Kiran Sasikumar (NST) and Pamela Weisenhorn (BIO) received honorable mentions in the basic research category. “Dr. Sasikumar has made unique and important contributions to projects including integrated imaging, force field fitting, tribology, electrochemistry and corrosion,” Kearns said. “Notably, he has developed new machine learning models for 2-D materials and for neuromorphic systems.”
Weisenhorn studies the behavior and dynamics of complex microbial communities, with a focus on metabolic interactions in redox dynamic systems. “Her cross-institutional work led to a successful LDRD proposal to investigate wetland ecology and biogeochemistry with atmospheric modeling, which is a major initiative at the lab,” Kearns said.
The award for applied research was presented to Muhsin Ameen (ES). “Dr. Ameen’s nomination notes he has been a key member in business development efforts through Argonne’s VERIFI program, which already have led to one new Strategic Partnership Project; one new DOE project under the High Performance Computing for Manufacturing program with Ford; and multiple collaboration opportunities with DOE’s Advanced Scientific Computing Research program,” Kearns said.
Niya Sa (CSE), Juan Garcia (MSD), and Ana Platero-Prats (XSD) received honorable mentions in applied research. Sa studies energy storage materials and electrolyte synthesis. “Dr. Sa has played a key role in advancing development of a working electrochemical cell based on magnesium metal,” Kearns noted.
Garcia supports High Energy and High Voltage, a high-visibility DOE project aiming to develop next generation lithium-ion couples capable of meeting DOE targets for transportation applications. “Dr. García is described as a natural leader, often sought out by other postdocs for advice and guidance,” Kearns said.
“Through her work at the APS,” Kearns said, “Dr. Platero-Prats has shown the tremendous potential of X-ray scattering techniques, in particular pair distribution function and difference electron density analysis, to provide more realistic structures of catalytic materials under conditions relevant for applications.”
Kearns presented the Engineering Research Award to Bipul Barua (NE). “In his time at Argonne, Dr. Barua has demonstrated exemplary research skills and contributed to the accomplishment of two DOE milestone reports,” Kearns said. “Known for his enthusiasm and creativity, Dr. Barua also is recognized for demonstrating collaborative leadership skills, brilliant contributions to team meetings and critical problem solving and in project planning capabilities.”
Ahmed Abdul Moiz (ES) received an honorable mention in engineering research. He works on three high-visibility projects related to advanced internal combustion engines. “Dr. Moiz’s tireless efforts directly benefit DOE’s mission areas of energy security and environmental quality through the development of cleaner and more efficient engine technologies,” Kearns said.
The awards were established by the Leadership Institute and are sponsored by Interim Laboratory Director, Paul Kearns, Deputy Director for Science, Matt Tirrell, and Interim Deputy Director for Operations, John Quintana.
“I’d like to thank the review committee for all of the work they put into this award program,” said Tina Henne (ALI), postdoctoral programs lead. “With so many outstanding nominees, their job is never easy, but this program could not succeed without them.”
A call will go out in this spring for nominations for the 2018 Postdoctoral Awards. For more information, or if you are interested in participating in the 2018 selection committee, contact Henne at ext. 2-2907.
Photo: Back row, left to right: Kiran Sasikumar, Juan Garcia, Ahmed Abdul Moiz, and Hanqi Guo. Front row: Interim Deputy Laboratory Director for Operations John Quintana, Bipul Barua, Muhsin Ameen, Ana Platero-Prats, In Soo Kim, and Interim Laboratory Director Paul Kearns. Not pictured: Pamela Weisenhorn and Niya Sa.