ORNL's Shen receives Presidential Early Career Award

09/09/04

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Sept. 9, 2004 -- Jian Shen of Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a Department of Energy recipient of the latest Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), presented today in a White House ceremony.

Shen, a member of ORNL's Condensed Matter Sciences Division, is being cited for his pioneering approach to the study of magnetism in nanostructured materials synthesis.

The Presidential Early Career Awards program was established in 1996 to encourage and recognize the work of the nation's young scientists and engineers and is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. In those years, ORNL researchers have received 12 of the awards.

"The work of these young scientists and engineers is an excellent example of the kind of innovative and forward-looking research that our nation needs to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century," Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said. "Their work will help to contribute to our energy security and independence far into the future."

ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth said that Shen's recognition underscores the laboratory's efforts to attract the next generation of top scientists.

"Jian's award signifies not only his own achievements but also the value to the laboratory of the Eugene P. Wigner fellowships, which brought him to ORNL as a leading postdoctoral researcher. Jian represents the path ORNL is taking toward becoming the research institution of choice for the scientists who will chart the breakthroughs in emerging fields of research such as nanotechnology," Wadsworth said.

Shen's nanostructure research integrates novel fabrication procedures with sophisticated fabrication techniques and theoretical modeling to the design of nanostructured magnetic materials and complex oxides. As a member of the Low-Dimensional Materials by Design Group at ORNL, Shen has recorded a major nanotechnology breakthrough by using his novel growth procedures to form one-, two- and zero-dimensional iron nanostructures that open the way to advanced studies of nanomaterials' properties.

A key signature of Shen's research program is his mentoring and training of postdoctoral research associates and graduate students in nanoscience. Since arriving at ORNL, he has advised three Ph.D. students, one of whom received the prestigious National Nottingham Prize. He has also mentored five postdoctoral associates and two summer intern undergraduate students.

Shen, who collaborates closely with faculty at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has presented a number of invited talks, workshops and seminars to professional societies and has organized a nationwide collaboration in nanomagnetism research. His work represents a model for the research that will be carried out in the Office of Science's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, currently under construction adjacent to ORNL's Spallation Neutron Source.

A native of Beijing, China, Shen came to ORNL in 1998 as a Wigner Fellow. He did his undergraduate work at Zheiiang University in Hangzhou, China. He received his master's degree from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, and his doctorate degree from the Max Planck Institut, Halle, Germany.

Shen's several honors and awards for his research include the 1997 Otto-Hahn-Medaille, given each year for outstanding theses; the 1993 Presidential Prize from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, given to the top 100 master and Ph.D. students; and the 2002 ORNL Awards Night Early Career Award for Scientific Accomplishment.

Shen resides in Knoxville, Tenn., with his wife, Lei Cao, and two children.

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