INEEL honors five scientists as Laboratory Fellows

12/07/04

Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Director Paul Kearns and INEEL Chief Scientist Richard Jacobsen have jointly announced five INEEL scientists and engineers honored as Laboratory Fellows.

"It gives us great pleasure to recognize these five for their extraordinary contributions to science and engineering and to the INEEL," Kearns said. "Each of them has enjoyed a distinguished career that has also contributed significantly to the INEEL's mission, programs and future."

William Apel, James Delmore, Paul Meakin, David Petti and Herschel Smartt are recognized for their professional knowledge, scientific and engineering achievements, and national and international technical leadership.

"Scientific discovery, engineering advancements and publication of research results are at the heart of the INEEL's service to the nation," said Jacobsen. "There is no greater honor the INEEL can bestow upon a staff member – and these five scientists deserve this recognition."

The INEEL has been engaged in a process to assess, update and revitalize its Laboratory Fellows Program. Previously, the INEEL invited interested employees to submit applications to become Laboratory Fellows. Following recommendations and guidelines provided by the National Academy of Science, the five were selected to be the first Laboratory Fellows in the revitalized program.

William Apel holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from Ohio State University. At INEEL, he has been heavily involved in the bioprocessing of gases and vapors. His work has established INEEL as an international leader in this area. Apel led an INEEL team that earned an R&D 100 award for development of the Biocube Aerobic Biofilter, and led to 13 years of continuous funding for this research.

He has also worked extensively on microbial metal reduction and the uses of extremophilic organisms. His work in this area with INEEL researchers Vicki Thompson and Kastli Schaller also led to a 2004 R&D 100 Award -- for the Ultrastable Catalase Enzyme. He is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, and served on a committee responsible for establishing industrywide standards for the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

For eight years, he served on the organizing committee for the annual Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals. Apel has been very active in mentoring junior and mid-level INEEL scientific staff, and frequently conducts peer reviews of manuscripts submitted for publication in national and international microbiology, biotechnology and bioremediation journals.

James Delmore holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Missouri at Columbia. In 38 years at INEEL, he has performed key studies in the chemistry of ion emission, isotope ratio measurements, surface ionization mass spectrometry and ion optic modeling.

Delmore has been a co-recipient of three R&D 100 awards, and his work has led to new INEEL missions in contaminant detection, isotope ratio measurements, and ion optic and mass spectrometer design. He has led teams that designed, built and successfully operated three major types of mass spectrometers over the past 19 years. Delmore also has actively mentored many junior scientists and researchers at INEEL -- some of whom are now leading successful INEEL programs that Delmore originally began.

He has numerous professional publications, and was co-organizer of two Conferences on Inorganic Mass Spectrometry. He was also guest editor of two editions of the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Processes -- and frequently reviews proposals for DOE's Office of Science.

Paul Meakin holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has worked at DuPont as a research supervisor (polymer science) and lead scientist (assessing the effect of chlorofluorocarbons on stratospheric ozone reduction and global warming). While there, he also did extensive research and publication in the areas of Monte Carlo modeling, fractal geometry, colloid science and statistical physics.

Other research areas included polymerization kinetics, polymer phase separation and far-from-equilibrium processes. He then worked at the University of Oslo, Norway, supervising graduate students and postdoctoral associates, prior to coming to INEEL. Here, Meakin has been the modeling lead for subsurface science studies, and has worked to develop strategies for increasing the level of national support for subsurface science.

Meakin has published approximately 300 refereed papers in more than 30 leading journals in general science, physics, chemistry and other disciplines. In a worldwide survey covering the years 1981-1997, he was ranked 79th for citations to physics journals, though he did not start physics research until 1982. His four most-cited articles have received from 300 to more than 800 citations.

He is also the sole author of a 647-page monograph on "Fractals, Scaling and Growth Far from Equilibrium" published by Cambridge University Press in 1998. Meakin is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Member of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.

David Petti holds a D.Sc. (doctor of science) degree in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been employed at INEEL since 1986 in a variety of positions related to nuclear safety and nuclear materials.

He began his career working in the area of light water reactor severe accident behavior for the Power Burst Facility Severe Fuel Damage Program and the Three-Mile Island Accident Evaluation Project. He also has worked on the New Production Reactor Modular High Temperature Gas Reactor Project defining radiological source term for the environmental impact statement, developing the irradiation and accident performance testing needed to qualify the fuel and tritium targets.

Since 1992, he has been the group leader of the Fusion Safety Program where he has made seminal contributions to the international fusion program by developing a DOE fusion safety standard and providing technical leadership for fusion safety as part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER).

The review committee noted that his work for ITER made him without peer in the international fusion safety community. Petti is also the technical director of the DOE Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Development and Qualification Program, responsible for qualifying the coated-particle fuel for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant.

Petti has authored 72 peer-reviewed publications, 17 as lead author. He has presented 13 invited papers to national and international conferences and more than 29 contributed papers to technical conferences. He currently mentors three junior nuclear engineers in areas of nuclear material behavior as it relates to fusion safety and nuclear reactor fuel behavior.

Herschel Smartt holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has worked at INEEL since 1978, and has over 33 years' experience in manufacturing, materials processing, machine design and intelligent machines. His present emphasis is on turnkey, prototype robotic machine design, development and deployment.

He has been a principal investigator on numerous INEEL projects and programs in welding research, welding automation, concurrent weld inspection, and machine sensing, diagnostics and control, among others. Smartt is an editorial board member for the International Journal of Science and Technology of Welding and Joining, and a key reader for the American Welding Society's Welding Journal in automation, sensing and control.

He received the A.F. Davis Silver Medal Award twice in the category of machine design (1993 and 2004) by the American Welding Society, the American Welding Society Adams Award (1999) and received the INEEL Lifetime Achievement Award for Inventorship in 2003. Smartt also conducted and led many years of research in the field of artificial neural networks.

He has numerous professional publications and patents, and has interacted extensively with fellow researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Vanderbilt University and Aalborg University. He has also been responsible for establishing strong programs in weld process research and weld sensing and control at the Trends in Welding Research conference series, the premier welding conference in the world.

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