Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Media Relations (news@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL Corporate Fellow Recipient of National Award

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 31, 1995 — Dr. Robert Compton, a Martin Marietta Energy Systems corporate fellow at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), professor of chemistry at the University of Tennessee and an adjunct professor of physics at Vanderbilt University, has been selected as the recipient of the 1995 William F. Meggers Award of the Optical Society of America.

Presentation of the award is given annually to recognize outstanding work in spectroscopy, and is expected to take place in September in Portland, Ore., during the society's annual meeting. It consists of a medal, scroll and $1,000 honorarium.

Compton's award is for his seminal contributions to the understanding of the nature of atomic and molecular negative ions and to the field of multiphoton excitation processes in the gas phase.

His research has involved the study of electronic and ionic collision phenomena, atomic and molecular negative ions and laser spectroscopy. During the past three years, Compton's research has concentrated on the all-carbon cage fullerene molecules and their derivatives.

Born in Metropolis, Ill., Compton spent most of his youth in Oak Ridge. He obtained a bachelor's degree in physics from Berea (Ky.) College, a master's degree in physics from the University of Florida and a doctorate in physics from the University of Tennessee.

Compton was a Ford Foundation professor of physics at the University of Tennessee from 1972-75. In 1978, he and John Stockdale co-founded Comstock, Inc., a small scientific instruments company.

Compton and his wife, Milinda, are residents of Oak Ridge. They have three daughters: Jana, on the staff of Harvard University; Amy, who attends graduate school at North Carolina State University; and Anne, a recent graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design who is employed with Cinetel, Inc., in Knoxville; and one son, Derek, stationed in the U.S. Air Force in San Antonio, Tex.

ORNL, one of DOE's multiprogram national research and development facilities, is managed by Martin Marietta Energy Systems, a Lockheed Martin company, which also manages the Oak Ridge K-25 Site and the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant.