Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Bill Cabage (cabagewh@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


ORNL's Blackmon among nation’s top young scientists

Jeffery C. Blackmon
OAK RIDGE, Tenn., May 4, 2004 — Jeffery C. Blackmon of Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one of five Department of Energy recipients of the latest Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), presented today in a White House ceremony.

Blackmon, who studies astrophysics in ORNL's Physics Division, is being cited for his pioneering work performed at ORNL's Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility toward understanding stellar explosions.

The Presidential Early Career Awards program was established in 1996 to encourage and recognize the work of the nation's young scientists and engineers. In those years, ORNL researchers have received 11 of the awards. Physics Division researchers have accounted for five PECASE awards.

"Each of these researchers has made a distinctive contribution both as an independent investigator and as a team member," Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham said. "Individually and collectively, they continue to be sources of invaluable technical direction and expertise in support of the department's research and development and national security missions."

ORNL Director Jeff Wadsworth said that Blackmon's recognition underscores the laboratory's thrust toward the next generation of scientists.

"Jeff's award signifies not only his own tremendous potential and achievements, but also the path ORNL is taking toward becoming the research institution of choice for scientists in the most creative times of their careers," Wadsworth said.

Blackmon's nuclear astrophysics research has delved into the nuclear processes behind stellar explosions such as novae and supernovae. These stellar events are responsible for the creation of most of the elements in the universe.

His work has involved the development and operation of sophisticated devices in complex scientific experiments. Blackmon's experiments with the Holifield Facility's unique beams of radioactive fluorine isotopes and uranium fission fragments have provided clues to reactions in cosmic novae and supernovae that are believed to be the origins of the synthesis of many of the elements.

Blackmon, a native of Mt. Airy, N.C., came to ORNL in 1995 as a postdoctoral researcher. He did his undergraduate work at Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C., and received his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of North Carolina.

Blackmon, his wife, Anne Marie, and children Jackson, 4, and Amelia, 17 months, reside in Knoxville's Fountain City community.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is a multiprogram laboratory managed for the Department of Energy by UT-Battelle.