Riccardo Betti Receives Hajim School Lifetime Achievement Award

September 5, 2013

riccardo bettiRiccardo Betti, the Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was awarded the Hajim School's Lifetime Achievement Award at the school's annual fall reception on Thursday, Sept. 5.

"We are very fortunate to have a scientist of his caliber," said Hajim School Dean Rob Clark.

Since joining the Hajim School in 1991 as a young assistant professor with his degree from MIT, Clark noted, Betti "has made many research and educational contributions to the Hajim School and the University" – and beyond.

Betti is also a Professor of Physics, Director of the Fusion Science Center of Extreme States of Matter and Fast Ignition, and Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE).

Under his leadership, the Fusion Science Center, a multi-university research enterprise, "has thrived in parallel to LLE," Clark said, and  "has emphasized the importance of advanced education by holding a well-attended summer school that draws graduate students, post-docs, and faculty alike."

Betti's awards include:

  • The U.S.Department of Energy's Ernest O. Lawrence Award (2011) for "a series of impactful theoretical discoveries in the physics of inertial confinement fusion including seminal transformative work on thermonuclear ignition, hydrodynamic instabilities and implosion dynamics, and the development of innovative approaches to ignition and energy gains."
  • A Leadership Award (2010) from the Fusion Power Associates "for the leadership he has been providing to the U.S. and world inertial fusion efforts, including his contributions to the search for efficient methods of igniting fusion targets, contributions to the emerging field of high energy density physics, and his advisory role in the DOE's Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee."
  • The Edward Teller Medal (2009) from the American Nuclear Society "for seminal contributions to the theory and understanding of hydrodynamic instabilities, implosion dynamics and thermonuclear ignition in inertial confinement fusion."

In the area of educational leadership, Betti has coordinated, for many years, the awarding and administration of the Horton Fellowships at LLE. These Fellowships, besides being highly competitive, train graduate students in all engineering and natural science disciplines on research areas that support the programmatic missions at LLE, Clark said.

"Over the years, as many as 150-200 graduate students have been awarded these scholarships under the guidance of this year's Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Riccardo Betti."