Newswise — The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has named five highly accomplished scientists as Argonne Distinguished Fellows in 2023. They are Glenn Decker, Paul Fenter, Robert Fischetti, Sven Leyffer and Valentine Novosad.

The honor recognizes scientists who have not only achieved international esteem but who have also demonstrated exceptional achievements in science or engineering relevant to Argonne’s core missions. They are leaders of major, complex, high-priority projects or programs that have an impact on the future of the Laboratory. Only a small percentage of the Laboratory’s research staff — about three percent — receive this distinction.

“Argonne’s distinguished fellows have a long track record of helping the Laboratory deliver on its mission of advancing America’s prosperity and security,” said Argonne Director Paul Kearns. “They are leaders in the scientific community, whose impactful research and publications continue to accelerate discovery.”

2023 Argonne Distinguished Fellows

Glenn Decker has worked at the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a DOE Office of Science user facility, for the past 33 years. He served as manager of the electron storage ring at the heart of the APS during its construction in the early 1990s and worked in a variety of capacities on that accelerator for its entire life. Decker’s specialty as the former accelerator diagnostics group leader found him dealing with detectors and systems responsible for stabilizing the X-ray beams generated by the APS storage ring at the level of thousandths of a millimeter.

For the past few years, Decker has been an associate project manager for the APS Upgrade project, working on the new storage ring that will replace the one he originally helped build. Decker’s decades of experience have proven invaluable to the upgrade, which will result in an improved APS with X-ray beams up to 500 times brighter than those generated by the original APS.

Paul Fenter is a senior physicist and group leader for interfacial processes in Argonne’s Chemical Sciences and Engineering division, and previously served as the director of the Center for Electrochemical Energy Science (from 2014 to 2020), a DOE-funded Energy Frontier Research Center.

His research probes the structure and reactivity of solid-liquid interfaces through the use and development of novel synchrotron X-ray scattering and imaging techniques at the APS, most notably reactions at mineral-water interfaces (i.e., “electrical double layer” structures) and electrode-electrolyte interfaces in energy storage systems (e.g., lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors).

Fenter is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and is the winner of the 2012 Bertram E. Warren Diffraction Physics Award from the American Crystallographic Association and the Argonne National Laboratory Board of Governors’ Distinguished Performance Award. He is also a member of the American Chemical Society and Geochemical Society.

Robert (Bob) Fischetti is the life science advisor to the APS director and group leader of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and National Cancer Institute Structural Biology facility (GM/CA). As head of these beamlines at the APS, Fischetti oversees the development and application of new capabilities to use APS’s very bright X-rays to investigate the structures of diseases, laying the groundwork for potential treatments and vaccines.

Fischetti is an expert in applications of synchrotron radiation including X-ray optics, beamline design, construction and operations. His experience with synchrotron radiation started in 1981 as a user at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) in California. Since then, he has built several instruments and full beamlines and applied a variety of X-ray techniques to study challenging problems in the biological and environmental sciences. Most recently, Fischetti was at the forefront of work at the APS to understand SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Much of what we know about the structure of that virus was learned using the APS.

Fischetti is a member of the American Crystallographic Society and is the recipient of an R&D 100 award.

Sven Leyffer joined the Mathematics and Computer Science division at Argonne in 2002, where he is now a senior computational mathematician. Leyffer is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and serves as its current president. He is also a Senior Fellow of the Computation Institute, a joint initiative between the University of Chicago and Argonne.

In 2006, Leyffer (along with two colleagues) received the Lagrange Prize in Continuous Optimization, which is awarded only once every three years. In 2016, he received the Farkas Prize from the INFORMS Optimization Society.

His research interests include developing reliable methods for solving large-scale nonlinear optimization problems in applications including experimental design, resilience of the power grid and inverse problems arising at the APS. He is extending nonlinear optimization methodologies to emerging areas, such as discrete optimization for topology design and optimization problems involving digital twins.

Valentine Novosad is a senior scientist and principal investigator in Argonne’s Materials Science division who also collaborates on projects with the Physics division. He is widely recognized for his interdisciplinary materials science and engineering research that spans from fundamental studies of magnetic and superconducting films and patterned heterostructures to their practical applications, such as in spintronics, cosmology, nuclear physics, quantum information science and nanomedicine.

He has co-authored over 280 technical papers, been awarded six patents and given numerous invited talks around the world. Novosad is actively involved in several major scientific collaborations across Argonne and beyond, including the South Pole Telescope, Electron-Ion Collider, and the International Cryogenic Underground Laboratory for Rare Events with Particle ID.

Novosad is a senior Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Member, an elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, and a recipient of the Argonne Board of Governors Distinguished Performance Award.