President Obama Names Scientists Bard and Sessler as Enrico Fermi Award Recipients

WASHINGTON – President Obama has named Dr. Allen J. Bard and Dr. Andrew Sessler as recipients of the Enrico Fermi Award, one of the government's oldest and most prestigious awards for scientific achievement. The Presidential award carries an honorarium of $50,000, shared equally, and a medal. The award is administered on behalf of the White House by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"Allen Bard and Andy Sessler have advanced the science and technology frontier throughout their distinguished careers and, in doing so, have contributed greatly to sustained US leadership in research and development," said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. "I congratulate them for their achievements and hope that the example they set serves as inspiration to future generations of scientists and engineers."

The Fermi Award honors the memory of Nobel Laureate Enrico Fermi, the first scientist to achieve a nuclear chain reaction and a pioneer in the field of nuclear and particle physics. The award has been presented to outstanding scientists since 1956. It is given for distinguished achievement, leadership, and service related to all basic and applied research, science, and technology supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and its programs. Secretary Moniz will present the Fermi Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Monday, February 3, 2014, at 3pm EST.

Enrico Fermi Award Winners

Dr. Allen J. Bard

Director, Center for Electrochemistry and Hackerman-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Bard has been selected for his significant contributions to basic research, technological innovation, teaching and service. Additionally, his exemplary career and dedication to the highest ideals of scientific research have served as a model for four generations of scientists in the United States and abroad and earned him a reputation as the "father of modern electrochemistry." Through his service to the profession—including numerous publications, training of scientists, and applications of research to a broad array of challenges in the energy domain—he has raised the scientific standard in—and brought national and international recognition to—the field of electrochemistry. Electrochemistry holds significant importance and promise in the field of energy research, underlying recent advances in batteries, fuel cells, and solar photoelectrochemistry, and supporting a range of advances in biology, chemistry, physics and engineering.

Dr. Bard received a B.S. in Chemistry from the City College of the College of New York in 1955, an M.A. in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1956 and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard in 1958. He joined the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 1958, and has spent his entire career there. Dr. Bard has published over 900 peer-reviewed research papers and 75 book chapters and other publications, and has received over 23 patents.

Dr. Andrew Sessler

Distinguished Scientist Emeritus and Director Emeritus, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Former President of the American Physical Society.

Dr. Sessler has been selected for his outstanding contributions to the establishment of the beam-physics knowledge basis that has underpinned the development of current-generation particle accelerators and storage rings deployed at leading research institutions throughout the world. Since the 1950s, Dr. Sessler has been internationally recognized for developing particle accelerators and beam science, providing foundational work enabling high-energy colliders, synchrotron light sources and free-electron lasers vital to current and future scientific discoveries. In addition to the visionary role he has played directing the scientific research landscape toward new horizons in sustainable energy and the environment, Dr. Sessler was also selected for having served as an outstanding leader of the nation's physical science research community, and as an international advocate for scientific freedom.

Dr. Sessler received an A.B. in Mathematics from Harvard University in 1949, an M.A. in Physics from Columbia University in 1951 and a Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia in 1953. He served as the Director of DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 1973 to 1980.

Additional information about the Fermi Award is available at: