A Message from Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Director, Office of Science, to the DOE Office of Science and the Science Community about Dr. Anne Davies and Dr. Michael Roberts

Insignia and logo of the Office of Science, US Department of Energy 

March 15, 2006

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to inform you that Dr. Anne Davies, our Associate Director for Fusion Energy Sciences (FES), and Dr. Michael Roberts, our Director of the ITER and International Division within FES, will both be retiring from the Department of Energy's Office of Science at the beginning of April.

Anne Davies has been an eloquent and tireless advocate for fusion energy sciences for many years. She joined the Atomic Energy Commission as a physicist in the Tokamak Systems Branch in 1974. In 1975, her leadership and vision were recognized when she became the Chief of the Tokamak Systems Branch.

Dr. Davies continued to lead the program, eventually becoming the Director of the Torroidal Confinement Systems Division within FES in 1980, and later the Deputy Director of the Fusion program. She became the Associate Director of FES in 1989 where she led the U.S. and the program through the ITER Engineering Design Activity, the subsequent U.S. withdrawal from ITER and the U.S. return to ITER in 2003.

If there is any person who has kept us whole throughout the many difficult years we faced in fusion - and the good years - it's Anne Davies. I have learned an enormous amount from her, and I have admired her leadership within the fusion community and the scientific community for more than 20 years. She is the person who laid the groundwork for the future of fusion energy sciences here in the United States.

Dr. Davies has received the DOE Meritorious Service Award (1984), Meritorious Presidential Rank Award (1991), DOE Secretary's Gold Award (1997) and the Meritorious Presidential Executive Rank Award (1999).

Dr. Michael Roberts has been in the fusion community for over 40 years. He began in the Thermonuclear (fusion) Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in 1966. His work at ORNL culminated in leading the ORNL-PPPL effort resulting in the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) at PPPL. With the success of the TFTR, he was asked to join the Office of Fusion Energy in 1978 where he led the Magnetic Fusion Energy Division and international collaborations. Dr. Roberts has worked tirelessly to develop productive relationships with fusion programs around the world.

Without Dr. Roberts, President Reagan and President Gorbachev would not have discussed the ITER burning plasma experiment during their 1985 Geneva Summit. His vision and constant willingness to press ahead has culminated in the agreement to build ITER with seven international partners. He has managed the U.S. ITER negotiating efforts and has served as the U.S. contact person within the negotiating framework since its inception.

In 1994, Dr. Roberts was awarded a Meritorious Executive medal. The Fusion Power Associates awarded Mike their Special Achievement award for his many contributions to fusion. With the success of the ITER negotiations, his hard work and dedication will be borne out in a first of its kind agreement in large scale scientific projects amongst nations representing half the world's population.

I thank Anne Davies and Michael Roberts for their dedication and service to their country. We shall miss their leadership and talents in the Office of Science. So will the U.S. fusion community, in which they have played such outstanding roles.

Please join me in wishing both Anne Davies and Michael Roberts the very best in retirement.

Signature of Dr. Raymond L. Orbach 
Raymond L. Orbach
Director, Office of Science
U.S. Department of Energy