A Message from Office of Science Deputy Director for Science Programs Dr. Patricia Dehmer about the Appointment of Dr. Harriet Kung as Associate Director of the Office of Science for Basic Energy Sciences

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

June 10, 2008

Dear Colleagues,

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. Harriet Kung as the Associate Director of the Office of Science for the Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The appointment was effective June 9, 2008.

Dr. Kung served as the Director of the BES Materials Sciences and Engineering Division since June 2004, where she oversaw a portfolio of condensed matter and materials physics programs with an annual budget of more than $250 million. She has played a leadership role in recent BES strategic planning activities, beginning with the 2002 workshop Basic Research Needs to Assure a Secure Energy Future. She subsequently defined and led a number of follow-on workshops that determined scientific directions that will help drive transformational advances to meet our need for abundant, clean, and economical energy. Dr. Kung also led a number of research integration activities with the DOE applied research programs to define science-to-technology pathways, and she represented the Department in corresponding interagency and international coordination activities.

Dr. Kung previously was a research fellow at the University of Michigan, where she began her research career in nanoscience at a time when nano was still a nascent field. Before joining DOE in 2002 as a Program Manager, Dr. Kung spent 10 years in the Center for Materials Science and the Materials Science and Technology Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) managing and conducting research in nanostructured materials. Her main research interests were the development of novel materials through understanding their mechanical and physical behavior. Dr. Kung also conducted research in high temperature superconductivity in the Superconductivity Technology Center at LANL. Dr. Kung’s research in condensed matter and materials physics resulted in more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Her studies of the effects of defects on material properties provided fundamental understanding of the atomic basis limiting the mechanical and physical behavior of nanostructured materials.

Dr. Kung received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the DOE Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship award and several performance and leadership service awards at LANL.

With an annual budget of more than $1.2 billion, BES is the nation’s leading supporter of fundamental research in materials sciences, chemistry, geosciences, and aspects of physical biosciences. BES is also a major supporter of scientific user facilities, including the nation’s premier x-ray synchrotron light sources, neutron scattering facilities, electron-beam microcharacerization centers, and nanoscale science research centers. These facilities serve over 10,000 users annually, and they provide the tools for the preparation and examination of materials and the study of their physical and chemical properties and transformations. As head of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Dr. Kung will serve as one of the Associate Directors of the Office of Science. She will be responsible for strategic program planning, budget formulation and execution, program integration with other Office of Science activities and with the DOE technology offices, and interagency integration. The position is within the ranks of the U.S. government’s Senior Executive Service (SES).

Dr. Kung will be located in Room F-405 of DOE’s Germantown facility. She can be reached at 301-903-3081 or by e-mail at harriet.kung@science.doe.gov. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Kung as the new Associate Director of the Office of Science for the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.


Pat Dehmer
Deputy Director for Science Programs
Office of Science
U.S. Department of Energy