Los Alamos National Laboratory selects NMSU physics professor for award

New Mexico State University Assistant Professor Edwin Fohtung was named the 2015 Rosen Scholar, a high-profile fellowship, which comes with $150,000 in funding.

Head shot of man with glasses
NMSU physics professor Edwin Fohtung was chosen to receive the 2015 Rosen Scholar fellowship. (Courtesy Photo)

The fellowship was created to honor Louis Rosen, whose career at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) spanned more than 60 years and included the conception of the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility (LAMPF), a unique nuclear science research tool through the 1990s. The facility is now the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), LANL’s flagship science facility, which plays an important role in national security, academic and industrial research.

An assistant professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, Fohtung is also the current LANSCE professor at NMSU. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg in Germany.

The Rosen Scholar fellowship attracts visiting scholars to LANSCE in the fields of Nuclear Science, Materials Science, Defense Science or Accelerator Technology. It is awarded to individuals whose career accomplishments in fields of research covered by LANSCE facilities are recognized as outstanding by the scientific community and exemplify Rosen’s innovative and visionary qualities. He worked at LANL from 1943 during the Manhattan Project until his death in 2009. The Rosen Scholar brings scientific expertise not only to LANSCE but also to the broader LANL scientific community.

“Edwin’s dedication to science and learning embodies the qualities of hard work, vision, and affection for the broad range of science and innovation performed at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center and beyond. His accomplishments in and service to the scientific community exemplify the spirit in which the Rosen Scholar is intended,” said Kurt Schoenberg, LANSCE User Facility Director.

A materials physicist, Fohtung is involved in multiple efforts at NMSU and LANL, including consulting on the Mater-Radiation Interactions in Extremes (MaRIE) project .

Fohtung, explained “MaRIE is a hard X-ray Free Electron Laser that will be used to discover and design the advanced materials needed to meet 21st century national security and energy challenges.

“We study nanoscale dynamics and structure of materials – sharing our interest between “soft matter” such as biomaterials and electronic/magnetic materials,” said Fohtung. “In particular, we are interested in the development of novel “lens-less” microscopy techniques for non-destructive imaging.”

Fohtung’s research is supported by the U.S. Department of Defense, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, LANSCE and the Rosen professorship, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Lab Directed Research and Development and the U.S. Department of Energy – Los Alamos National Security.

“From his scientific vision to his mentoring, Louis Rosen exemplified the best qualities of leadership,” said Fohtung. “It is an honor to be named the Rosen Scholar.”

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