Sandia LabNews

The Truman Fellowship

The Truman fellowships are three-year appointments. Candidates are expected to have solved a major scientific or engineering problem in their thesis work or have provided a new approach or insight to a major problem, as evidenced by a recognized impact in their field. The program fosters creativity and stimulates exploration of forefront science and technology and high-risk, potentially high-value R&D. A panel of eight senior scientists and engineers reviews and ranks each application. This year’s members were Anita Renlund, chair (2550), Ron Loehman (1815), Patrick V. Brady (6310), David Chandler (8350), Lyndon Pierson (5629), Mel Baer (1500), Bob Benner (1422), and Al Watts (5400).

Sandia’s University Research Office (1012) and Human Resources/University Partnerships (3555) teamed more than five years ago to create the Truman Fellowship Program and develop the processes necessary to implement the prestigious position.

Chief Technology Officer Rick Stulen says the Truman Fellowship Program offers Sandia unique opportunities to take giant steps in critical research areas.

“The Truman Fellows bring high-risk, novel ideas to the laboratory that we might not have identified from our current R&D or mission technology base,” says Rick. “This in turn stimulates exploration that can help us connect the science and technology dots and innovate in the future.

“For example, we have a current Truman Fellow developing chameleon-like reconfigurable metal/dielectric surfaces that could enable future synthetic-aperture radar advances, another who is bridging our systems engineering and renewable energy expertise to elucidate the complicated trade-offs among alternative energy solutions for the nation, and a third who has developed a novel electron microscopy tomography technique that is being used to unlock the secrets of 3-D nanoparticles in order to exploit their properties. All of the Truman Fellows are opening R&D doors that might not otherwise have occurred to us.

“Not only is the Truman Fellowship Program living up to all the expectations we had when we launched it in 2004, it is far exceeding them.”

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Previous Truman fellowship recipients: Youssef Marzouk, Gregory Nielson, Ilke Arslan, David Scrymgeour, Jacques Loui, Whitney Colella, Anatole von Lilienfeld, and Darin Desilets.