A prominent researcher and professor from Texas A&M has been named Deputy Director for Science & Technology at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. Robert Tribble, a world renowned physicist who as a researcher and thought leader in nuclear science in the U.S. has contributed to its progress and advancements, is currently a Distinguished Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Texas A&M University and Director of the Cyclotron Institute and the Nuclear Solutions Institute there. Now, Tribble will work closely with the Laboratory Director, Associate and Assistant Lab Directors, and the Science & Technology Steering Committee of the Brookhaven Science Associates (BSA) Board to help steer the research institution’s future goals and focuses.
Dr. Tribble’s work is a testament to the DoE’s decision to appoint him to Brookhaven lab: he is well-known for his groundbreaking research into fundamental symmetries, the Standard Model, nuclear structure and reactions, nuclear astrophysics and proton spin — a broad spectrum of focuses in the Physics field — and is also recognized as a critical contributor to the development of new tools and techniques that have advanced his field. In addition to his academic and research prowess, Dr. Tribble has also held leadership positions germance to his new appointment, such as his service as a member or chair of numerous long-range planning committees for the American Physical Society (APS) and the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), an advisory committee for the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation.
Laboratory Director Doon Gibbs commented that, “We’re very excited to have Bob Tribble join Brookhaven Lab in a key leadership role,” adding that, “His unique experience and insight into science in this country and around the world will be a great asset as we chart our plans for future research programs.”
Despite its seemingly unassuming name, Brookhaven Lab is a major research facility, employing about 3,000 scientists, engineers, technicians and support staff, and hosting 5,000 visiting scientists each year, with a substantial annual budget of around $700 million.
“The college would like to congratulate Dr. Tribble for being offered this distinguished position while still maintaining a strong connection with our Nuclear Science group here at Texas A&M University,” said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the Texas A&M College of Science. “If anyone deserves such a position, it is him, and we look forward to seeing the impact he is able to make on this national lab.”
“Brookhaven Lab is a fantastic resource for New York State, the region, and the nation,” Tribble said. “With two major accelerator facilities — the powerful new National Synchrotron Light Source II and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) — it carries on the tradition of investigating fundamentals of science that have been the hallmark of the Lab since its beginnings. I’m deeply honored to join the team that will move the Lab forward in taking on new challenges, from expanding RHIC to the electron-ion collider eRHIC, to synthesizing new nanomaterials for materials and biosciences, to improving energy efficiency and developing new sustainable energy sources for the nation.”
Tribble earned his B.S. with honors in physics from the University of Missouri, Columbia (1969) and his Ph.D. from Princeton University (1973). He joined the Texas A&M University faculty in 1975, served as Head of the Department of Physics from 1979-87, and has served as Director of the Cyclotron Institute since 2003. His numerous honors and awards include being named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (1976-80), a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1982), an honorary doctorate from Saint Petersburg State University, Russia (2009), and various awards recognizing his excellence in teaching and research.
Tribble has served as a member or chair of numerous committees for the APS and NSAC. He led the development of the most recent NSAC Long Range Plan for Nuclear Science, served on a recent Global Science Forum panel that evaluated the state of nuclear physics facilities around the world, was a member and is now chair of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Working Group 9, and was a member of the National Research Council decadal survey for nuclear physics, NP2010. Most recently, he chaired an NSAC subcommittee charged with making recommendations for achieving the vision of the Long Range Plan under constrained budget scenarios. In that capacity he played a key role in communicating the importance of the U.S. Nuclear Science program — including research that takes place at Brookhaven Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider — and building support for an achievable path to maintain U.S. leadership in this field.
About Brookhaven National Laboratory: One of 10 national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by the Research Foundation for the State University of New York on behalf of Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit applied science and technology organization.