Feature Story | 11-Mar-2022

Argonne Director Kearns receives two Purdue Distinguished Alumnus Awards

DOE/Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne Director recognized by alma mater

Purdue University honored U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory Director Paul Kearns with the John E. Christian Distinguished Alumnus Award. Established in 1998, the award recognizes alumni in pharmacy, bionucleonics and health sciences who have had an exemplary career in their chosen field. Kearns also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS). This award honors alumni who have significantly advanced their careers and have demonstrated noteworthy professional accomplishments that reflect favorably on their profession, Purdue and society.

Kearns earned three degrees from Purdue: his bachelor’s degree in natural resources & environmental science in 1976, master’s degree in bionucleonics in 1977, and doctorate in bionucleonics in 1980.

Kearns’ long and distinguished career in laboratory management began with a position as a health protection specialist at Argonne. He then worked throughout the DOE’s national laboratory complex, including at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory.

“Since I was a student at Purdue, I have believed in having a foundation in a calling, which for me is science,” Kearns said. ​“I have also been fortunate to have a supportive network and a constant drive for ongoing education and advancement.”

Kearns received the John E. Christian Distinguished alumnus award on Dec. 8, 2021 and will receive the HHS award on Mar. 25, 2022.

Before the December awards dinner, Kearns met with graduate students and faculty of the School of Health Sciences and the School of Materials Engineering. During their meetings, he promoted research collaborations and career opportunities in the sciences. He also had the opportunity to reunite with his mentor, Dr. Paul Ziemer, professor emeritus of health physics.

Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.

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