The awards are a prestigious funding opportunity for researchers early in their careers.
Johannes Doerfert, Hanqi Guo, Andrew Hearin and Pietro Papa Lopes are among 83 scientists nationwide to receive U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Research Awards for the 2022 funding year. These early career scientists from DOE's Argonne National Laboratory will receive up to $500,000 per year for five years to advance their research.
“Supporting talented researchers early in their career is key to fostering scientific creativity and ingenuity within the national research community. ... Dedicating resources to these focused projects led by well-deserved investigators helps maintain and grow America’s scientific skill set for generations to come.” — DOE Office of Science Director Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
This DOE Office of Science program, now in its thirteenth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during their crucial early career years, when many scientists do their formative work. Awardees were selected from a large pool of university- and national laboratory-based applicants, based on peer review by scientific experts.
“Supporting talented researchers early in their career is key to fostering scientific creativity and ingenuity within the national research community,” said DOE Office of Science Director Asmeret Asefaw Berhe. “Dedicating resources to these focused projects led by well-deserved investigators helps maintain and grow America’s scientific skill set for generations to come.”
Johannes Doerfert is an assistant computer scientist in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science division. His research will advance scientific software development beyond the classical approach by providing an adaptive, interactive and smart development environment tailored to non-expert users.
“This project will free application developers from the need of porting their codes to different parallel programming models,” Doefert said. “Even more, the compiler-aided tooling we are going to develop will automate various common software development and tuning tasks in order to re-focus application teams on their science, not the software engineering.”
Doerfert’s work was selected for funding by the DOE’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research.
Hanqi Guo is a computer scientist in Argonne’s Mathematics and Computer Science division. Scientific simulations, models and analyses — for advances in computational science and machine learning for example — usually depend on parameters whose exact values require tuning. A key challenge in his research is understanding how the outcome of a model changes with varying parameters and the sensitivity of each parameter.
According to Guo, “tuning parameters is not easy. The proposed research will establish a new paradigm for visualizing, understanding and tuning parameters by tracking features in multidimensional parameter spaces of scientific simulations, AI models and analysis methods.”
Guo’s work was selected for funding by the DOE’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research.
Andrew Hearin is an assistant physicist in Argonne’s High Energy Physics division. His research will focus on a critical tool in the quest to understand the physics of the "dark energy" driving the accelerating expansion of the universe. This phenomenon defies expectations based on ordinary gravitating matter and indicates that contemporary theories of cosmology are either incomplete or fundamentally incorrect.
“We will develop a new generation of cosmological models that have the capability to make predictions for multiple galaxy surveys at once,” Hearin said. “Our program will unlock the predictive power of the world’s largest simulations through targeted application of AI and will help propel the field of cosmology into the era of exascale computing.”
Hearin’s research was selected for funding by the DOE’s Office of High Energy Physics.
Pietro Papa Lopes is a materials electrochemist in Argonne’s Materials Science division. The goal of his research is to explore, understand and control the phenomena that occur on the surface of materials with potential applications in electrochemical energy technologies. Such applications include batteries, fuel cells and more.
This research will expand scientists' ability to control surface dynamics on many materials used in those applications, impacting how we understand materials stability.
“I am truly honored to have been selected to receive the DOE Early Career Research Program Award,” Papa Lopes said. “This project will allow us to understand an important phenomenon at the intersection between electrochemistry and materials science, helping us to better predict and control materials stability. Ultimately, this knowledge will open opportunities to design synthesis methods for regenerating the functionality of materials for clean energy.”
Papa Lopes’ work was selected for funding by the DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences.
“These four scientists represent the diverse nature of Argonne’s multidisciplinary research and exemplify our world-class community of talent and leadership in science and technology,” said Laboratory Director Paul K. Kearns. “It is an honor for the Laboratory to have the U.S. Department of Energy recognize the value of their research and its impact.”