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FYI Number 151: December 20, 2001

Bement Heads NIST; Orbach to be DOE Office of Science Nominee

BEMENT CONFIRMED AS DIRECTOR OF NIST: On November 30, the Senate confirmed Arden Bement, Jr. as Director of the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology. Bement comes to NIST from Purdue University, where he was David A. Ross Distinguished Professor of Nuclear Engineering and headed the School of Nuclear Engineering.

Bement is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and has been a member of the National Science Board. His background includes positions as vice president of science and technology for TRW Inc., deputy under secretary of defense for research and engineering, director of DARPA's Office of Materials Science, and professor of nuclear materials at MIT. He has been director of the Midwest Superconductivity Consortium and the Consortium for the Intelligent Management of the Electrical Power Grid.

Bement has served as head of NIST's private-sector policy committee, the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology. He also headed the advisory committee for NIST's controversial Advanced Technology Program, and was on the Board of Overseers for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

In a NIST press release, Commerce Secretary Don Evans said, "The addition of Arden Bement completes a stellar 'tech team' for the Bush Administration. He brings a wealth of experience in both the private and public sector vital to this position. With Dr. Bement leading our nation's premier federal lab, we look forward to making the Technology Administration the portal for the technology community to the federal government."

ORBACH TO BE NOMINATED TO HEAD DOE OFFICE OF SCIENCE: President Bush on December 11 announced his intention to nominate Raymond Orbach to be Director of the Department of Energy's Office of Science. Orbach is currently Chancellor of the University of California Riverside, where he is also a professor of physics. Prior to his appointment as Chancellor in 1992, he served for 10 years as Provost of UCLA's College of Letters and Science. Orbach has held visiting professorships at institutions in several countries, including the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, the Ecole Superieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle de la Ville De Paris, and Tel Aviv University, and has served on numerous professional, scientific, and civic boards.

According to a press release put out by UC Riverside, the student body at the Riverside campus almost doubled to more than 14,400 students during Orbach's tenure. A million square feet of new teaching, research and office space has been added, the faculty has been enlarged, and construction of additional laboratory and housing space is underway.

According to the press release, Orbach said of his impending nomination, "This is an extraordinary opportunity to help my country achieve at the highest scientific levels. I am gratified by President Bush's trust and I am committed with all of my heart to his aggressive program furthering the nation's scientific endeavors." DOE's Office of Science is responsible for the department's civilian research in high energy and nuclear physics, fusion energy sciences, basic energy sciences, biological and environmental research and computational science, and ten DOE civilian laboratories.

Audrey T. Leath
Media and Government Relations Division
American Institute of Physics
(301) 209-3094

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