Three researchers standing in hallway.

Research Scientist Maria Gatu Johnson, Senior Research Scientist Richard Petrasso, Senior Research Scientist and Division Head Johan Frenje are part of a large team sharing the Secretary of Energy's Achievement Award.

Photo: Paul Rivenberg

Department of Energy presents Secretary’s Achievement Award to three from PSFC

Johan Frenje, Maria Gatu-Johnson and Richard Petrasso are honored as part of history-making fusion team.


In a live virtual ceremony held on January 24, the Department of Energy (DOE) honored three from MIT for their part in supporting history-making fusion experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF). As part of the “Capsule Gain on the NIF Team,” Johan Frenje, head of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) High-Energy-Density Physics (HEDP) Division, former Division Head Richard Petrasso and Research Scientist Maria Gatu-Johnson share, with other team members, the Secretary of Energy’s Achievement Award for achieving ignition and energy gain larger than 1.0.

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, joined Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and the administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration Jill Hruby to present the series of Honor Awards.

The honor, established in 2007, is the highest non-monetary form of recognition at DOE, acknowledging group project members whose creativity, drive, and commitment have supported the Department’s mission.

“It is really wonderful to see that this achievement at the NIF was recognized at the highest level at the U.S. Department of Energy,” says Frenje.

For more details about this achievement, see:


Topics: Technology & engineering, Accelerators & detectors, High-energy-density physics