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Jonathan Lang Named 2008 PSC Supervisor of the Year

MARCH 11, 2009

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Jonathan Lang (second from right) receiving his Supervisor of the Year Award from (left to right) Murray Gibson, George Srajer (XSD Associate Division Director) and Mark Beno (Acting XSD Division Director).

Jonathan Lang, Magnetic Materials Group Leader in the Argonne X-ray Science Division, has been named the Photon Sciences (PSC) Supervisor of the Year for 2008. Lang was presented with his award by PSC Associate Laboratory Director Murray Gibson during the APS/Users Operations Monthly Meeting on February 18, 2009. In nominating Lang for the award, members of his group characterized him as “a down-to-earth person [who] you can talk to any time.”

“Jonathan … has such a passion for science,” the nomination went on. “You can see it in his everyday work ethic. He is always busy, but never turns you away any time that you need to talk. He is understanding when questions or problems arise and he makes sure to find an answer or directs you where to find the answer. He truly makes us enjoy coming to work.”

Lang came to the APS in 1993 as a postdoc working in the X-ray Optics Group in the then X-ray Facilities Division, where he was responsible for the development of phase-retarding optics for manipulating x-ray beam polarization. In 1996 he became an APS staff scientist initially working on X-ray Operations and Research (XOR) beamline 1-BM, and then moving on in 1999 to work on design and construction of XOR beamline 4-ID-D. He was promoted to group leader of the Magnetic Materials Group, which is responsible for operation of XOR beamlines 4-ID and 6-ID, in 2006.

While at the APS, Lang has applied phase-retarding optics to perform a variety of magnetic scattering and spectroscopy experiments. He has co-authored 75 publications, mostly concerning magnetic properties of rare-earth-containing materials. He has also been heavily involved with the National School on Neutron and X-Ray Scattering, which is held at Argonne each year (and, beginning in 2008, also at Oak Ridge National Laboratory), first serving as experiments coordinator and currently as one of the scientific directors of the school.

In presenting the award to Lang, Gibson noted that, “First-line supervisors are the most important managers at Argonne, and it is a pleasure to recognize Jonathan as an exemplar. Part of the reason his group is so productive is that he fosters a healthy working environment based on respect and empowerment.”

The Supervisor of the Year award is given to the PSC supervisor who is considered by the people who work for her or him to be an outstanding manager. The nomination form requires a short description and the signature of three employees who work for the supervisor. The selection panel for the award comprises the members of the PSC Employee Advisory Committee, the group that first suggested the award and that makes final award recommendations to Gibson.