The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory recently named its 2017 Science and Technology Award winners, with Indian Americans Milind Diwan and Upendra Rohatgi among the individuals recognized.

Diwan and Rohatgi were among a total of five recognized Aug. 7 for their distinguished contributions to the lab's science and technology objectives, BNL said in a news release.

Also honored were Yong Chu, Wolfram Fischer and Leonard Mausner.

Diwan, of the lab's physics department, has made important experimental contributions to understand the properties of neutrinos, BNL explained.

Additionally, he provided leadership for a strong neutrino program in the United States and a central role for Brookhaven in the coming generation of neutrino experiments, it added.

Diwan has also proved to be instrumental in bringing BNL into the Daya Bay experiment, having recognized the experiment's importance and how to leverage Brookhaven's expertise with liquid scintillator development, the lab said.

“The successful observation of non-zero θ13 was critical for establishing the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility and Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment to measure charge-parity violation in neutrinos, to perhaps explain why we exist, as the universe does not contain equal amounts of matter and antimatter that would have annihilated before stars and planets formed,” BNL wrote.

His extensive knowledge of the science and technology, and his indefatigable determination have been critical for LBNF/DUNE, the lab noted.

“He developed the scientific case, attracted partners from around the world, and helped advance the program through multiple advisory panels as it became the centerpiece of the onshore U.S. High Energy Physics program,” it said.

Rohatgi, who is part of BNL's Nonproliferation & National Security Department, has earned a domestic and international reputation as an expert in the field of thermal hydraulics for nuclear reactors and nonproliferation, the lab noted.

His work has focused on preventing nuclear reactor accidents and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Rohatgi began his career improving the safety of nuclear reactors and he is currently supporting the U.S. Department of Energy and the Nuclear Energy Agency in preparing guidelines for the process to validate international computer codes for analysis of nuclear systems, according to the news release. For more than 15 years, Rohatgi served as the U.S. representative on the science advisory committee for the International Science and Technology Center.

As the Brookhaven project manager for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Initiatives for Proliferation Prevention, Rohatgi created collaborations between scientists from Brookhaven and the former Soviet Union to pursue advanced research and development in radiation detectors, image recognition, and remote chemical sensing, BNL said.

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