Title: Principal Staff Scientist
Company: Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Location: Newport News, Virginia, United States
Volker D. Burkert, Ph.D., principal staff scientist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in physics.
Dr. Burkert has dedicated his career to conducting experimental scientific research with a focus on nuclear and particle physics. Born and raised in Germany, he obtained a master’s degree in physics in 1969 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1975 at the University of Bonn, and continued to pursue additional postgraduate study until 1981. He began his professional career as a scientific associate with CERN in Switzerland between 1980 and 1982 and an assistant professor at the University of Bonn from 1981 to 1985. In 1985, Dr. Burkert immigrated to the United States and accepted a position as a principal staff scientist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, an internationally recognized research laboratory for nuclear physics funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. For nearly 35 years, he has been responsible for leading the facility’s team of 35 physicists, engineers, and technicians in the implementation and operation of projects, including preparing a planned detector system for high-intensity electron beam operation, guiding international collaboration, and establishing and hosting scientific workshops.
Dr. Burkert is most proud to have contributed to a new direction in nuclear physics expanding on proton particle pressure distribution research. He has received more than $90 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for a scientific instrumentation project which deals with the research of on the fundamental properties of protons, neutrons, and nuclei. The result of this work provides insights into the strong interaction mechanisms internal to subatomic particles and the cause of the extremely high pressure observed in protons for the first time. Dr. Burkert is extensively published and has been credited in over 350 scientific papers.
To remain abreast with advancements in the field, Dr. Burkert has maintained professional affiliations with organizations such as the American Physical Society and has contributed to the scientific breakthroughs and discoveries of the CLAS collaboration, the PRAD collaboration, the HPS collaboration, and the PRIMEX collaboration. For his contributions in the field, he is honored to be regarded as an Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2004. Additionally, he was presented with the Commonwealth of Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award. Though he is now enjoying his retirement, his goal for the future is to serve as a mentor to a younger generation of scientists inspired by his work. Additionally, he is currently lending his expertise to the US Electron-Ion-Collider, a $2 Billion project that is designed to delve deeper than ever into the fundamental structure of matter.
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