Alumnus Dr. Lee Schroeder Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

April 4, 2012 — Dr. Brian Schmidt and Dr. Lee SchroederCollege of Arts and Sciences alumni, friends and faculty gathered after the Kaczmarczik Lecture on March 1, 2012 for a special addition to the series. At an intimate dinner in the Paul Peck Alumni Center, CoAS honored accomplished alumnus Dr. Lee S. Schroeder, B.S. Physics ’61, as well as Dr. Brian P. Schmidt, 2011 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics and the 17th Annual Kaczmarczik lecturer.

Schmidt was recognized in appreciation and respect for his ongoing research efforts and continuous contributions to the sciences.

“Brian is a wonderful educator and scientist,” remarked Drexel University Provost Dr. Mark Greenberg, who praised Schmidt’s gift for making physics both approachable and exciting. “Here stands somebody at the pinnacle of research who gave a lecture that I was sorry to hear end.”

Click here for more information on Schmidt and the 17th Annual Kaczmarczik Lecture »

Dr. Lee Schroeder, who retired in 2006 from his role as senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), was awarded the 2012 Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award in the Sciences. Schroeder was honored for his important and widespread contributions to the fields of nuclear and particle physics, and for his efforts to found the new research area of relativistic nuclear collisions.

“I feel very humbled to receive this award from my undergraduate alma mater,” Schroeder remarked. “While I have had two previous awards from Drexel, this one holds a special place since it acknowledges achievements over the entire span of my professional career.”

Schroeder’s more than 45-year career has included work in research, teaching, and science policy at various government levels. After receiving his Ph.D. in experimental high-energy physics from Indiana University in 1966, he became an assistant professor at Iowa State University, where he remained for five years before joining the staff of LBNL.

While at LBNL, Schroeder served as the scientific director of the Bevalac Facility, as well as the nuclear science division director. In his three-and-a-half decades with the lab, he conducted experiments in particle and nuclear physics, authored or co-authored over 120 publications and presented more than 70 invited talks related to his experiments.

An undoubtedly sought after speaker, Schroeder is considered one of the founders of the modern research area of relativistic nuclear collisions. He is also a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the British Institute of Physics, and served as editor-in-chief for the Institute of Physics’ Journal of Physics G: Nuclear Physics, among many other prestigious positions and committees memberships.

In time away from Berkeley, Schroeder was the heavy ion program manager and the nuclear physics advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Nuclear Physics, and served as the assistant director for Physical Sciences and Engineering at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“In addition to helping develop science policy, I found this second phase of my career to be richly rewarding,” he said. “It allowed me to nurture and help lay the groundwork for others to do science.”

Since his retirement from LBNL in 2006, Schroeder has continued to work with the DOE as a consultant to their Office of Nuclear Energy in the area of Fuel Cycle R&D.

Schroeder’s impressive body of work earned him a spot as one of the original Drexel 100s in 1992, as well as the award for Science and Engineering from Drexel in 1993.

When asked to provide advice for scientific hopefuls, Schroeder offered this:

“Do not be afraid to take risks in your science. If a student has a strong feeling that a particular scientific direction is right for them—then take it. One may not succeed, but failures are one of the ways that science finds its way forward…People who are willing to follow their gut—that is, their science—are often the leaders in the future of that science.”

Photos of the CoAS Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner

All photos taken by Sean Corbett, copywriter and photographer for Drexel's Office of Institutional Advancement.

Click on the thumbnails to see larger images