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There have been several management changes at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) during the past 2 weeks.
LLNL Director Bruce Tartar named George Miller Acting Associate Director for Lasers, following the resignation of E. Michael Campbell on August 27.
Miller is currently Associate Director for National Security. Campbell resigned after the Department of Energy temporarily "lifted" his security clearance "pending the outcome of an investigation." Without a clearance it would be difficult, if not impossible, for Campbell to continue in high-level post in the weapons program. The investigation was prompted by anonymous faxes to the Laboratory the previous week, asserting that Campbell did not hold a Ph.D degree from Princeton University, as claimed on his Lab resume.
The Laboratory quickly confirmed, and Campbell acknowledged, that he never completed his Ph.D. dissertation, though he had completed all course work and passed his Ph.D. qualifying exams at Princeton, before being hired by LLNL 22 years ago. Director Tartar said that Campbell would continue in the employ of the Laboratory and stated, "Mike Campbell has made extraordinary technical contributions and provided exceptional leadership for laser programs, most notably the National Ignition Facility. We look forward to his future contributions." Campbell took personal leave for the month of September. Lab sources expressed confidence that his security clearance would be reinstated and that he would return to the Laboratory in October.
Campbell's predicament shocked and saddened his colleagues in the fusion program throughout the world. At a meeting of the DOE Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, September 9, DOE Director of the Office of Science, Martha Krebs, praised Campbell for his efforts to bridge the gap between scientists working in the magnetic and inertial confinement fusion communities and said that there had been a "tremendous outpouring of support" for Campbell. A news report in the August 28 San Jose Mercury News quotes a high level DOE official as saying, "It would be a waste of time and talent to continue to pursue a dissertation in some cases. Michael never got this done, and after a while I think he stopped resisting being called 'Doctor.'" The same article quotes Campbell as saying, "I have a young family, and I need to spend some time with them. My wife has said the lab has sucked the life out of me." Referring to those who sent the anonymous faxes in, Campbell is quoted as saying, "I don't know what they did it for. All my life I've tried not to hurt anybody." Sources at Princeton University indicated that the University has offered to allow Campbell to return to finish his dissertation, even though 22 years have passed.
In other actions, LLNL named Ed Moses, former head of the Atomic Vapor Laser Isotope Separation (AVLIS) program at LLNL, to head up the National Ignition Facility (NIF) project (FPN99-41), including all associated R&D.
Moses also will become the NIF project manager, replacing Jeff Paisner. Joe Kilkenny, who previously headed all inertial confinement fusion at LLNL under Campbell, including NIF-related R&D, will now head up only the non-NIF inertial confinement fusion work.
LLNL had recently (FPN99-33) placed the magnetic fusion energy work under Campbell and was recruiting for a deputy to Campbell to head up all the civilian fusion energy programs, both magnetic and inertial. In the wake of the recent changes, the recruitment process is expected to be delayed.