Harriet Kung

U.S. Department of Energy

Dr. Harriet Kung has served as the Associate Director of Science for Basic Energy Sciences (BES) since June 9, 2008. With an annual budget of more than $1.5 billion in 2011, BES is the nation's leading supporter of fundamental research in materials sciences, chemistry, geosciences, and aspects of physical biosciences. BES is also a major supporter of scientific user facilities, including the nation's premier x-ray synchrotron light sources, neutron scattering facilities, electron-beam microcharacterization centers, and nanoscale science research centers. These facilities serve over 13,000 users annually, and they provide the tools for the preparation and examination of materials and the study of their physical and chemical properties and transformations.

During her tenure in BES, Dr. Kung led a number of Basic Research Needs workshops to define scientific research directions for science-to-technology pathways and was instrumental in the success of interagency collaborations, DOE research integration efforts, and international coordination activities. Under her leadership, BES has pursued new funding modalities in advancing the science for the energy research agenda, including the establishment of 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers and the Fuels from Sunlight Energy Innovation Hub. In 2010, BES also successfully completed the world’s first x-ray free electron laser user facility—the Linac Coherent Light Source.

Dr. Kung served as the Director of the Materials Sciences and Engineering (MSE) Division in BES from June 2004 to June 2008. Before joining DOE in 2002 as a program manager in MSE, Dr. Kung was a technical staff member and a project leader in the Materials Science and Technology Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Her research group focused on structure-property relationship in nanoscale materials. She also conducted research in high temperature superconductivity in the Superconductivity Technology Center at LANL. She has published approximately 100 refereed papers and has given over 50 invited technical presentations.

Dr. Kung received her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering with a minor in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the DOE Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship award, several performance and leadership service awards at Los Alamos, and the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award in 2010.