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NIST Physicist Honored in 2008 Presidential Rank Awards

For Immediate Release: October 28, 2008


Contact: Michael Baum

William R. Ott, deputy director of the NIST Physics Laboratory, has been named as a recipient of the 2008 Presidential Rank Award. The awards recognize exceptional long-term accomplishments in public service by career senior government executives. Ott is a recipient of an award in the category for 2008 Meritorious Senior Professionals & Executives.

The award acknowledges Ott for his leadership at NIST in establishing interdisciplinary technical programs and providing a stimulating intellectual climate for scientific research. It recognizes Ott for helping to instill a culture of excellence and creativity epitomized by the unprecedented award of three Nobel Prizes to Physics Laboratory scientists for work supporting the NIST mission.

Ott has worked at NIST and its predecessor, the National Bureau of Standards, since 1968. About 25 years ago Ott was the first to establish a research group with world-class measurement capability in nanoscale science that, in 2006, became the core of NIST’s new Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.Most recently he established a new program in biophysics, medical physics, and molecular imaging that responds to the measurement needs of the health care community

Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of the Department of Commerce (DOC), will recognize Ott and other DOC awardees at a photo ceremony on Nov. 6, 2008. Award winners are nominated by agency heads, evaluated by boards of private citizens, and approved by the President. For the list of all other winners, please see “Presidential Rank Awards” at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Web site.