AFRL NM research physicist receives award

Research physicist John Burke of the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland was selected as an Science and Engineering Early Career Award recipient.

Research physicist John Burke of the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland was selected as an Science and Engineering Early Career Award recipient.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Research physicist John Burke of the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland was selected as an Science and Engineering Early Career Award recipient.

Maj. Gen. William Cooley, AFRL commander, recently announced the 2017 AFRL Fellows and the newest class of S&E Early Career Award recipients. He welcomed six researchers as AFRL Fellows and five researchers for the S&E Early Career Award, including Burke. 

Burke who hails from a small town near Lexington, Kentucky has worked at AFRL for seven years. He holds a bachelor of science degree in physics from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, and received his Ph.D. in atomic physics from the University of Virginia.

“This recognition means a lot to me,” said Burke. “One because it is important to me that the work I’m doing is beneficial to our society and not just personally interesting, so this award really is recognizing that larger impact. Two, the small research budget will allow my team and me to do some exploratory research to find some new applications and opportunities for the quantum technology we’ve been developing.”
 
The Science and Engineering Early Career Award, first given in 2012, recognizes the Laboratory’s most promising young scientists and engineers for exceptional leadership potential and significant research or engineering achievements during the on-set of their career. Normally, no more than four or five awards are given each year. The ECA honorees receive a three-year research grant of $100,000 per year.

Initiated in 1987, the AFRL Fellows program recognizes AFRL’s most outstanding scientists and engineers for exceptional career accomplishments in either research, technology development and transition, or program and organizational leadership. Individuals selected for this honor represent the top 0.2 percent of AFRL's professional technical staff. The new Fellows receive a two-year research grant of $150,000 per year and prominent display of their names in the AFRL headquarters building. As of this year, 191 AFRL researchers have been named AFRL Fellows.

The 2017 AFRL Fellows and Science and Engineering Early Career awardees were recognized at a banquet in their honor held in October at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. To learn more about the AFRL in New Mexico visit www.facebook.com/afrlnm