Ralph B. James Ph.D.
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Senior Scientist and Group Leader
Upton, NY 11973-50
Dr. Ralph James served as the Associate Laboratory Director for the Energy, Environment and National Security Directorate with the U.S. DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory from 2001-2008. He is currently a Senior Scientist and Group Leader at BNL, where he conducts basic and applied research devoted to novel materials, electro-optical devices, imaging systems, and instrumentation. He has been a pioneer and leader in the development of optical and photonic technology for high-resolution spectroscopy and imaging for over 3 decades. His research results have been extensive and fundamental, and the impact of his transformational research has been lasting. Dr. James has authored over 500 scientific publications, served as editor of 23 books, and holds 19 patents. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Physical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Optical Society of America, SPIE–The International Society for Optical Engineering, and the Materials Research Society. Among his many prestigious honors, Dr. James won Discover Magazine's "Innovator of the Year" award. Dubbed “The Academy Awards of Technology”, the international award recognized his technical accomplishments to develop semiconductors for digital imaging of radiation. He is a five-time winner of R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award, which honors the top 100 inventions of the year. R&D Magazine describes the awards as the “Nobel Prizes of Applied Research”. The IEEE honored Dr. James with the Outstanding Radiation Instrumentation Achievement award, which is IEEE’s highest award for the development of detector instrumentation. He also received the Room-Temperature Semiconductor Detector Scientist Award for scientific achievements in photon spectroscopy and imaging. Dr. James was recognized as Long Island’s “Person of the Year” in science by Long Island Beacon in 2002 and 2009. Other noteworthy awards included the 50 World’s Best Technologies Award, IEEE Harold Wheeler Award, Battelle Innovation Award, Frost & Sullivan Invention of the Year in prostate cancer, among several other honors.
Dr. James is recognized for a long history of dedicated leadership contributions to the scientific and engineering community. For example, he served as Chairman of 29 international scientific conferences. Dr. James also has a long history of community involvement on Long Island. For example, he serves on the LIFT Executive Board and HIA-LI Board. He also served as a Board member of LISTnet, Long Island Museum of Science and Technology, and Calverton High-Technology Incubator, among a wide range of other service devoted to collaborative R&D and educational activities on Long Island. In addition, Dr. James served as Chairman of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP), representing over 1.4 million scientists and 70+ professional scientific societies of national and international scope. As chairman, he provided a strong national voice in fostering science policy and supporting STEM education. He led debates, task forces and committees to build consensus affecting all scientific societies and the national future. Dr. James also played the lead role to provide communication and develop collaboration among the various scientific disciplines through the Presidents of the nation’s scientific societies, to adopt public policy positions and act upon national research and education issues, to create ways to enhance the public understanding and appreciation of science and technology, and to develop an enduring network of national leaders in science. Prior to Dr. James’ service as CSSP Board Chairman, he was President of the SPIE, which is the world’s largest professional society devoted to solar energy, lasers, optics and photonic devices.