Alan Tennant is the Chief Scientist for the Neutron Sciences Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and Joint Faculty Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Tennessee. Previous to this he was at the former Hahn Meitner Institute, Germany which he joined nearly 9 years ago as head of the Magnetism Department and Professor of Physics at TU Berlin. In addition he served as the director of the Berlin Neutron Scattering Center (BENSC) prior to the merger of the former HMI with BESSY. After the foundation of the new Helmholtz Center Berlin, Prof Tennant headed both the Magnetism Division and the User Platform with responsibilities covering the synchrotron xray and neutron facilities. Additionally he directed the Institute for Complex Magnetic Materials, which focused on research into quantum materials and spintronics using a comprehensive suite of photon and neutron capabilities. Before moving to Berlin he held positions at Oxford University where he was the Keeley-Rutherford research fellow at Wadham College and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and a faculty member at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland where he taught condensed matter physics. In addition, he worked two years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a post-doctoral condensed matter physics position from 1996 to 1998. While there, he received the ORNL Technical Achievement Award in 1997.
Prof. Tennant was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and graduated in Physics at Edinburgh University before studying for his PhD with Roger Cowley at Oxford University. His awards include being the recipient of the EuroPhysics Prize, Condensed Matter, 2012, and his research was recognized as one of Science magazine's top 10 breakthroughs, 2009. He has served on many panels and advisory boards including being the Speaker for In-House Research of the Photons Neutrons Ions (PNI) Programme of the Helmholtz Association for the last 6 years. During his tenure in Berlin he played a leading role in the upgrade of the neutron facilities there as well as heading the High Field Magnet project which will provide the highest continuous fields for neutron sciences worldwide. More recently he led an international consortium of partners to the award of a Helmholtz Virtual Institute on quantum and topological states which runs until 2017.
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