Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

James Asay
Sandia National Laboratory


"For pioneering personal research in shock compression science, for leadership in developing programs and tools that have strongly impacted the field, and for leadership in the technical community."


Dr Asay received a B.S. in physics from San Jose State University (1964) and a PhD in physics from Washington State University (WSU) in 1971. He has led several research programs on high-pressure material response at Sandia National Laboratories until retirement in 2002. His personal research included studies of dynamic yielding, phase transitions, dynamic material strength and shock-induced melting and vaporization. He recently led an effort to develop magnetic loading techniques to study material response for near-isentropic compression to multi-Mbar pressures and for launching high velocity flyer plates for ultra-high-pressure shock physics research. This work has helped to resolve a major controversy surrounding the high-pressure properties of hydrogen. He is a member and Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Senior Institute Fellow of the U.S. Army Institute of Advanced Technology, a Fellow of the International Aeroballistic Range Association (ARA), a member of the founding Board of Directors for the International Hypervelocity Impact Society (HVIS) and has chaired several professional societies. Awards include the Distinguished Scientist Award from the HVIS (1994), the Ballistics Award from the ARA (1994), and the Air Force Commendation Award (1968). He is presently Research Professor and Associate Director of the Institute of Shock Physics at WSU.

Selection Committee:

Richard Gustavsen (Chair), Jerry Forbes (12/02), Yogendra Gupta (12/02), Lalit Chhabildas (V. Chair)