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Christopher Deeney named deputy director at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics

August 18, 2021
Chris DeeneyChristopher Deeney. (Andrea Starr photo)

A scientific and innovation leader, Deeney brings extensive experience running complex operations to this new role at the University’s Laser Lab.

Christopher Deeney will join the University of Rochester as deputy director at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics beginning August 30.

He previously served as chief science and technology officer, National Security Directorate, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), in addition to his years of experience at the Nevada National Security Site, the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and the Sandia National Laboratories. Deeney is known as a scientific and innovation leader with direct experience running complex operations.

Deeney will serve as a key member of LLE’s senior management staff, providing executive-level guidance and direction, including serving as director when required. He will participate in the day-to-day management of the LLE while fostering successful relationships among:

  • The University’s senior leadership, medical center, academic and administrative departments, and students
  • Federal, local, and state government officials
  • Peer organizations and laboratories
  • The Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Defense
  • Private industry and the local community

A ‘perfect fit’ for Rochester’s academic environment

“Chris has an insider’s knowledge of the federal system, which oversees the LLE’s funding,” says Stephen Dewhurst, vice dean for research at the School of Medicine and Dentistry and associate vice president for health sciences research for the University, who is currently serving a one-year appointment as interim vice president for research. “Combined with his energetic, enthusiastic, and collaborative personality,” Dewhurst adds, “he’s a perfect fit for our academic environment. I’m very excited that he has chosen to join LLE in this new leadership role.”

Deeney’s near-term tasks to support director Michael Campbell and to enhance the LLE for the next Department of Energy cooperative agreement include developing an effective and sustainable approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion—one that builds upon LLE’s efforts to date, is integrated with the University as a whole, and has NNSA and Department of Energy buy-in. He will, along with the director, help develop ongoing University strategy and laboratory-specific strategies, with an emphasis on executability and workforce balance between scientists, engineers, and technical staff.

Deeney received his PhD in plasma physics from the Imperial College in the United Kingdom. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

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Category: University News