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Robert McKeown

Governor's Distinguished CEBAF Professor

Education and Research Field: Ph.D. 1979, Princeton University/Nuclear and Particle Experimental


Robert D. McKeown has been the deputy director for science at Jefferson Lab since May 2010.

He also serves as a Governor's Distinguished CEBAF Professor at The College of William and Mary.

McKeown's research interests include studies of weak interactions in nuclei, neutrino oscillations, parity-violating electron scattering, and the electromagnetic structure of nuclei and nucleons. He first became interested in experimental nuclear physics while an undergraduate student at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, NY, where he received a B.S. in physics in 1974. He then continued his studies at Princeton University, where he received a Ph.D. in 1979.

After one year as a scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, McKeown took a position as assistant professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology. He became an associate professor in 1986 and a professor in 1992. He remained at the California Institute of Technology until joining Jefferson Lab.

Over his career, McKeown's outstanding work has been recognized with many awards. He received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator award in 1984, was the Alexander M. Cruickshank Lecturer at the 1999 Gordon Conference on Nuclear Physics, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He has served on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, the Physical Review C editorial board, and on advisory committees for Brookhaven National Laboratory, Fermilab and Jefferson Lab, where he served as chair of the JLab Users Group Board of Directors in 1990-91.

In 2009, he received the Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics from the American Physical Society. The citation for the award recognized McKeown for "his pioneering work on studying nucleon structure using parity-violating electron scattering, in particular for the first measurement of the strange quark contribution to the electromagnetic structure of the proton."