Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Enrico Fermi Award

The Enrico Fermi Award is given by DOE to recognize scientists, engineers, and science policy makers for a lifetime of achievement in the field of nuclear energy. Established in 1956, it is the government's oldest science and technology award.

Awards Team  

"It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge." ~Enrico Fermi


Honors a lifetime of achievement

On November 16, 1954, President Eisenhower and the Atomic Energy Commission honored Enrico Fermi with a special award for his lifetime of accomplishments in physics and, in particular, for his vital role in the development of atomic energy. Highly accomplished in both theory and experiment, Enrico Fermi was a 1938 recipient of the Nobel Laureate in physics, and is widely regarded as one of the leading scientists of the 20th century. Established in 1956, the Fermi Award is a Presidential award and is one of the oldest and most prestigious science and technology honors bestowed by the U.S. Government. It is given to encourage excellence in research in energy science and technology benefiting mankind; to recognize scientists, engineers, and to inspire people of all ages to explore new scientific and technological horizons.

For additional information, visit the Office of Science website.


The Enrico Fermi Award represents a lifetime of achievement in the field of nuclear energy. The recipients noted below spent a part or all of their career at Los Alamos.

  • Siegfried S. Hecker (co-recipient: John B. Goodenough of the University of Texas at Austin)
  • George A. Cowan (co-recipient: Robley D. Evans, MIT)
  • Victor F. Weisskopf (co-recipient: Richard B. Setlow, BNL) 
  • Luis Alvarez  (co-recipient: Gerald F. Tape of Cornell, MIT, and BNL)
  • Marshall Rosenbluth (co-recipient: Norman Rasmussen, MIT)
  • Robert R. Wilson (co-recipient: George Vendryes, France)
  • Herbert L. Anderson and Seth Neddermeyer (co-recipients)
  • Harold M. Agnew (co-recipient: Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, SLAC)
  • Norris E. Bradbury
  •  J. Robert Oppenheimer
  • Edward Teller
  • Hans A. Bethe
  • John von Neumann