The U.S. Department of Energy has recognized University of Wyoming vice president for research and economic development for his work in developing nuclear fusion as an energy source.

Edmund “Ed” Synakowski received the DOE’s Meritorious Service Award during a ceremony at UW on Wednesday, the university says.  He was awarded for “strong and insightful leadership” as the agency’s associate director of science over the past eight years.

The award recognizes outstanding career dedication and outstanding service to the DOE and the American public.

Synakowski began his work at UW in August. He had served in the DOE as associate director of science since 2009. The agency supports research at more than 50 universities, eight national and two federal laboratories and 15 industry groups.

Synakowski proved to be an effective leader while at the DOE, including leading development of the Matter in Extreme Conditions instrument, a world leading facility for high-energy-density plasma studies and also provided guidance to the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee while it formulated the strategic plan for the national program.

At UW, Synakowski facilitates and support the research efforts of UW’s faculty, staff and students; direct the university’s research mission as a public research university; promote the university’s research program with stakeholders and direct technology transfer and commercialization efforts for UW intellectual property.