LIVERMORE -- Ed Moses, the former principal associate director of the National Ignition Facility and a longtime Lawrence Livermore Lab physicist, is leaving to lead the international Giant Magellan Telescope project, lab officials said Wednesday.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to take part in a revolutionary telescope project that will change the nature of our understanding of the cosmos," Moses said. "I am proud to have been a part of the (Lawrence Livermore Lab) community for 35 years and have been privileged to work with the greatest minds and personalities on the most challenging scientific and technical problems. I leave with the greatest admiration for the people and mission of the lab."

Moses' appointment as president of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization, an international collaboration including Harvard University, the Smithsonian Institution and several universities, is effective Oct. 2.

When it comes online early in the next decade, the $1 billion telescope -- located at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile -- will be the world's largest, according to the lab. It will be used to discover and characterize planets, probe the formation of stars and galaxies, measure black holes and explore issues in physics and cosmology such as dark matter and dark energy.

During his tenure at the Livermore lab, Moses played a central role in numerous high-profile lab projects, including the National Ignition Facility and the National Ignition Campaign, and was recognized internationally as an expert in fusion energy and optical systems.


Advertisement

He joined NIF in 1999 and oversaw the construction and development of the $3.5 billion fusion program, first as its program manager and later as its principal associate director.

Moses stepped down from his NIF post in 2013 to head a science and research effort on fusion at the lab.

Contact Jeremy Thomas at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/jet_bang.