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Winner - $100,000 Christopher Columbus Foundation Award

Richard Craig, PhD; Staff Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Richland, Washington


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Innovation - Timed Neutron Detector (TND)

Making the land safe again. This innovative land mine detector can find explosives that are not encased in metal by detecting the hydrogen atoms that comprise the devious war devices. Because so many mines in recent years are made from plastics to avoid location by metal detectors, based on United Nations research it will take 1,100 years to clear the world's existing inventory of 110 million land mines buried in 70 countries. This portable system is lightweight and can scan a 100-square-foot area in just a few minutes. The device is relatively simple to operate, thereby providing indigenous populations with the independence to clear land at their own discretion.

More information is available online at


Dr. Richard Craig began his scientific career in 1966 as a research associate in physics at the University of Oregon. He then worked as a lecturer in physics at the University of California, Riverside, before going to Oregon State University as an Assistant Professor of Physics. After two years, he went on to work at Battelle Memorial Institute, at Battelle Columbus Laboratory, and then at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy laboratory in Richland, Wash., where he works today.

Dr. Craig received a B.S.E. in Engineering Physics in 1959, an M.S. in Physics in 1960, and a PhD in 1966 from the University of Illinois. He is a member of the American Physical Society and has been elected to Sigma Xi. Dr. Craig is also one of the team members to win the 1999 Federal Laboratory Consortium Award for Technology Transfer. He is married and has four adult children.

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