Charles Vernon Shank was named Friday to become the new director of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the energy and life science research center run by the University of California for the federal government.
Shank, 45, now heads an AT&T; Bell electronics lab in New Jersey. He will take over Lawrence Berkeley in September, succeeding David A. Shirley, who is resigning after nine years as director.
Shank earned his bachelor's, master's and Ph. D. degrees from UC Berkeley, where Lawrence Berkeley is located. He is an expert in the field of spectroscopy of ultra-fast events, the study of processes that take place in femtoseconds--a millionth of a billionth of a second.
Lawrence Berkeley has a staff of more than 3,000 and an annual budget of $220 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. Unlike the other two labs that UC runs for the federal government, Lawrence Berkeley does not do work on nuclear weapons, officials said.