Ernie came to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where as a Program Officer he made grants supporting basic research across a wide range of physical sciences, with particular emphasis on quantum materials and fundamental physics. Prior to his time at the Moore Foundation, Ernie had a career at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he worked as a staff scientist at the Advanced Light Source and helped pioneer techniques that use x-rays to visualize how matter evolves on the natural (Angstrom) length and (femtosecond) time scales relevant to atomic motion. That work included highlights such as making the first time-domain measurements of femtosecond-duration soft x-ray pulses and being part of a team that first brought femtosecond time resolution to an x-ray light source facility. Over the years Ernie’s research has spanned a range of topics that include studying how nanoparticles form during femtosecond laser ablation, demonstrating that light can be used to induce x-ray transparency, and demonstrating x-ray/optical wave mixing -a technique that allows x-rays to selectively probe the chemically important valence electrons in a material.
Ernie was a Department of Energy Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Fellow, a University of California Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow and an AT&T Bell Laboratories Cooperative Research Fellowship Program Graduate Fellow. He was an American Physical Society Apker Award Finalist and was awarded the Daniel P. Ionata Undergraduate Thesis Award.
Ernie attended Brown University where he received a B.A. in religious studies and a B.S. in electrical engineering. He received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at Berkeley.