Jérôme Paméla, EFDA Leader and former Head of JET, was made “Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur” (Legion of Honour) on 23rd March at the Château de Cadarache. CEA Administrator General Bernard Bigot presented the award. In his speech, Mr Bigot characterised Jérôme Paméla as an outstanding scientifi c personality and emphasised his leading role as one of the world’s nuclear fusion experts. With over 60 publications in Journals and more than 75 presentations in conferences, Jérôme Paméla has contributed to the progress in nuclear fusion over the past 25 years. In particle and plasma physics, he has acted as a programme leader and directed large laboratories, contributing his experience of international scientifi c cooperation at some of the world’s most signifi cant research labs.

After finishing his academic studies at the École Polytechnique, Paris, his professional life started in 1977 at CEA, Saclay, in the fi eld of elementary particle physics, working at DESY, Hamburg, and CERN, Geneva. In 1984, Jérôme Paméla fi nished his Ph.D. and changed his fi eld of research from high energy physics to thermonuclear fusion. At Fontenay-auxroses and Cadarache, he participated in the development of neutral beam injection, in particular based on the use of negative ions. In 1996 he became Head of the Département de Recherches sur la Fusion Controlée, in charge of the Euratom-CEA Fusion Association. As EFDA Associate Leader, in charge of JET from the end 1999, he launched a “cultural revolution” by bringing together the various European fusion research activities into a cooperative framework comprising more than twenty European and several international partners. In 2006, Jérôme Paméla was appointed EFDA Leader in Garching.

The “Legion of Honour” is the highest award in France. The President of the French Republic appoints all members by convention, on the advice of the Government. French nationals, men and women, can be received into the légion, for “eminent merit” (mérites éminents) in military or civil life. Today, the order is conferred, both to military recipients, and to entrepreneurs, high-level civil servants, sports persons as well as other outstanding personalities.