Irina Tezaur

Irina Tezaur

A mathematician from Sandia National Laboratory’s Livermore site won a prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Irina Tezaur, a principal staff member in Sandia’s Quantitative Modeling and Analysis Department, received the award at the White House last month.

The award citation recognized her development of “new, impactful mathematical methods and computer algorithms” that allow “real-time analysis, control and decision making” in areas related to national security and to climate modeling.

Tezaur was born in Moscow. Her parents, both scientists, emigrated to the U.S. when she was 8. She earned bachelors and masters degrees in pure mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania before receiving her PhD in computational math and engineering from Stanford.

She joined Sandia’s Albuquerque site as an intern in 2007, became staff in 2011 and moved to Livermore in 2014.

She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and more than 20 technical reports, white papers and conference papers. She served as lead developer of several open-source computer codes.

Her mathematical methods have achieved efficiencies that speed the operation of highly complex computer codes in both defense and non-defense arenas.

In a key area of climate research, she has helped improve simulations of ice sheet dynamics that are essential to predicting future sea level rise.

Since 2012, she led the development of the land-ice component of a U.S. Department of Energy climate model, the Energy Exascale Earth System Model.

Often called E3SM, this model incorporates in its simulations the effects of climate change on infrastructure and human activities ranging from agriculture to the electrical grid.