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Bucharest, June 23 /Agerpres/ - Professor Nicolae Zamfir, manager of the Extreme-Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) project, on Wednesday was presented an Officer decoration of France's Legion of Honour by French Ambassador in Bucharest Francois Saint-Paul.

"Without the determination, expertise, knowledge and patience of Mr Professor Zamfir, the ELI-NP project probably would have not been born at Magurele," Saint-Paul told the award ceremony.

"ELI-NP is a major stake for Europe and its scientific community," he said.

In his turn, Zamfir said the developments in Romania's nuclear physics are mostly the outcome of Romania's cooperation with France.

"The birth and materialisation of the most important scientific research centre in Romania, ELI-NP, is to a great extent the outcome of France's support (...). I am sure that together we will manage to open one of the most visible research infrastructures in Europe and around the world," said Zamfir.

Physicist Nicolae Zamfir is a permanent member of the Romanian Academy. A class of 1971 graduate of the Andrei Saguna High School of Brasov, he attended the Physics Faculty of the Bucharest University. In 1978, he started working as a physicist at the Magurele Institute of Atomic Physics, and in 1984 he was awarded a doctor's degree for his paper on determining and assessing the structure parameters of nuclei far from stability.

Zamfir has been employed by various prestigious foreign institutes. In 2004, he became director general of the Horia Hulubei National Institute of Nuclear Physics and Engineering of Romania, where he manages the ELI-NP laser project, an ambitious project that is said to have placed Romania on the world's map of research.

The Extreme Light Infrastructure - Nuclear Physics, the Romanian pillar of a wider ELI programme, is the largest scientific investment project ever to be conducted in Romania and currently among the world's largest.

Under the ELI - Extreme Light Infrastructure project, which has become the most important laser research project in Europe, unprecedented cooperation has started between Romania and France in areas such as: research involving France's National Scientific Research Centre (CNRS), the high-tech industry involving THALES for the provision of the laser system, as well as university cooperation under academic study projects. AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Florin Marin; EN - author: Corneliu-Aurelian Colceriu, editor: Adina Panaitescu)

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