Aronson earned an A.B. in physics from Columbia University in 1964, and a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1968. From 1968 to 1972, he worked at the University of Chicago’s Enrico Fermi Institute for Nuclear Studies as a research associate. He then moved to the University of Wisconsin, where he was a faculty member until 1977. His research career is focused on elementary particle physics and nuclear physics.
Aronson joined Brookhaven Lab’s Accelerator Department in 1978. He moved to the Physics Department in 1982, and appointed deputy chair of the department in 1988. In 1991, Aronson relinquished this position and, as a senior physicist, served as the director of the PHENIX detector project during the construction of RHIC, a challenge he successfully completed before he became chair of Physics in 2001. He became Associate Laboratory Director for Nuclear and Particle Physics in 2005 and Laboratory Director and President of Brookhaven Science Associates in 2006.
Aronson is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a member and past Chair of the DOE National Laboratory Directors Council and has served as a member of the Council’s Executive Committee. He has served as a member of the Governor’s Industry-Higher Education Task Force and on national review boards in Canada, Sweden and Germany. He currently serves as a board member on the Stony Brook Foundation, the Long Island Association, the New York State Smart Grid Consortium, the Stony Brook University Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center, the Long Island High Technology Incubator and the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council for Long Island.