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We discuss the results of work directed toward the development of high energy (>;1 J), high average power, diode-pumped picosecond lasers. The design and operation of diode-pumped chirped-pulse-amplification Yb:YAG lasers that combine either room temperature or cryogenically-cooled regenerative amplifiers with cryo-cooled power amplifiers for superior thermal performance and efficient energy extraction are discussed. Results obtained using thick-disk amplifiers include the generation of 100 mJ, 5-ps duration laser pulses at 100-Hz repetition rate, and 1-J pulses of 8.5-ps duration at 10-Hz repetition rate. The performance of the amplifiers in terms of pulse energy and bandwidth under a variety of pump condition is presented.