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Committee Membership Information

Project Title: A Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research

PIN: DEPS-BPA-16-04        

Major Unit:
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

Sub Unit: Board on Physics & Astronomy DEPS


Lang, David

Subject/Focus Area:  Math, Chemistry and Physics

Committee Membership
Date Posted:   05/25/2017

Dr. Michael E. Mauel - (Co-Chair)
MICHAEL MAUEL is a professor of applied physics at Columbia University. He received his B.S (1978), M.S. (1979) and Sc.D. (1983) at MIT. Before joining Columbia in 1985, Dr. Mauel conducted post-doctoral research at MIT using the Tara Tandem Mirror facility. His fields of interest include advanced tokamak operating regimes, feedback techniques to control tokamak instabilities, nonlinear turbulent transport in magnetized plasma including energetic particle modes, and the relationship between laboratory and space plasma physics. In 1995, he was elected a fellow for the American Physical Society. From 2000-2006 he was Chair of the Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics at Columbia. In 2006, he was a Jefferson Science Fellow for the U.S. Department of State. Dr. Mauel has served as a member of several committees in the American Physical Society including chair of the APS Division of Plasma Physics from 2002-2003. He was President of the University Fusion Association from 1997-1998, co-Chair of the 1999 Fusion Summer Study in Snowmass, Chair of the U.S. ITER Forum in 2003, Chair of the U.S. Burning Plasma Council from 2010-2013, and Chair of the National Academies Plasma Science Committee from 2012-2015. He served on several Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) activities, including FESAC Office of Fusion Energy Committee of Visitors (2003-2004), FESAC Fusion Major Facilities Panel (2012-2013), FESAC Fusion Priorities Panel (2003-2004 and 2012-2013). He also served as chair of the physics advisory committees for the National Spherical Tokamak Experiment (NSTX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and the Alcator C-Mod experiment at MIT. Dr. Mauel received the Rose Award for Excellence in Fusion Engineering in 2000, the Teacher of the Year award from Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Science, and Certificates of Appreciation from the U.S. Department of Energy (1989) and the U.S. Department of State (2007). Beginning 2016, Dr. Mauel serves as Editor-in-Chief ofPhysics of Plasmas.

Dr. Melvyn J. Shochet - (Co-Chair)
MELVYN SHOCHET [NAS] is Kersten Distinguished Service Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago. Before joining the Enrico Fermi Institute at the University of Chicago in 1972, he received his PhD from Princeton University and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a founding member for the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) collaboration and served as the collaboration’s spokesman from 1988-1995. His research involves interactions between elementary particles at the highest manmade energies. His most important discovery to date is CDF’s detection of the top quark and the determination of its mass. More recently, he has been involved with the ATLAS collaboration at CERN. He was a member of the HEPAP Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5), and from 2005-2011, he served as chair of HEPAP. He also served on the BPA’s Committee on Elementary Particle Physics from 1995-1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Christina A. Back
CHRISTINA BACK is an experimental physicist with expertise in the study of radiation in high energy density plasmas, and the development of novel materials for fusion and fission. Currently, she is the Vice President of Nuclear Technologies and Materials at General Atomics and leads a group developing high-density uranium fuels and advanced fuel cladding materials. She received her B. S. in Physics from Yale in 1984 and earned her Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of Florida in 1989. After a 2 year postdoc with the CNRS at the Ecole Polytechnique in France, she spent 13 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Energy Density Science programs, specializing in radiation transport and spectroscopy. In 2005, she moved to General Atomics where she was worked on target production coordination, development of novel radiation sources, and development of new fuel materials for advanced nuclear reactor. She established a dedicated laboratory for research fabricating and characterizing new fission fuel prototypes, especially those for gas-cooled high temperature reactors. She has served on many American Physics Society (APS) committees and has been elected as a APS General Councillor. Other professional service includes serving on the National Research Council (NRC) Board of Physics and Astronomy Plasma Committee, and as member of the NRC committee to Review the Quality of Science and Engineering Research at the DOE’s National Security Laboratories Phase II (2012). Dr. Back is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Dr. Riccardo Betti
RICCARDO BETTI is the Professor of Physics and Mechanical Engineering and of Physics and Astronomy, Director of the Fusion Science Center of Extreme States of Matter and Fast Ignition, and Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1992 in nuclear engineering. His primary expertise is in the theory of high-temperatures plasmas, be they inertially or magnetically confined for fusion. Dr. Betti is a member of the interdisciplinary High Energy Density Plasma program at Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics. His research focuses on the kinetic and magnetohydrodynamic stability studies of tokamak plasmas both analytically and numerically; he also studies the hydrodynamic stability of the imploding capsules for inertial confinement fusion. Dr. Betti is a member of DOE’s Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee and was the vice chair of a recent DOE review of inertial fusion energy, as well as many other review panels. Dr. Betti served as a member and chair of the NRC’s Plasma Science Committee, the Committee on the Prospects for Inertial Confinement Fusion Energy Systems, and the Board on Physics and Astronomy. Dr. Betti is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Dr. Ian Chapman
IAN CHAPMAN is the CEO of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and Head of the CCFE. His primary research interests are in understanding and controlling macroscopic instabilities in fusion plasmas. Ian Chapman was previously the head of tokamak science and led the stability program within tokamak science. He has also held a number of international roles in fusion. He was a task force leader for JET from 2012 to 2014. He was appointed a member of the program advisory committee for US experiment NSTX-U in 2013. He has chaired international working groups for ITER and led work packages within the EU fusion program. He received his Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the Imperial College and M.Sci. in Mathematics and Physics from University of Durham.

Dr. Cary Brett Forest
CARY FOREST is a professor in the Physics Department at the University of Wisconsin Madison. He obtained his Ph.D. in Astrophysical Science-Plasma Physics from Princeton University in 1992. His research interests focus on understanding how electrical currents and magnetic fields are generated in fusion plasmas and in turbulent flows of liquid metals, with applications to astrophysical and terrestrial plasmas, basic plasmas, and fusion science. He spent five years working at General Atomics as a scientist, where his work focused on studies of plasma resistivity, non-inductive current drive, rf heating of plasmas and MHD instabilities in tokamak plasmas. He has served as director of the NSF Physics Frontier Center for Magnetic Self-Organization. He served as chair of the APS Division of Plasma Physics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society. He has served as chair of the National Academies’ Plasma Science Committee (2003-2006) and as a member of the Committee to Review a Plan Prepared by the U.S. Burning Plasma Organization for U.S. Fusion Community Participation in the ITER Program.

Dr. T. Kenneth Fowler
T. KENNETH FOWLER [NAS] is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Fowler received his BE in electrical engineering from Vanderbilt University in 1953, MS in physics from Vanderbilt in 1955, and Ph. D. in theoretical physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1957. Before joining the Berkeley faculty in 1988, he spent thirty years in fusion energy research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at General Atomics, and finally at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he served as an Associate Director of the Laboratory and head of magnetic fusion energy research from 1970 to 1987. During 1987-1988, he was U. S. Representative on the Working Group that initiated the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor now known as ITER and under construction in France. He has served on numerous governmental and academic committees and served as Chair of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Berkeley from 1988 to 1994. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1987. He is also a fellow of the California Council on Science and Technology that advises the Governor and Legislature on science important to the State. His honors include the Distinguished Service Citation from the University of Wisconsin in 1981 and the Berkeley Citation in 1995.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Freidberg
JEFFREY P. FREIDBERG is the KEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Previously he was the head of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also formerly served as the Associate Director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center. Before coming to MIT he was the leader of the magnetic fusion theory group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Professor Freidberg’s main areas of expertise are theoretical plasma physics and fusion reactor design. He has published three textbooks in these areas. He has served on, and chaired many DoE fusion review panels. He earned his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now New York University Tandon School of Engineering).

Dr. Ronald Gilgenbach
RON GILGENBACH is the chair and Chihiro Kikuchi Collegiate Professor in the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department at the University of Michigan. He is also an associate editor of the journal Physics of Plasmas.
He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia
University in 1978, and a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin. In the early 1970's he spent several years as a Member
of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs. From 1978-1980, he performed gyrotron research at the Naval Research Lab (NRL) and performed the first electron cyclotron heating experiments on a tokamak plasma in the USA at Oak RidgeNational Laboratory. Dr. Gilgenbach joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1980 and became Director of the Plasma, Pulsed Power and
Microwave Laboratory. He received the UM College of Engineering Research Award in 1993, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator
Award (1984) and the 1997 Plasma Sciences and Applications Committee (PSAC) Award from the IEEE, served as PSAC Chair in 2007-2008 and received an Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the American Nuclear Society. He is a fellow of the IEEE and the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics. He is an Associate Editor of the journal, Physics of Plasmas.

Dr. William Heidbrink
WILLIAM HEIDBRINK is a professor of experimental plasma physics at the University of California in Irvine. After working as a staff member on the TFTR tokamak (Princeton) and the DIII-D tokamak (General Atomics), he joined the UCI Physics Department in 1988. Professor Heidbrink studies high energy "fast" ions in magnetic fusion experiments. Instabilities that are driven unstable by the free energy in the fast-ion population are a major area of study. Other important topics include diagnostic development and measurements of fast-ion confinement. The research is conducted on two facilities. The DIII-D tokamak in San Diego is the leading magnetic fusion facility in the USA. Professor Heidbrink earned his B.A. degree from the University of California, San Diego and Ph.D. from Princeton University. He was named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 1996. In 2004, he received the Excellence in Plasma Physics Research award from the American Physical Society.

Dr. Mark Herrmann
MARK HERRMANN is the director of the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Prior to joining LLNL, he was in Sandia National Laboratories, where he served as director of the Pulsed Power Sciences Center. Besides serving as director, Herrmann held several key leadership and management roles in the Pulsed Power Sciences Center at Sandia, including senior manager of the HED Science and Radiation and Fusion Physics groups, and manager of the ICF Target Design Department. Under his leadership, Sandia’s Z Facility delivered key results for the Stockpile Stewardship Program that have been widely recognized throughout the NNSA complex and by external stakeholders. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has been recognized with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers and the Fusion Power Associates Excellence in Fusion Engineering award. He received his Ph.D. in plasma physics from Princeton University.

Dr. Joseph Incandela
JOSEPH INCANDELA [NAS] is the Joe and Pat Yzurdiaga Chair in Experimental Science and Professor of Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and currently based at CERN where he spent two years as the spokesperson for the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment at the Large Hadron Collider. Incandela has been an intellectual leader of the search to discover the Higgs boson. He led the construction of the outer tracking system for the CMS experiment at the LHC. He then co-led the science effort and as scientific spokesperson led the successful effort to discover the Higgs. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015. Dr. Incandela received his Ph.D., M.A. and B.A from the University of Chicago in Physics. He also has a B.S in Mathematics from University of Chicago. He is a recipient of the Milner Foundation’s 2013 Special Breakthrough Prize in Physics, a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences as well as of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society. He is a member of the High Energy Physics Advisory panel to the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Frank Jenko
FRANK JENKO is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a Director at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics. As of January 2017, he is a scientific fellow and head of the Tokamak Theory Division at the Planck Institute for Plasma Physics. His awards include a Starting Grant of the European Research Council (2011), the Hans Werner Osthoff Plasma Physics Prize awarded by the University of Greifswald (2004) and the Otto Hahn Medal conferred by the Max Planck Society (1999). He has been serving as a member of the editorial boards of Computer Physics Communications, Journal of Plasma Physics, and New Journal of Physics, as a co-director of the International Helmholtz Graduate School for Plasma Physics, and as a member of the steering committee of the Max-Planck/Princeton Center for Plasma Physics. He co-pioneered the development and application of grid-based numerical techniques for the investigation of kinetic turbulence in magnetized plasmas. Since then, his computer simulation code GENE has been playing a key role for analyzing both laboratory and natural plasmas, standing at the forefront of high performance computing. Frank Jenko obtained his Ph.D. in physics from the Technische Universität München (TUM).

Dr. Stanley Kaye
STANLEY KAYE is a principal research physicist, head of the NSTX Physics Analysis, and deputy program director for NSTX at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). He is considered a pioneering investigator of the characteristics of strongly heated plasmas confined by magnetic fields. Kaye received a Bachelor's degree in physics and math from Hamilton College, a Master's degree in geophysics and space physics from the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in space plasma physics from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Mitsuru Kikuchi
MITSURU KIKUCHI is a supreme researcher at the Naka Fusion Institute, Fusion Research and Development Directorate, Japan Atomic Energy Agency. He joined JAEA in 1981 as a research associate. He has held visiting and guest professorships at Osaka University (Japan), Southwestern Institute of Physics (China), the Modern Physics Institute at Fudan University (China), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has served as chairman of the Board of Editors of Nuclear Fusion. He is chair of the Division of Plasma Physics of the Association of Asia Pacific Physical Societies. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering from the University of Tokyo in 1981 at Japan Atomic Energy Agency.

Dr. Susana Reyes
SUSANA REYES is a nuclear engineer at Berkeley Lab with over 17 years of experience in international fusion projects. Until recently, she lead LLNL’s fusion energy science efforts for safety and tritium research, as well as supporting the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Directorate in various Project Engineering and Strategic Planning activities. Dr. Reyes earned an M.Sci. in Power Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 1998, and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the UNED University in Madrid in 2001. Dr. Reyes joined LLNL's Fusion Energy Program in 1999 to work on the safety analysis of inertial fusion energy power plant designs. Since then, she has participated in the design, construction, and operation of a variety of fusion research projects, including the NIF in LLNL, and the ITER Organization in Cadarache (France), where she supported the project through the coordination of safety analyses and associated documentation in preparation for ITER licensing. Her current interests are focused on the safety and environmental aspects of fusion and the fuel cycle challenges for future fusion power plants. Dr. Reyes is the recipient of the 2012 American Nuclear Society (ANS) Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award, and the 2015 Fusion Power Associates Excellence 9 in Fusion Engineering Award, for her contributions to the safety and environmental aspects of both magnetic fusion energy (MFE) and inertial fusion energy (IFE) facilities. She recently served as chair of the American Nuclear Society’s Fusion Energy Division.

Dr. C. Paul Robinson
C. PAUL ROBINSON [NAE] is the vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of ARC. In 1987, he was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be the U.S. Ambassador and Chief Negotiator for the nuclear testing talks in Geneva, Switzerland, and also served in this post under President George H.W. Bush. He spent most of his career at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, becoming President of Sandia Corporation in 1995. Dr. Robinson was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1998 and has served on many Academies committees. He received the Outstanding Public Service Medal from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Smyth Nuclear Statesman Award from the American Nuclear Society, the American Physical Society Pake Prize, the New Mexico Governor’s Distinguished Citizen Award, and the Department of Energy Secretary’s Gold Award. He has also served as a trustee of the Kazakhstan Nonproliferation Institute. Dr. Robinson earned a B.S. in Physics from Christian Brothers College and a Ph.D. in Physics from Florida State University.

Dr. Philip Snyder
PHIL SNYDER is the director of the Theory and Computational Science group for General Atomics’ Energy And Advanced Concepts Group. He joined the General Atomics Theory and Computational Science Division in 1999, and became manager of the Turbulence and Transport group in 2010. His recent research has focused on the edge region of fusion plasmas, particularly the physics of the edge transport in tokamaks. Dr. Snyder has served as chair of the Sherwood Executive Committee and the Edge Coordinating Committee, and is currently Principal Investigator of the Edge Simulation Laboratory project. He is a fellow of the APS and a recipient of the 2004 Rosenbluth Award for Fusion Theory, the 2013 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research, and the 2014 International Atomic Energy Agency Nuclear Fusion Prize. Dr. Philip Snyder holds a B.S. in computational physics from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from Princeton University.

Dr. Brain D. Wirth
BRIAN D. WIRTH is a professor and Governor’s Chair of Computational Nuclear Engineering in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which he joined in July 2010. Dr. Wirth spent four years in the High Performance Computational Materials Science Group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he lead efforts to investigate the microstructural stability of structural materials in nuclear environments. In 2002 he joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley as an Assistant Professor of Nuclear Engineering and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006. He has received a number of awards, including the Fusion Power Associates David J. Rose Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the DOE Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award, and the ANS Mishima Award. In 2016, he was named a fellow of the AAAS. Brian received a BS in nuclear engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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