A Collaborative National Center for Fusion & Plasma Research

PPPL Experts

Ronald Davidson heads PPPL research on charged particle beam dynamics and has made numerous fundamental theoretical contributions to pure and applied plasma physics. Professor Davidson served as director of PPPL from 1991 to 1996 and as director of the MIT Plasma Fusion Center from 1978 to 1988, and has written more than 450 journal articles and books. He has chaired the American Physical Society's Division of Plasma Physics and Division of Particle Beams, and has participated in numerous national and international advisory and review committees on plasma physics and fusion research.

Expert Topics: Inertial confinement fusion, Particle beam dynamics
Helping others comes naturally to John DeLooper. He hung around the Lodi volunteer ambulance corps as a teenager and joined up as soon as he turned 18. He went on to become captain of the Lodi ambulance and rescue squad, which answered some 2,000 emergency calls a year. “I enjoyed helping people in their time of need,” he recalled.
Expert Topics: Education, Emergency planning, Fusion energy, Quality assurance

Ahmed Diallo is deputy boundary group leader for the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). Diallo has contributed to the upgrade of the Thomson scattering diagnostic system in preparation for the NSTX upgrade, and has participated in the operation of the NSTX and the Thomson scattering system prior to their upgrades. He has   more than 10 years of experience in laser-aided plasma diagnostics, has authored many scientific papers and given more than 10 talks, including four invited talks at international conferences and workshops.

Expert Topics: Laser diagnostics, Plasma physics

David Gates is a principal research physicist for the advanced projects division of PPPL, and the stellarator physics leader at the Laboratory. In the latter capacity he leads collaborative efforts with the Wendelstein 7-X and Large Helical Device stellarator projects in Germany and Japan, respectively.

Expert Topics: Stellarators, Tokamaks

Stefan Gerhardt leads the Advanced Scenarios and Control research group in the NSTX organization. He operates numerous diagnostics on NSTX, along with designing plasma control schemes and running physics experiments. He has previously worked on a wide variety of fusion machines, including spherical tokamaks, stellarators, and field reversed configurations.

Expert Topics: Fusion energy, Plasma diagnostics, Plasma physics, Stellarators, Tokamaks

Goldston is a Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and an international leader in the fields of plasma physics and magnetic fusion energy. He is the author of 220 papers in journals and conference proceedings, and in 1995 co-authored with Paul Rutherford the textbook "Introduction to Plasma Physics." He is a contributing author to five other books. In 1988 he was awarded the American Physical Society Prize for Excellence in Plasma Physics. Goldston is a Fellow of the American Physical Society. From 1997 to 2009, he served as Director of the U.S.

Expert Topics: Fusion energy, Fusion reactor design, Plasma physics, Tokamaks

For more than 20 years, Hantao Ji has been interested in the converging fields of plasma physics and astrophysics, and has dedicated his career to bringing them closer together.

Expert Topics: Plasma astrophysics

David Johnson is a principal research physicist with broad experience in techniques and instrumentation for measuring the characteristics of magnetic fusion plasmas.  He has specific expertise in laser Thomson scattering systems, and has installed and operated such systems on many fusion devices around the world.  He managed a division of plasma diagnostic experts for the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) and National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) projects, more recently becoming the Work Breakdown Structure Team Leader for US ITER Diagnostics.

Expert Topics: ITER, Plasma diagnostics

Robert (Bob) Kaita is the head of plasma diagnostic operations and acting head of boundary physics operations for the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). Kaita is also a co-principal investigator of the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX). He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a recipient of the Kaul Foundation Prize for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. He has supervised the research of many students in the PPPL Program in Plasma Physics in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. 

Expert Topics: Fusion energy, Lithium, Plasma diagnostics

Bruce Koel is professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University. He is associated faculty in chemistry at the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM); associated faculty in the Princeton Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and a collaborator on the National Spherical Torus Experiment at PPPL. Koel is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the American Vacuum Society, and a member of the governing board of the Council for Chemical Research.

Expert Topics: Surface science, Tokamaks

Jerry Levine has more than 35 years experience in managing, coordinating and reviewing licensing, safety and environmental matters for fusion-energy research activities and the nuclear waste program. Levine directs a department of more than 40 professionals responsible for oversight and support of activities ranging from radiation protection and electrical safety to emergency preparedness, environmental protection and security.

Expert Topics: Nuclear energy, Nuclear safety

Dr. Jonathan Menard, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), is presently the Program Director for the National Spherical Torus eXperiment – Upgrade (NSTX-U) and is responsible for guiding the scientific research program of NSTX-U working with the NSTX national research team. Dr. Menard’s research interests include the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) equilibrium and stability properties of spherical torus (ST) and tokamak plasmas, advanced operating scenarios in the ST, and the development of next-step ST options for fusion energy. 

Expert Topics: Fusion energy, NSTX-U, Plasma physics, Tokamaks

George "Hutch" Neilson manages PPPL’s international stellarator and tokamak collaborations. In that context, he is program manager and national point-of-contact for U.S. collaborations with the Wendelstein 7-X stellarator experiment in Germany, and a project manager for coil-design collaborations with the JET tokamak experiment in Oxfordshire, UK.  Neilson also is the responsible manager for PPPL advanced design activities, and for planning for a next-generation experimental fusion facility, or DEMO, that is to precede a commercial fusion reactor.

Expert Topics: Fusion roadmapping, International collaborations, ITER

Charles Neumeyer Jr. is a registered professional engineer with more than 30 years experience in advanced technology research and project management.  His experience covers functions ranging from design to procurement and conditioning. Neumeyer has managerial roles in activities associated with ITER and the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U). He is responsible for U.S. equipment contributions for the ITER Steady State Electrical Network, which will supply AC power to all ITER plant systems.

Expert Topics: ITER, Power systems

Masa Ono is a principal research physicist and project director of the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). Ono has led a number of PPPL research teams including those involved in the Advanced Concept Torus (ACT-1), the Current Drive Experiment (CDX), the Current Drive Experiment Upgrade (CDX-U) and the NSTX. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the author of more than 250 scientific papers.

Expert Topics: Fusion energy, NSTX-U
Stewart Prager is the sixth director of PPPL. He joined the Laboratory in 2009 after a long career at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. At Wisconsin, he led research on the “Madison Symmetric Torus” (MST) experiment and headed a center that studied plasmas in both the laboratory and the cosmos. He also co-discovered the “bootstrap current” there—a key finding that has influenced the design of today’s tokamaks. He earned his PhD in plasma physics from Columbia University.
Expert Topics: Fusion energy, Fusion roadmapping, Inertial confinement fusion, Plasma astrophysics, Plasma physics

Kelsey Tresemer has been the primary design engineer and cost account manager for plasma-facing components for the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX), and currently serves as cost account manager for the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U). Apart from this work, she has been employed in the research of refractory first wall materials for experimental fusion facilities, and has participated in the retrofitting and repair of several neutral beam system components.

Expert Topics: Tokamaks

Dr. Masaaki Yamada is a Distinguished Laboratory Research Fellow at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and the Head of the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) research program. He is also a Co-PI of the Center for Magnetic Self-Organization in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas, a Physics Frontier Center established by the National Science Foundation (NSF). 

Expert Topics: Magnetic reconnection, Tokamaks
Michael Zarnstorff is the deputy director of research for PPPL where he supervises research that ranges from testing ideas for harnessing fusion to developing rockets for space flight. His job encompasses keeping projects aligned with DOE goals and envisioning new research opportunities for PPPL. An award-winning physicist and a co-discoverer of the bootstrap current, he joined PPPL in 1984 and has been deputy director for research since 2009. He earned his PhD in plasma physics from the University of Wisconsin.
Expert Topics: Fusion energy, Fusion reactor design, International collaborations, Plasma physics, Stellarators, Tokamaks

Andrew Zwicker is a physicist and science educator. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, The American Association of Physics Teachers has named him to its list of 75 leading contributors to physics education. He is currently the Editor of the APS Forum on Physics and Society's newsletter and a past chair of that Forum. Additionally, he is a past member of the APS Committee on Education. At Princeton University he is a lecturer in the Writing Program and a faculty advisor for freshmen and sophomores.

Expert Topics: Education, Science literacy, STEM

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