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2021 USBPO Council Election Candidates


BPO Nomination Subcommittee:

Greg Wallace (MIT, Chair)

Cami Collins (ORNL)

George McKee (Wisconsin)

Diane Demers (Xantho Technologies)


Candidates for BPO Council:

Dr. Max Austin is a Research Scientist at the University of Texas while being stationed full-time at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility (NFF) at General Atomics. His research activities have been focused on energy transport in tokamaks and he has done original work on rational q transport barriers and confinement improvement in negative triangularity (NT) shaped discharges. He co-led the first experiments of NT plasmas in DIII-D and is an area leader the NT Working Group. Another area of work has been in the development of ECE diagnostics for magnetically confined plasmas. He has been involved in the design of the ECE diagnostic for ITER and has chaired diagnostic topical groups (BPO and ITPA). His authored and co-authored papers number over 400. He is PI on the UT/DIII-D collaboration grant and has led subcontract work on ECE systems for ITER and JT-60SA.

Dr. Matthew Baldwin is a lead researcher in fusion relevant plasma-materials interaction (PMI) for the PISCES project at the University of California San Diego (UCSD). He received his PhD in Physics in 1998 from the University of New England, Australia, and joined UCSD in 2000. His research focuses on the effects on fusion-candidate materials, under exposure to conditions of fusion typical heat and particle loads. He currently co-leads an effort to evolve PISCES PMI research to study PMI regimes that more accurately reflect burning plasmas, by including simultaneously, the effects of nuclear displacement damage and plasma exposure.

Dr. Boris Breizman is an expert in theoretical plasma physics. His research work covers linear and nonlinear collective phenomena with applications to magnetic fusion, laser-plasma interactions, beam physics, space plasma, and plasma-based propulsion. He also teaches graduate courses and supervises students. Prior to joining the University of Texas, he had a two-decade research and teaching career in Russia. He currently holds a Research Professor position at the Institute for Fusion Studies. Dr. Breizman has made significant contributions to three important areas: wave-particle interaction in magnetically confined plasma, plasma propulsion project at NASA, and physics of laser-irradiated clusters. He is a member of the ITER Scientist Fellow group and a member of ITPA. He recently served as a member of the APS-DPP Executive Committee. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, an author of more than 200 published papers and multiple invited talks at the international plasma physics meetings.

Dr. Luca Guazzotto did his undergraduate studies in Turin (Italy) majoring in nuclear engineering in 2000. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering from University of Rochester in 2005 with a thesis on tokamak equilibrium and stability with flow. After his postdoc at MIT, he worked on RFPs at the RFX consortium in Padova (Italy) for one year, before coming back to University of Rochester. He is now an associate professor in the physics department at Auburn University. He has been a visiting scientist at MIT and PPPL. His research includes a balance of analytical and numerical work. Most of his research work is in the area of rotation effects on tokamak plasmas. Amongst his main contributions to the field are the development of the FLOW code and the proof of a magnetohydrodynamic mechanism for pedestal formation. He has also worked on ignition and burning plasma topics, developing a more detailed version of the Lawson criterion.

Dr. Jeffrey Levesque is a research scientist at Columbia University. His research centers around developing feedback control methods that are appropriate for a fusion reactor environment, including the use of magnetic, optical, and current-driving detectors and actuators. He also studies the physics of 3D scrape-off layer currents flowing between the helical edge of tokamak plasmas and surrounding walls. He earned a B.S. in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006, and a Ph.D. in applied physics from Columbia in 2012. Levesque oversees operation and defines research directions of the HBT-EP tokamak facility, where his group conducts experiments. He has also collaborated with groups at NSTX and DIII-D, and is an Expert within the International Tokamak Physics Activity (ITPA) topical group on MHD, Disruptions, and Control.

Dr. Elijah Martin has a background as an experimental plasma physicist (Ph.D., North Carolina State University 2014). Upon graduation, Dr. Martin accepted a postdoctoral fellowship administered by the US DOE Fusion Energy Postdoctoral Research Program. The fellowship was carried out at ORNL, where Dr. Martin developed a laser-based spectroscopic diagnostic to measure plasma parameters, electric fields, and magnetic fields. At present, Dr. Martin is a research and development staff scientist in the Fusion Energy Division at ORNL. Dr. Martin’s research within magnetic fusion energy is focused on direct experimental measurement of electric and magnetic field vectors in the plasma edge using passive and active spectroscopic techniques. As fundamental variables dictating heating and current drive, equilibrium, and confinement, these measurements provide a powerful diagnostic for understanding plasma physics when companioned with numerical simulations. Dr. Martin is the developer of the Explicit Zeeman Stark Spectral Simulator (EZSSS) code. The EZSSS code solves the Schrödinger equation for the quantum electronic structure of atomic species in the presence of external electric and magnetic field vectors. The EZSSS code is referenced in fifteen peer reviewed journal articles and was used extensively in the research of two Ph.D. students. In 2019, Dr. Martin founded the Laser Spectroscopy and Quantum Sensing Laboratory (LsQsL) for the development of next generation diagnostics required for direct validation of magnetic fusion energy simulation tools. Dr. Martin is the Principal Investigator of several grants and typically manages 750k$/year of research activity. In 2020, Dr. Martin was selected to participate in the DOE Early Career Research Program.

Dr. Dmitri Orlov is an Associate Project Scientist with the Center for Energy Research at UC San Diego. He is presently performing computational and experimental research at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. His research focuses on controlling the edge instabilities in high-confinement regimes in present-day tokamaks and future plasma burning devices, including ITER, transport in the core and edge of the tokamaks with 3D perturbation fields, heat and particle transport to the divertor surfaces, and thermal protection systems materials. He leads two multi-institutional collaborations on the Theory and Frontier Plasma Science. He is also involved in research collaborations at KSTAR, EAST, AUG, NSTX, and ITER. Dr. Orlov holds a PhD from the University of Notre Dame (‘06) and an MS with Honors from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (‘00). He worked at the US Air Force Academy before joining UC San Diego. He is a member-at-large of the APS DPP Executive committee and a member of the US TTF Executive Committee leading the Transport in 3D Fields working group. He is chair of the UCSD CER Diversity and Outreach committees. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 refereed journal papers and presented multiple invited talks at domestic and international conferences.

Dr. Carlos Paz-Soldan is an Associate Professor at Columbia University, a position he began in 2021. Prior, Dr. Paz-Soldan held a Scientist position at General Atomics and worked primarily with the DIII-D National Fusion Program. He joined the DIII-D program in 2012, after completing his doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Paz-Soldan has contributed to a broad range of problems in tokamak transient control. These include: understanding the interaction of tokamak plasmas with non-axisymmetric fields used to control core and edge instabilities; the measurement and control of relativistic electron populations; and the conceptualization and design of novel actuators for core and edge transient control. Dr. Paz-Soldan has authored or co-authored over 110 refereed journal publications, mentored several junior scientists in the research program, and piloted the DIII-D tokamak for countless experiments. For his work at Wisconsin, Dr. Paz-Soldan was awarded the Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Prize in 2013.

Dr. Francesca Turco (Columbia University, NY) is the Inductive Scenarios area leader at DIII-D and was the Integrated Scenarios group leader and deputy leader in the US-BPO organization for the 2016-2020 period. She is one of the US members of the ITPA-IOS topical group, and the spokes-person for the JEX-3.1 on hybrid scenarios. She worked on non-inductive plasma scenarios and the interplay between ECCD and MHD instabilities, ITBs and non-linear temperature oscillations on the Tore Supra tokamak for her PhD thesis, and transferred to the DIII-D group in 2008. Since then she specialised in ideal and resistive MHD physics, and scenario development for ITER and other reactors (DEMO, FDF, etc). Her work focuses on the ITER Baseline Scenario for the Q=10 ITER mission, as well as the steady-state scenarios for reactor operation and their integration to a viable divertor solution. She is one of the DIII-D Physics Operators and is responsible for the group of ECH Operators supporting the experiments.




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