Deputy Program Director for DoD Technologies
NIF & Photon Science
Dr. Jay Dawson is the deputy program director for the DoD Technologies Program within the NIF & Photon Science Directorate. Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Dawson led a number of fiber laser projects at LLNL since 2002, including a strategic initiative in scaling the output power of fiber lasers, a DARPA-funded project to investigate beam combination of pulsed fiber lasers, a fiber-laser-based guide star, and a short-pulse injection seed laser developed to enable NIF beamlines to produce high-energy petawatt pulses at the system output.
He also has led an internal team studying fiber laser power and energy scaling, developing a methodology for evaluating the power scaling limits of conventional fiber lasers.
Dr. Dawson received his B.S. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University in 1988 and a Ph.D. in applied physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1993. Between 1993 and 2002, he worked for 3M Company and Cidra Corporation performing product development in specialty fibers, including polarization-maintaining and erbium-doped optical fibers, high-power fiber lasers, optical fiber current sensors, and fiber Bragg grating manufacturing.
Dr. Dawson’s current research interests are in using lasers and laser-based systems to provide solutions for pressing national security problems.