Program Director for DoD Technologies
NIF & Photon Science
Dr. Jay Dawson is the 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 PhD 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.