Program Director for DOD Technologies
Jay Dawson is the program director for the DOD Technologies Program within the NIF & Photon Science Directorate. The program includes the Diode Pumped Alkali Laser project and four groups with portfolios that span mission analysis, advanced sources, fiber technologies, and emerging technologies.
Dawson was the DOD Technologies deputy program director from 2015 to 2019. He joined LLNL in 2002 as a senior scientist in fiber lasers.
From 2002 to 2015, he led several fiber laser projects at LLNL, including a strategic initiative in scaling the output power of fiber lasers, the ribbon fiber project, the early work on the E-band fiber optic amplifier, the fiber laser pulse source (FiLPs), a DARPA funded program in pulsed laser beam combination, a fiber laser guide star project that produced 10 watts of 589-nanometer wavelength light, and various short pulse fiber laser R&D efforts.
He led an internal team that studied fiber laser power and energy scaling, resulting in a seminal paper on the topic, and he led the installation of the LLNL draw tower, which is producing a wide array of high-quality optical fibers for national security missions.
Between 1993 and 2002, he worked for 3M Company and CiDRA Corporation performing product development of specialty fibers, including polarization-maintaining and erbium-doped optical fibers, high-power fiber lasers, optical fiber current sensors, and fiber Bragg grating manufacturing.
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.