Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Jean-Michel Di Nicola

Co-Program Director,
Laser S&T and
Systems Engineering

Jean-Michel Di Nicola is LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) co-program director for the NIF&PS Laser Science & Technology and Systems Engineering organization. In this role, Di Nicola leads NIF’s laser systems engineering efforts across the directorate, including support for NIF and NIF sustainment. He shares management responsibility with co-program director Jeff Bude.

Di Nicola was previously chief systems engineer for laser systems, leading the Laser Modeling & Analysis Group and managing NIF power, energy, and precision upgrades as Laser Systems Chief Engineer. He was also the lead scientist for the NIF Laser Performance and group leader for the Laser Modeling and Analysis Group.

Di Nicola’s expertise is in laser physics, nonlinear optics, laser modeling of high energy and high peak power lasers. He has served as the principal investigator in charge of the performance modeling and commissioning of the Laser Integration Line laser, a prototype of the French Laser Megajoule (LMJ), during a two-year experimental program leading to groundbreaking results and world record performance of 10kJ of UV energy on a single beamline.

In 2005, Di Nicola spent six months as an invited scientist to participate in NIF modeling tasks and laser codes development. In 2007, he was selected as a senior expert in nonlinear optics and laser performance modeling of ICF lasers by CEA/DAM. He returned to LLNL to take part in the NIF laser commissioning and joined LLNL in 2009.

Di Nicola received two M.S. degrees in optoelectronics from Caen University (France) in 1995, and in nonlinear optics and plasma physics from the University of Paris XI and Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau (France) in 1996. The same year, he joined the French Atomic Energy Commission, Direction of Military Applications (CEA/DAM), to work on the high energy laser program dedicated to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and stockpile stewardship. He developed the first laser performance operations models for the UV, kJ-class Phebus laser.