Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Tom Spinka

Program Element Leader for
Laser Development
Advanced Photon Technologies

Tom Spinka is program element leader for Laser Development in the Advanced Photon Technologies (APT) group. He leads the APT group’s laser R&D activities, identifies and fosters new applications where lasers can support National Nuclear Security Administration and Department of Energy missions, recruits new talent, and provides technical support and insight to the Laser Systems Engineering and Operations Division and NIF & Photon Science senior management teams.

Spinka joined LLNL as an opto-electronic engineer in 2010. He worked on the Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) laser front end for several years before transitioning to the High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) project in late 2013, where he was the lead scientist and commissioning manager for the short-pulse laser system.

His expertise is in short-pulse lasers and laser physics, high-average-power diode-pumped solid-state laser systems, and ultrafast and nonlinear optics and spectroscopy, with broad interests in laser modeling, laser materials science, adaptive optics, laser-matter interactions, astronomy, machine learning-based classification, categorization, and optimization, and applied statistics and data analysis.

Spinka received his B.S in electrical engineering and astronomy and his M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.