Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Instagram Takeover

NIF Wins Over DOE’s Instagram Followers

NIF Operations Manager Bruno Van Wonterghem’s “Takeover“ of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Instagram photo feed on Aug. 15 was one of the more popular events on the @DOE Instagram site (DOE sometimes turns control of the site over to one of its national laboratories for a day). The posts generated 820 “favorites” and 47 comments on the Energy and Livermore Lab accounts. The DOE account gained 147 followers.

Tweets about the Takeover generated 779,500 impressions and the Lab’s Twitter feed gained 45 new followers, helping LLNL reach a significant milestone on Twitter: more than 10,000 followers. Posts on the Lab’s Facebook page generated 16,920 impressions, reaching 13,756 unique people and generating 294 likes, 104 shares and nine comments. The Instagram images can be seen on the Lab’s flickr and Instagram pages.

You can also click here for a Storify post of the photos and some of the Twitter comments they inspired (photo credits go to Damien Jemison of NIF&PS).

For more about Bruno, you can view his profile and follow him (“@Laserdriver”) on Twitter .

A Productive Summer for NIF&PS Summer Scholars

Thirty-five NIF & Photon Science summer interns from as far away as Japan and South Korea spent the summer at LLNL working with mentors on projects ranging from material science to physics, mathematics, and a variety of engineering disciplines. The enthusiastic and talented Summer Scholars included U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen, ROTC cadets, and undergraduate and graduate students from across the country.

Featured in this summer’s program were tours of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and NASA’s Ames Research Center, part of an effort to expand the students’ exposure to science and technology development in the Bay Area.

Summer Scholars Tour SLACNIF&PS Summer Scholar Program Manager Zhi Liao (right), mentor Aaron Peer, and 15 LLNL summer interns toured the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on June 20.

More than 20 NIF&PS interns participated in the LLNL Summer Student Poster Symposium on Aug. 7, and three produced award-winning posters:

  • Ryan Learn, mentored by Eyal Feigenbaum, for “Mitigation of Numerical Aliasing for NIF Laser Simulations.” Ryan is a first-year graduate student from Florida State University studying computer science.
  • John Ruby, mentored by Arthur Pak, for “Accessing the Numerical Accuracy of Residual Velocity Measurements via X-ray Self Emission of Indirectly Driven Inertial Confinement Implosions.” John is a junior from Villanova University studying astrophysics.
  • Karen Wang, mentored by Cal Smith, for “Conceptual Configuration and Analysis for Diagnostic Pinhole Protection.” Karen will be a Ph.D. student at Stanford University studying mechanical engineering.

At a luncheon for the Summer Scholars and mentors, NIF&PS Principal Associate Director Jeff Wisoff thanked the students, mentors and the summer program staff—Carly Limtiaco, Nyla Wlodarczyk, Reggie Drachenberg, and Tammy Ma—for their contributions to another successful program. During the luncheon the winners of seven honorable mentions for outstanding work on their summer projects were announced: George Labaria, Celine Ledesma, John McCrea, Justin Chen, Ben Kraines, Ben Galloway, and Candace Harris.

“My experience at the Lab was great,” commented Ruby, “and I have to say that my mentor, Art Pak, was the greatest asset to my academic career I have had thus far. He is the biggest thing that stood out to me in my work at Livermore, and what I learned from him is invaluable.

“Beyond that, the assets available at the Lab were world class, and it creates an environment where world-class science is achieved. My project, working on a NIF diagnostic, gave me insight into a system that few even know exist, let alone are able to understand beyond a basic level. I still have much to learn, but my internship gave me a huge push toward my goal of a career in science.”

“I had a great time here at the lab making fiber optics and testing them,” said Celine Ledesma. “We worked on making several designs for hollow core fibers. I learned how to stack and draw canes into fiber, use a glassworking lathe, how different types of fiber propagate light, and many other things. There hasn’t been a day where I wasn’t excited to go to work.

“What made my experience all the more special are the people I worked with,” she added. “I really appreciate working with my mentor nearly every day for most of the day. I wouldn’t change a thing about my experience here. I met so many people and made many good friends from all across the nation.”

NIF&PS Summer ScholarsZhi Liao (right) with Summer Scholars (from left) Michael Klem, Justin Chen, John Ruby, Celine Ledesma, Alex DeBoni, Po-Chun Yeh, Yoonwoo Hwang, David Perlmutter, Candace Harris, John McCrea, McKenzie Hubert, Ben Kraines, Ryan Learn, Karen Wang, and Ben Galloway.

John Edwards Receives Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award

John Edwards, associate program director for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and high energy density (HED) science and the NIF&PS ICF program leader, is a recipient of a 2014 Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Leadership Award. FPA Leadership Awards have been given annually since 1980 in recognition of outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion as a commercial power source.

John Edwards

Edwards is cited for his “many scientific contributions and the managerial leadership you are providing to national and international research efforts on inertial confinement fusion and high energy density plasma physics,” noting especially his leadership of the scientific program on NIF “for both high energy density physics and for the eventual achievement of ignition leading towards a commercial fusion power source.”

Edwards joined LLNL in 1998 and played a leading role in developing much of the foundation for the HED laser program in place today. Previously, he served as an HED program leader at the U.K.’s Atomic Weapons Establishment. He received his Ph.D. in 1990 from Imperial College in London and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

“This is quite an unexpected honor,” Edwards said. “Right now we have three remarkable facilities in the NIF, Z (at Sandia National Laboratories) and OMEGA (at the University of Rochester) leading the way in the national security missions of high energy density and fusion research. The excitement in the international community is almost tangible as we probe and learn about new states of matter and start to see signs of significant self-heating in ignition experiments. We have an incredibly talented and dedicated international team working on this, and the progress they’ve made this last year is quite remarkable to me and the prospects for further advances look promising. I'm very fortunate to be able to work with these people.

“None of this would be possible without an equally dedicated and talented body of people who have built these facilities, keep them running at peak performance and provide the targets and diagnostics capabilities we need,” he added. “Much of the progress on the NIF this year would not have been possible without the strong encouragement and support of our colleagues at the National Nuclear Security Administration. This is truly an exciting time to be around, and it’s a privilege to be part of it.”

The awards will be presented at the FPA’s 35th Annual Meeting and Symposium, December 16-17, in Washington, DC. For more information about the award, visit the FPA Website.