Alumni Focus

  • Alumni Snapshot
    March 2020
    Mario Manuel
    Alumni Snapshot

    Mario Manuel

    Mario J.-E. Manuel’s doctoral research at MIT was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Richard D. Petrasso in the High-Energy-Density Physics group within the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. The experiments for his dissertation, "Rayleigh-Taylor-Induced Electromagnetic Fields in Laser-Produced Plasmas," were conducted at LLE as part of the National Laser Users Facility program funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration.

    March 2020

  • Alumni Snapshot
    February 2020
    Deepnarayan Gupta
    Alumni Snapshot

    Deepnarayan Gupta

    Dr. Deepnarayan Gupta is the President of HYPRES' largest business division, Digital-RF Circuits and Systems, which produces the Advanced Digital-RF Receiver (ADR) and develops the underlying superconductor integrated circuits and cryogenic system integration technology for a variety of current and future applications. His doctoral research at LLE under the supervision of Prof. William Donaldson and Prof. Alan Kadin. involved the invention of an inductive opening switch built with high-temperature superconductor (HTS) thin films and triggered by short laser pulses

    February 2020

  • Alumni Snapshot
    January 2020
    Carolyn Kuranz
    Alumni Snapshot

    Carolyn Kuranz

    Professor Kuranz is an experimental plasma physicist with research interests in high-energy-density plasmas, hydrodynamic instabilities, radiation hydrodynamics, and magnetized plasmas. She performs her research at high-power laser facilities around the world, including the National Ignition Facility and the Omega Laser Facility. Professor Kuranz received her Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan in 2009 and her Bachelors in Physics from Bryn Mawr College in 2002. Her Ph.D. thesis, "Blast-wave-driven, multidimensional Rayleigh-Taylor instability experiments," was based on experiments carried out at the LLE Omega Laser Facility and supported by the NLUF program.

    January 2020

  • Alumni Focus
    December 2019
    Sharon Weiss
    Alumni Focus

    Sharon Weiss

    Sharon Weiss is Director of Vanderbilt Institute of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, a multidisciplinary institute that supports research, education, and K–12 outreach across science, engineering, and medicine. A native of Rochester, NY, Prof. Weiss received B.S. (1999), M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2006) degrees from the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Weiss' Ph.D. thesis was supervised by Prof. Philippe M Fauchet. She received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship from the Office of Navy Research and a Robert L. Sproull Fellowship from the University of Rochester to support her graduate research. Her research also benefitted from use of the LLE laboratories and collaboration with the LLE scientific staff including Ken Marshall and Prof. Stephen Jacobs.

    December 2019

  • Alumni Focus
    November 2019
    Jessica DeGroote Nelson
    Alumni Focus

    Jessica DeGroote Nelson

    Jessica DeGroote Nelson is Director of Technology and Strategy at Optimax Systems, Inc., a Rochester area optical components manufacturer. She joined Optimax in 2007 after graduating from the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics with a Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. in optics. She earned an MBA degree from the Simon School at the University of Rochester and also teaches as an adjunct professor at the Institute of Optics.

    November 2019

  • Alumni Focus
    October 2019
    Jeff Squier
    Alumni Focus

    Jeff Squier

    Jeff Squier received his B.S. degree in Engineering Physics, and M.S. in Applied Physics from the Colorado School of Mines. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester, Institute of Optics and his thesis work was carried out at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics and the University of Michigan. He is presently Professor of Physics at the Colorado School of Mines, and maintains an active research group in ultrafast optics mainly focusing on nonlinear microscopy and machining and manipulating materials with femtosecond laser pulses. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America.

    October 2019

  • Alumni Focus
    September 2019
    Michelle Marshall
    Alumni Focus

    Michelle Marshall

    Dr. Marshall graduated Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York College at Geneseo in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics and a minor in Mathematics. There she conducted undergraduate research in observational astronomy. She attended the University of Rochester for graduate work. She conducted research as a Horton fellow at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in the field of high-energy-density physics under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Boehly and Professor David Meyerhofer.

    September 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    August 2019
    Justin Bruce Peatross
    Alumni Snapshot

    Justin Bruce Peatross

    Justin Peatross obtained his B.S. in Physics from the Brigham Young University and began graduate studies at the University of Rochester Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1988. His graduate research on The Far-Field Angular Distribution of High-Order Harmonics Produced in Light Scattering from a Thin Low-Density Gas Target was carried out at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics under the supervision of Profs. Meyerhofer and Eberly.

    August 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    July 2019
    Nicholas G. Usechak
    Alumni Snapshot

    Nicholas G. Usechak

    Dr. Nicholas Usechak is Director of Ultrafast Photonic Devices and Research Laboratory at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton OH. In addition to his research activities at AFRL, where he runs the Integrated Photonic Circuits team, Dr. Usechak also serves as the federal Program Manager for the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) and supports DARPA on a number of programs.

    July 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    June 2019
    Bedros Afeyan
    Alumni Snapshot

    Bedros Afeyan

    Bedros Afeyan earned his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada in 1980. He then earned a Masters and a Ph.D. in Theoretical Plasma Physics from the University of Rochester working at LLE on modeling laser–plasma interaction problems. His thesis advisors were Edward A. Williams, head of the Plasma Theory group at LLE, and Prof. Albert Simon.

    June 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    May 2019
    Jeremy D. Schnittman
    Alumni Snapshot

    Jeremy D. Schnittman

    Jeremy Schnittman came to LLE as a summer high school intern (from Wilson Magnet High School in the Rochester City School District). Under the supervision of Stephen Craxton, Jeremy wrote, from scratch, a viewfactor program that modeled the uniformity in cylindrical hohlraums on Nova, OMEGA, and the National Ignition Facility (NIF). He became a semifinalist in the then Westinghouse Science Talent Search for this work.

    May 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    April 2019
    Kazuo A. Tanaka
    Alumni Snapshot

    Kazuo A. Tanaka

    Kazuo A. Tanaka earned B.S. (1974) and M.S. (1976) degrees from Osaka University and M.S. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) degrees from the University of Rochester. His doctoral research on parametric instabilities in UV laser-produced plasmas was carried out at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) under the supervision of Prof. Leonard Goldman. He held an LLE Fellowship from 1978 to 1982 and worked as a Research Associate at LLE from 1982 to 1984.

    April 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    March 2019
    Wayne Knox
    Alumni Snapshot

    Wayne Knox

    Wayne Knox's involvement with LLE began in 1976 when he began working with the LLE Glass Laser Development team as an RIT coop student. Later on, he transferred from RIT to the Institute of Optics and as an undergraduate laboratory assistant and became one of the founding members of Gerard Mourou's Ultrafast Science group at LLE. Wayne continued his graduate education at the Institute of Optics as an LLE fellow, doing his graduate research at the Laboratory and completing his Ph.D. in 1983. In 1984, he went to Bell Labs in Holmdel, NJ and worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow, was promoted to Member of Technical Staff in 1985, and to Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 1990.

    March 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    February 2019
    Amanda Davis
    Alumni Snapshot

    Amanda Davis
    Scientist, Johns Hopkins University
    Applied Physics Laboratory

    Amanda K. Davis earned her B.S. degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Arizona in 2012 and was supported by a Frank J. Horton Fellowship from the Laboratory for Laser Energetics during her graduate education at the University of Rochester. She received her Ph.D. in Physics in 2017 with the thesis, "Laser Ablation and Hydrodynamic Coupling in Direct-Drive Inertial-Confinement-Fusion Experiments."

    February 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    January 2019
    Charles P. Verdon
    Alumni Snapshot

    Charles P. Verdon
    Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs, NNSA

    Charles P. Verdon earned his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (1984) degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Arizona. His doctoral dissertation ("Numerical Simulations of Rayleigh–Taylor Instabilities in Ablation-Driven Systems") was completed at the University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) under the supervision of Richard L. Morse (U. Arizona) and Robert L McCrory (Director Emeritus, LLE).

    January 2019

  • Alumni Snapshot
    November 2018
    Maria Alejandra Barrios
    Alumni Snapshot

    Maria Alejandra Barrios
    Senior Data Scientist, In-Q-Tel

    Dr. Barrios obtained her B.A. in Physics, Mathematics, and Philosophy from Gettysburg College and her Ph.D. in High-Energy-Density Physics and Plasma Physics from the University of Rochester in 2010. Her graduate thesis was titled: "Precision Equation of State Measurements on Hydrocarbons in the High Energy Density Regime" and her thesis supervisors were Profs. Thomas Boehly and David Meyerhofer. Dr. Barrios conducted her graduate research on the OMEGA Laser System at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics under a Frank J. Horton Fellowship.

    November 2018

  • Alumni Snapshot
    October 2018
    Colin J. McKinstrie
    Alumni Snapshot

    Colin J. McKinstrie
    Senior Scientist, Huawei Technologies

    Colin McKinstrie received a B.Sc. degree from the University of Glasgow in 1981 (Mathematics and Physics) and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Rochester in 1986 (Plasma Physics). His thesis advisor was Prof. Albert Simon and from 1982 to 1985 he held an appointment as an LLE Graduate Fellow. From 1985 to 1988 he was a Postdoctoral Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he was associated with the Applied Physics Division and Center for Nonlinear Studies. In 1988 Dr. McKinstrie returned to the University of Rochester as a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and a Scientist at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics.

    October 2018

  • Alumni Snapshot
    September 2018
    Dayne Fratanduono
    Alumni Snapshot

    Dayne Fratanduono
    Physicist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Dayne Fratanduono received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Physics with Great Distinction from Clarkson University in Potsdam, NY in 2006 and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester in 2008 and 2010, respectively. At the University of Rochester he was awarded the prestigious Sproull Fellowship from the fall of 2006 until the fall of 2008.

    September 2018

  • Alumni Snapshot
    August 2018
    Eileen Korenic
    Alumni Snapshot

    Eileen Korenic
    Professor of Physics,
    University of Wisconsin

    Dr. Korenic is a professor in the Department of Physics of the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. Her research has been presented at conventions of the Inter-Society Color Council, the Materials Research Society, the Optical Society of America, and the International Liquid Crystal Society in Strasbourg where her thesis received a Glenn H. Brown prize for outstanding liquid crystal thesis. Before joining the UWRF faculty, Dr. Korenic worked as a colorimetry scientist at 3M in St. Paul where her work received a Circle of Technical Excellence award.

    August 2018

  • Alumni Snapshot
    July 2018
    Vladimir Smalyuk
    Alumni Snapshot

    Vladimir Smalyuk
    Physicist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Vladimir Smalyuk worked at LLE as a Research Associate, Scientist, and Senior Scientist until 2009, when he joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    July 2018

  • Alumni Snapshot
    June 2018
    Donna T. Strickland
    Alumni Snapshot

    Donna T. Strickland
    Associate Professor, Waterloo University

    Donna Strickland received her B. Eng. Degree in Physics, from McMaster University in 1981. She graduated from the University of Rochester in 1989 with a Ph.D. in Optics and was a Laboratory for Laser Energetics Graduate Fellow from 1982 till 1988. Along with her Ph.D. supervisor, Dr. Gerard Mourou (of LLE and the Institute of Optics), Donna Strickland co-invented Chirped Pulse Amplification (CPA) at LLE, which made it possible to amplify ultra-short pulses to unprecedented levels. In recognition of the CPA invention, Strickland and Mourou were awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics. In 2018, Strickland was also selected to the British Broadcasting Corporation list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world.

    June 2018

  • Alumni Snapshot
    May 2018
    Warren Grice
    Alumni Snapshot

    Warren Grice
    Distinguished Research Scientist
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    Dr. Warren Paul Grice is a Distinguished Research Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and leads the Quantum Information Science Group.

    May 2018

  • Lauren Weiss
    April 2018
    Lauren Weiss
    Lauren Weiss

    Lauren Weiss
    Trottier Post-Doctoral Fellow
    at Université de Montréal

    Astrophysicist Lauren Weiss, an alumna of the 2005 LLE Summer High School Research Program, is the leader of an international research team that has just announced a major finding about exoplanets that could be suitable for life. Based on observations of over 900 exoplanets using the Kepler Space Telescope and the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, her team has discovered that exoplanets orbiting the same star tend to have similar sizes and a regular orbital spacing, in contrast to our solar system.

    April 2018