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Mentors, Colleagues and Friends

My career and personal growth has been strongly enhanced by many mentors, colleagues and friends, summarized below.

HJAH. Julian Allen

H. Julian Allen (Harvey Allen) was a pioneer in aerodynamics and aerothermodynamics and is credited with the idea of using a blunt body to facilitate re-entry of spacecraft into the atmosphere. He worked at NACA labs Langley Field and Ames Research Center, eventually becoming the Director of NASA Ames. He also was interested in meteoritics (the study of meteors and meteorites), and was also very knowledgeable of history and classical music. He was a true renaissance man in every sense of the word, and he mentored me to study math and science and to go into a technical field, which I eventually did.

JNNJack N. Nielsen

Dr. Jack N. Nielsen was an aerodynamicist and expert on missile aerodynamics. He also worked at various NACA labs and co-founded Vidya Corporation, which provided technical and engineering research services to various government agencies. Vidya eventually merged with Itek Corporation. He subsequently founded Nielsen Engineering and Research, Inc. (NEAR, Inc.), located in Mountain View, CA. NEAR provided engineering research services to many government agencies, including NASA and various military agencies. I worked for NEAR as an Engineer's Aid during summers while I was an undergraduate. I worked with various staff members and did much of that work at NASA Ames Laboratory as a contractor.

Lawence Berkeley Laboratory

My Ph.D. thesis work was conducted from 1976 to 1982 at what is now the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, better known then as the Radiation Lab ("Rad Lab") due to its historical role in particle accelerators led by Earnest O. Lawrence. LBL is connected with UC Berkeley. As a result of the energy crises of 1970's, I was motivated to work on nuclear fusion, and LBL's Accelerator and Fusion Research Division provided me with the opportunity to work on experiments focusing on atomic and ionic collisions relavant to various fusion concepts, including intense neutral beam injection, as well as heavy ion fusion. My Ph.D thesis advisor was Prof. Robert V. Pyle; his staff included Dr. Klaus Berkner, Dr. Bill Graham, Dr. Fred Schlachter, Dr. John Tanis and Dr. Darlene Markevich, all of whom provided advice and support of my work. Graduate student colleagues included Peter Schneider, John Trow, Motoi (Gen) Wada, and Young Kim Bae, all of whom earned their Ph.D.s from this group. Shown above left (L-R) are Warren Stearns, Fred Schlachter, Bill Graham, Klaus Berkner, Bob Pyle, and Lou Biagi; to the right is from a recent reunion of Drs. John Tanis, Bill Graham, Pete Schneider, Tom Morgan, Fred Schlachter and myself.

Molecular Physics Lab at SRI International

In 1986 I left Applied Materials Inc. and joined the Molecular Physics Lab at SRI International in Menlo Park, CA. Dr. Don Lorents was Director of the MPL at that time, and I worked for Dr. Don Eckstrom on diagnostic development for intense relativistic charged particle (electron) beams. Much of that work was done as a contractor at the Advanced Test Accelerator at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and at the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC, and at the Radlac Accelerator in New Mexico. We then worked on diagnostics of high-power microwave discharges at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. Eventually I and a colleague (Jay Jeffries) started a program in diagnostics of diamond-depositing arcjet devices, funded by the Army Research Office. Various other projects funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research kept me busy until 1999, when I left to start STAR.

krs_mplHere I am in my office at SRI

ArthrocareArthroCare Corporation

In 2003 I joined the technical staff at ArthroCare (following 2 years as a consultant), reporting to Dr. Jean Woloszko, Chief Technical Officer. My duties there included conductingresearch and development of electrosurgical devices and investigating the physics and chemistry of electrical discharges in saline solutions. This work led to an Innovations for Proliferation Prevention (IPP) project under the auspices of the US Department of Energy, involving Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, ArthroCare and two laboratories in Russia (Troitsk Institute for Innovation and Fusion Research-TRINITI-near Moscow, and the High Current Electronics Institute-HCEI-in Tomsk, Siberia. Shown here are (L-R)the Director of the HCEI, Dr. Efim Oks (HCEI), Dr. Jean Woloszko (ArthroCare), Dr. Andrei Stepanov (TRINITI), me, and Dr. Ian G. Brown (LBL). Not shown is Dr. Bogdan Adamiak (TRINITI).

RJVNTFPlasma Lab at the Nevada Terawatt Facility (University of Nevada, Reno)

From 2000 through 2012, Dr. Robert Vidar, formerly from SRI International, led a program to investigate the production of air plasmas by electron beams. This program was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). I consulted on the project for the duration, providing analytical and experimental support for the project. Shown here is Dr. Vidmar at the controls of the air plasma facility.


qubgatequbkenbilltomQueen's University Belfast

.I have had a long term collaboration with Prof. Bill Graham at Queen's University Belfast. I have been a Distinguished Visiting Fellow, and most recently an Honorary Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Physics. Prof. Graham, his graduate students and I work on a variety of experimental and computational physics problems, most notably in the physics of electrical discharges and plasmas produced in saline solutions. The photo on the right me, Bill, and Prof. Tom Morgan of Wesleyan University.

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