Mini-Course Speakers

Joe Kilkenny
General Atomics

Dr. Joe Kilkenny received his B.Sc., ARCS, in 1968 and his Ph.D. D.I.C. in 1972 from Imperial College, University of London. He performed experimental research in magnetically confined plasmas, high power and beam research at Imperial College, and laser plasma research at the Rutherford Laboratory and the Atomic Weapons Establishment. He became a Reader (equivalent to Professor) in 1982. During this time, he performed seminal research on nonlinear thermal transport in plasmas, Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities, ablation pressure scaling, EXAFS and absorption x-ray spectroscopy while also supervising 15 graduate students, many of whom now occupy senior positions in High Energy Density (HED) Physics in the US and the UK. In 1984 he moved to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and began work on laser plasma research on Nova. Highlights of his research include plasma spectroscopy, fast-electron generation and transport, and high-pressure equation-of-state measurements of deuterium. He also worked on hydrodynamic instabilities in laser fusion and high-speed x-ray diagnostic development. Experiments he initiated were the basis for favorable recommendations of the National Academy of Science on constructing the National Ignition Facility at LLNL. During that time, Dr. Kilkenny was the ICF Program Manager at LLNL and the technical manager of the experiments on Nova. He initiated the university use effort on Nova, which engaged academic involvement in HED experiments. During a period where he was also Associate Director at LLE, he helped develop the scientific case for OMEGA EP and invented the concept of Polar Direct Drive.

Dr. Kilkenny led the development of innovative diagnostics for HED experiments. While performing research at Imperial College, he built his own diagnostics for experiments. This led to the formation of Kentech Instruments, a world leader in the area of high speed instrumentation. He continued his efforts at LLNL, where he developed high-speed x-ray imaging cameras and plasma diagnostics for the Nova laser. In 2008, he was asked to lead the development of diagnostics on NIF, which resulted in over 80 diagnostics being installed and commissioned on NIF, in an international collaboration of scientists from universities and other national laboratories. Currently he is the NIF Chief Experimentalist, where he is leading a national effort in the development of transformative diagnostics for HED. Dr. Kilkenny is the senior member of the APS-DPP High Temperature Plasma Diagnostics Conference committee, running the Conference twice in the last forty years.

From 2003 until 2008, Dr. Kilkenny led an effort at General Atomics in the area of target fabrication of HED targets. He and his team innovated many aspects of target fabrication which are now routine such a Be coatings, micro fill tube technology and U coatings. He developed GA into a world class HED target manufacturer. He strengthened a quality program and ensured ISO 9000 accreditation. He established a partner relationship with LLNL, LANL, SNL, LLE and MIT to provide the targets needed for their experiments.

Dr. Kilkenny’s scientific leadership has been recognized by a number of awards and honors. In 1990, he became a fellow of the American Physical Society for significant contributions to the study of energy transport, hydrodynamics, implosion physics, x-ray spectroscopy, and advanced diagnostics of laser-produced plasmas. In 1993 he received the SPIE Conrady Award for the development of high-speed x-ray imaging cameras and an IR 100 award for high-speed electronics. In 1995 he received the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research for experiments leading to quantitative understanding of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability in high energy density plasmas. In 2005 he received the American Nuclear Society Teller award. In 2016 he received the Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award. He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications in HED.


Roger Reichle
ITER Organization

Roger Reichle (*1.2.1958 in Neustadt/Weinstrasse, Germany) achieved his physics diploma 1982 with a thesis on nuclear methods in solid state physics and his PhD thesis 1988 on a fast low pressure gas discharge, both at the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg – the two periods being separated by 2 years of civil service at the GSF Neuherberg at the Institute for Radiohydrology where he built a low level radioisotope detection diagnostic. After the PhD thesis he was employed (1988) as PostDoc at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Phyiscs in Garching, Germany, working on accelerator based surface analysis of samples from JET (in Garching) and the development of an imaging thermography and spectroscopy diagnostic for JET at JET Joint Undertaking, Abindon, UK. In 1989 he was employed by JET as temporary agent of the European Commission as Responsible Officer for the development of bolometers and experiments in the plasma wall interaction field at JET Joint Undertaking, Abindon, UK. In this period he also made first outline design studies for Bolometers for ITER. He participated at JET in the D-T experiments and stayed there for 8 years until 1997 when he moved to Tore Supra in France. At Tore Supra he was the Responsible Officer for Tore Supra thermography diagnostics and ITER oriented studies on thermography and bolometers at the CEA/DSM/IRFM, France – as seconded agent of the European Commission. After these 12 years with the CEA he moved to ITER in 2009 where he works up to date (2018). Presently he is in the ITER Port Plug and Diagnostics Integration Division the leader of lateral support activities (requirement management, change management, CAD support and Instrumentation and Control) and Responsible Officer for several diagnostics (Visible and IR imaging, Bolometry, laser viewing and metrology) - as seconded agent of the European Commission. During these 30 years in tokamak research he supervised 1 PhD at JET, 2 at Tore Supra and now also one at ITER.


Johan Frenje

Johan's research is conducted in the areas of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), High-Energy-Density (HED) physics, nuclear astrophysics, low-energy nuclear physics, plasma nuclear physics and applied nuclear physics. His research is mainly conducted at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Z facility at Sandia National Laboratory. At these facilities, he is also responsible for several nuclear measurements in support of the ICF programmatic campaigns. In addition, he is supervising several graduate students at MIT.

Johan earned his PhD in 1998 in applied nuclear physics at Uppsala University (Sweden) after receiving a M.Sc. degree from the same university. Since 1999, he has been at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In 2017, he was promoted to Senior Research Scientist and Assistant Head of the HEDP Division at PSFC.

Johan has pioneered a new field of research, called plasma nuclear science, which blends the disciplines of plasma and nuclear physics. In his pioneering experiment, he demonstrated for the first time that an ICF facility and HED plasma can be used to study basic nuclear physics. This work was featured in APS Physics.

Johan has authored/co-authored more than 240 peer-reviewed journal papers. He is a member of the APS-DPP Executive Committee (2016-); member of the OLUG Executive Committee (2015-), chairing the ICF-HED National Ignition Implosion Physics working group formed by NNSA (2015-); a member of the National Diagnostic planning effort (2013-); an Executive Committee member for the HTPD conference (2014-); a panel member of the DOE High-Energy-Density Laboratory Physics (HEDLP) ReNew Panel 2009; a member of the NNSA Basic Research Directions on User Science at the NIF panel in 2010; and panel lead for the Stagnation properties and burn panel, which was part of the NNSA Review on Science of Fusion Ignition in 2012. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society (Division of Plasma Physics).


George McKee
University of Wisconsin

Dr. George McKee is a Senior Scientist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he performs research into the nature of turbulence and turbulent transport behavior in magnetically confined tokamak plasmas, and develops optical diagnostics to probe fluctuation and other instability phenomena. He received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from the State University of New York at Buffalo (1989), and then pursued his M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1995) degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. He performed an ORISE postdoctoral research fellowship at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to perform tokamak divertor spectroscopy at the DIII-D tokamak facility. He currently performs experimental research at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility tokamak and also leads diagnostic and research collaborations on the NSTX-U spherical torus facility at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and at the HL-2A tokamak at the Southwestern Institute of Physics (Chengdu, China). His research interests and contributions include imaging of core turbulence in tokamaks with the Beam Emission Spectroscopy diagnostic, identification of zonal flow behavior and related nonlinear interactions, measurement of 3D and impurity effects on turbulent transport, L-H transition dynamics, pedestal instabilities, developing advanced diagnostics and analysis techniques, and assisting with the validation of transport simulations via quantitative comparison with fluctuation measurements. He works closely with and mentors several graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from the University of Wisconsin as well as numerous other domestic and international universities and research facilities. He was a member of the Burning Plasma Organization - Research Committee on Transport and Confinement and the Transport Task Force Executive Committee; is currently a member of the High-Temperature Plasma Diagnostics Executive Committee and chaired the 21st Topical Conference on High-Temperature Plasma Diagnostics (2016, Madison, Wisconsin); is currently chair of the Edge Coordinating Committee; is a member of the International Tokamak Physics Activity - Confinement & Transport topical group (ITPA-TC); and directs the turbulence and transport research area at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. He has authored or co-authored over 100 refereed journal papers, and presented dozens of invited talks at domestic and international conferences, lectured at universities and national laboratories, presented a review talk on turbulence in magnetically confined plasmas at the 2013 American Physical Society - Division of Plasma Physics Conference, and is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (


Eric Harding
Sandia National Lab

Dr. Eric Harding received his B.Sc. in 2003 and Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, under the guidance of Dr. Paul Drake. His Ph.D. research was focused on hydrodynamic instabilities in high-energy-density plasmas. He led experiments at both the Nike and Omega laser facilities that investigated the Kelvin Helmholtz instability. Eric is currently a staff member at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here he is a principal investigator for ICF experiments on the Z-machine, and is focused on developing advanced x-ray imaging and spectroscopic diagnostics.


Neville Luhmann Jr.
University of California at Davis

Dr. N.C. Luhmann, Jr. is a Distinguished Professor in the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC Davis. He is an APS Fellow, IEEE Fellow, recipient of the IEEE John R. Pierce award for Excellence in Vacuum Electronics, awarded the Kenneth J. Button Award for "Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to the Science of the Electromagnetic Spectrum", awarded the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, Plasma Science and Applications Committee (PSAC) Award for "Outstanding Contributions to the Field of Plasma Science" 2005, and recipient of the Robert L. Woods Award, and the Award for “Excellence in Vacuum Electronics” given by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Prof. Luhmann is the author of 392 papers in archival journals, 375 proceedings articles, and 18 books and chapters, and 1086 conference presentations. His research has focused on four separate microwave and millimeter wave areas of research: millimeter and submillimeter wave diagnostics of fusion plasmas including passive and active imaging and visualization instruments, millimeter and submillimeter technology development including solid state millimeter-wave devices and arrays, microwave vacuum electronics, and intense microwave interactions with plasmas. Professor Luhmann is the founder of the UC Davis Microwave/Millimeter Wave and Plasma Diagnostic Group (MMWPDG: and the founder and Co-Director of the Davis Millimeter-Wave Research Center (DMRC:


Louisa Pickworth
Lawrence Livermore National Lab

Dr. Louisa Pickworth received her B.Sc., ARCS, in 2008 and her Ph.D. D.I.C. in 2013 from Imperial College, London. For her PhD thesis work she developed and ran experiments on the MAGPIE Z-pinch facility based at Imperial College. This work focused on laboratory created plasmas with astrophysical relevance, involving strong shocks produced by supersonic plasma jets colliding with stationary foils.

She joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in a post-doctorate position in May 2013 and took a staff scientist position in 2015. As a post-doc she led a collaboration to build a Kirkpatrick-Baez Microscope for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) to image inertial confinement fusion (ICF) implosions. This microscope brought higher resolution, better photon statistics and improved spatial resolution to the interpretation of the x-ray images. This was achieved through the use of x-ray mirrors at grazing incidence in contrasts to the commonly used ‘pin-hole’ microscope systems. She has continued to support the development of x-ray imaging at NIF through instigating x-ray imaging projects with Wolter lenses (in collaboration with Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and NASA) and grazing incidence mirrors in a toroidal geometry (in collaboration with Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, CEA).

Louisa has worked the effects of cross-beam energy transfer (CBET) on ICF hohlraum radiation drive symmetry, developing calibrated witness plate techniques to visualize the foot-print of the NIF laser beams after CBET has taken place. This technique has gone on to be applied in recent NIF experiments aimed at creating the highest fluence single laser beam using a plasma optic (R. Kirkwood, Nature Physics 2017).

Recently Louisa has focused on developing new experiments at NIF to investigate the effect of hydrodynamic growth in the ICF implosion. This allowed this combination of the advanced Kirkpatrick-Baez microscope to be applied to imaging line and enhanced continuum emission in the context of ablation front seeded growth.


Leonardo Giudicotti
ENEA RFX, Univ. Padova

Leonardo Giudicotti (1953) is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Padova University. He is also a member of the Centre for Fusion Researches and a senior researcher at the Consorzio RFX.

Leonardo Giudicotti graduated in physics at Padova University in 1978 (110/110). In the same year he joined the research group in experimental plasma physics at the Istituto Gas Ionizzati del CNR (the National Research Council of Italy), now Consorzio RFX. From 1978 to 1981, as a junior researcher he participated to the development and the operation of Thomson scattering diagnostics of the ETA BETA II RFP experiment. In 1981 he became research assistant at the Electrical Engineering Department of Padova University and started his teaching activity in various courses (general physics, plasma physics, solid state physics) of the School of Engineering. From 1988 to 1997 he was head of the Thomson scattering group of the Consorzio RFX, coordinating the activities for the development and operation of Thomson scattering and FIR polarimetry diagnostics and for plasma studies in the RFX experiment. From 1991 to 1993 he was also head of the Computer and Data Acquisition service of the Consorzio RFX. From 1997, as a senior researcher, he continued his activity in the field of plasma diagnostics in the RFX experiment and through several international collaborations. In 2006 he became associate professor at the Engineering Department of Padova University and member of the Academic Council of the International Doctorate in Fusion Science and Enginering. Since 2006 he has collaborated with researchers of various EU fusion laboratories for the design of FIR polarimetry (2006-2007) and of Thomson scattering diagnostics (2006 - 2017) for ITER. Since 2009 he is a member of the International Scientific Committee of the LAPD (Laser-Aided Plasma Diagnostics) Conference. He has published about 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings.


Dustin Froula
University of Rochester

Professor Dustin Froula received his MS and PhD degrees in Physics from the University of California at Davis in 2000 and 2002 respectively. After working as a research scientist in the National Ignition Facility Inertial Confinement Fusion Directorate, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (2002-2010), he spent a year on sabbatical at the University of California at Los Angeles where he completed the second edition of the book, "Plasma Scattering of Electromagnetic Radiation: Theory and Measurement Techniques." He then joined the research staff at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) as a Senior Scientist before becoming the Plasma and Ultrafast Physics group leader in 2011. He received a secondary appointment as an Assistant Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department in 2013. In 2007, he received the Department of Energy's Outstanding Mentor Award for his work with undergraduate and graduate students. He was selected as a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2017 for the development and application of Thomson scattering to understand thermal transport and the onset of laser-plasma instabilities in indirect and direct-drive fusion experiments.


Didier Mazon
CEA, Cadarache

Didier Mazon is a physicist at IRFM CEA Cadarache and since 2016 he is Functional Leader of the the Fusion Plasma Physics department. In 2016 he also became Co-Chair of the ITPA Topical Group Diagnostics.

From 2014 to 2016 he was Chair of the ITPA Diagnostic Working Group on Real time diagnostic. From 2008-2013 he was Leader of the EFDA ‘Feedback Control Group’ and from 2009-2013 EFDA Deputy Leader of the ‘Topical Group Diagnostics’. Between 2007 and 2010 he was Deputy Task Force Leader for Diagnostics on JET. His main duties are to coordinate the diagnostics and control activity in Europe in preparation of ITER (experimental Fusion machine under construction in Cadarache France) and DEMO (project of a Fusion reactor that will follow the ITER experimentation) but also to follow and coordinate the diagnostics activities in the European Tokamaks and encourage the implementation of new diagnostics and new techniques.

He received a Ph.D. degree in physics in 1996 in the field of energy and combustion from the University of Provence, France and worked with ONERA in the field of the propulsion of the European space rocket Arianne V. He then spent many years at JET at the Culham Science Centre as research scientist, where he worked on real-time plasma equilibrium reconstruction, real-time measurement systems, data mining and feedback control of plasma parameters. He performed also many experiment at JET in the field of profile control in order to reach steady state scenarios. In 1999, he joined the CEA Cadarache (France), where he is responsible for the Bremsstrahlung emission and Soft X-rays diagnostics. He works on the development of real-time diagnostics and feedback algorithms for the simultaneous control of the current density and pressure profiles with direct applications in JET and Tore Supra.

His research interests include plasma physics, in particular, understanding and control of internal transport barriers, control systems, plasma equilibrium and impurity transport studies. He wrote three patents related to the development of new techniques for the acquisition and unfolding of the Hard and Soft X-ray measurement. He has also a large experience in teaching physics and still forms young students during their internships and leads their research as Director during their Phd thesis. He published more than 200 articles in less than 15 years in renowned international journals and conferences as lead author or coauthor.