Particle physics laboratory

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory awards Jeremy Lenhardt


The seventh annual Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Early and Mid-Career Fellowship Program included five scientists whose work has had a significant impact on NIF & Photon Science research.

LLNL Director Kim Budil announced that 12 LLNL scientists and engineers have been selected as recipients of the 2021 Early and Mid-Career Recognition Program (EMCR), which recognizes scientific and technical achievement, leadership and future promises demonstrated by scientists and engineers at the lab early in their careers – four to 16 years since they most recently graduated.

“Our early and mid-career staff are our future leaders,” said Budil. “With these awards, we recognize their outstanding accomplishments and provide an opportunity to further enhance their careers in the lab. “

Winners receive a cash scholarship and institutional funding (approximately the equivalent of 20% support for one year) to pursue research activities in their area of ​​interest.

Among the winners was former Deming High School graduate Jeremy Lenhardt, son of Cheryl and Randy Lenhardt of Deming.

Jeremy Lenhardt

Since joining LLNL in 2011 as a postdoctoral researcher, Jeremy Lenhardt has made significant contributions to several program areas critical to national security, including NIF target materials (JX foams), creation of additive manufacturing resins (AM) (DIW inks), formulating a novel chemically blown foam for a critical weapon component, developing alternative methods to add porosity to AM elastomers, and identifying critical deficiencies and fixes for the production of cellular silicone gums.

The JX foams that Lenhardt created in his early days at LLNL are used today in the manufacture of NIF targets. The “Llama” series of DIW resins have been used extensively by LLNL and the Kansas City National Security Complex for the development of weapon components, of which approximately 25 are combined in the W80-4 Stockpile Life Extension (LEP) and W87 program. -1 Warhead Modification Program. New blown foams are used in a critical component of LEP.

“I am incredibly grateful to be in such an amazing laboratory – winning this award would not be possible without the support and work of fellow scientists in the laboratory,” said Lenhardt, who is now deputy group leader of the High Materials group. performance in the Materials Sciences Division of the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate.

With funding for the award, he plans to seek opportunities to marry additive polymer manufacturing with the field of polymer mechanochemistry. He said that by using non-traditional AM scaffolds we can now have the benefit of directing chemistry through the application of mechanical force. This has implications in self-healing, self-assessment, and elastomers.

The EMCR 2021 winners include:

Jason Chou

Jason Chou has had a distinguished career as a subject matter expert and pioneer in radio frequency photonics. This is a new field that combines high-speed electronics and ultra-fast optics to target high performance applications that cannot be satisfied by either discipline alone.

He was directly responsible for the growth and development of this new field within the NIF & PS Department of Defense Technologies (DODT) program, targeting high speed and high dynamic range applications including diagnostic instrumentation, radar and secure communications. He attracted internal and external recruits to join the company, acting as a thoughtful leader and career mentor.

Chou has worked in the lab for 11 years and is now a group leader for radio frequency (RF) photonics.

Learning of the award, Chou said, “This is truly the result of all the talented people I have worked with over the years at the Lab. Real progress doesn’t happen with one person, it’s always a team effort. This award is a testament to the dedication, inspiration and perspiration of so many people. I am truly blessed for the many amazing opportunities and people I am surrounded by every day at LLNL.

With his award money, he plans to further study how light can be used to improve the way we communicate and meet national security needs across the electromagnetic spectrum. One area of ​​great interest to Chou is the potential of integrated RF photonics, aimed at reducing size, weight, power and cost. He would also like to form strategic partnerships with universities, industry and other government laboratories to advance the innovative technologies that the laboratory is developing in the RF photonics group.

Amy (Lazicki) Jenei

Amy (Lazicki) Jenei, Physicist in Physical and Life Sciences and Project Leader for the Plasma Equation of State (EOS) Program in Weapons Physics and Design (WPD) for over five years. Jenei was the lead author of a study, published earlier this year in Nature, which used the NIF to successfully measure carbon at pressures up to 2,000 GPa, or 5 times the pressure in the Earth’s core (see ” Experiments at the NIF Probe Carbon at Record Pressures ”).

It innovates in its approach to acquire high pressure plasma EOS data in support of WCI programs and inventory management efforts. Jenei started her career in the lab in 2004 as a graduate student, became a postdoctoral researcher in 2010, and is now a physicist studying the properties of materials under extreme conditions.

“I was surprised and very honored to get this recognition,” she said.

Chris weber

Chris Weber has maintained a steady pace of significant technical achievements and innovative contributions to the programs. During his nine years in the lab, Weber has already played a leading role in more than half a dozen different projects within the ICF program at LLNL.

His surprising discovery of the importance of viscosity in NIF hotspots changed the perspective of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) communities on the character of ICF implosions. His high-resolution 3D simulations showed that NIF hotspots are in fact very viscous and essentially prevent turbulence formation under NIF implosion conditions. This discovery represents an important scientific contribution to the understanding of the ICF and to the ICF community.

Weber Lab’s career actually started with an internship in the HEDP (High Energy Density Physics) summer program on Weapons and Complex Integration while in graduate school.

“I am honored to be recognized,” he said. “It reminds me of the countless mentors and peers who have helped me in my work and inspired me. I still remember going to my first tech meetings here as a new hire and being energized by the level of discussion and the collaborative atmosphere.

With additional funds, Weber would like to build on the 1.3 megajoule NIF experience with energy or inventory management applications.

Alex zylstra

Alex Zylstra came to LLNL as an ICF / HED Experimenter from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) three years ago, where he served as a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow. A participant in the NIF-MIT doctorate. PhD program, he was hired by LLNL in September 2018. During his post-doctoral time at LANL, Zylstra was the experimental manager of the beryllium implosion campaign on NIF.

He is the upper class of experimenters in the ICF program, showing a deep level of understanding of ICF implosions. Through his work, he has positioned himself to be the experimental leader of the ICF program’s “Hybrid-E” implosion effort, an effort that attempts to take the best elements of past designs and use based understanding. on laboratory data of the key physical factors that control symmetry and performance to position the ICF program in the large-scale field (capsules with internal radius> 1000 microns) relevant for ignition that utilize full power and capacity energy value of the NIF. The recent results of the Hybrid-E campaign will be the biggest results for the fusion community this year and possibly this decade.

“I am very grateful and happy to receive an early career award from the lab,” Zystra said. “It’s gratifying to see my work recognized; these projects are teamwork, so I am also very grateful to my many colleagues and team members who made all of my work possible.

As an ICF expert, Zystra plans to expand its work with funding for the award. “This is an extremely exciting time for the ICF community with our recent NIF results,” he said. “I’m very interested in exploring how we can use these high-yield implosions to study science beyond the fusion program, such as pioneering nuclear physics and astrophysics, and institutional funding is a great opportunity to support this type.” of work. “

The program also honored:

Peter Caldwell, who, as Scientist and Deputy Group Leader for the Cloud Process Modeling and Research Group, is a world-renowned expert in climate modeling.

Brian Daub, who has achieved technical excellence and leadership in design physics and nuclear threat reduction.

Paul Durack, a physical oceanographer whose research expertise has filled a critical gap in the LLNL climate program since joining the lab in 2011.

Kim Knight, who has established himself as a nationally and internationally recognized leader in nuclear forensics, leading to the renaissance of historical nuclear debris analysis and supporting many agencies in these efforts.

Carol Meyers, Associate Program Manager for Nuclear Weapons Enterprise Assessment and Planning in the WCI Weapons Infrastructure Program.

Geoff Sanders, an 11-year-old LLNL computer scientist whose research involves a high level of technical complexity across multiple concurrent projects.

Megan Syal, who was appointed WCI Planetary Defense Project Leader in 2018 and has been Group Leader in the Design Physics Division since 2019.