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Principal Investigators

Karl Krushelnick

Karl Krushelnick, PhD


Harry J. Gomberg Professor, Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences; Professor (courtesy), Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Physics

ZEUS Speciality Area: Laser-plasma experiment

Email: kmkr@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 763-4877

Louise Willingale

Louise Willingale, PhD

Associate Director

Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ZEUS Speciality Area: Laser-plasma experiment

Email: wlouise@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 647-9543

Igor Jovanovic

Igor Jovanovic, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences; Professor, Applied Physics

ZEUS Speciality Area: Laser driven radiation sources

Email: ijov@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 647-4989

Carolyn Kuranz, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

ZEUS Speciality Area: Lab Astrophysics, Outreach & User Development

Email: ckuranz@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 615-6282

Alexander Thomas, PhD

Co-Principal Investigator

Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences; Professor (courtesy), Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ZEUS Speciality Area: Laser-plasma theory

Email: agrt@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 763-6008

Research Scientists

Anatoly Maksimchuk

Anatoly Maksimchuk, PhD

Co- Investigator

Research Scientist, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ZEUS Speciality Area: High power laser & laser-plasma experiments

Office: 2010 Gerstacker
Email: tolya@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 827-4165

Research areas: Laser-matter interaction at relativistic intensities, table-top particle accelerators, high-power short pulse lasers.

Research profile on ResearchGate, on Google Scholar and on Michigan Research Experts.

Dr. Anatoly Maksimchuk has a PhD from Lebedev Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Science (Moscow), where he participated in the inertial confinement fusion program and studied x-ray radiation transport in a hot dense plasma of the thermonuclear targets. In 1992 Dr. Maksimchuk has joined the University of Michigan attracted by the prospectives of using high-intensity lasers for production of hot dense plasma as an ultrashort pulse radiation source.

Using high-intensity lasers at CUOS Dr. Maksimchuk participated in the discoveries of many high-field science effects, such as laser wakefield electron acceleration and observation of collimated electron beams, observation of the nonlinear Thomson scattering, observation of the Coulomb explosion and ion acceleration in underdense plasma, observation of proton acceleration from thin film targets, radioactive isotope production with accelerated ions and high energy electrons, observation of relativistic harmonics generation from gases and solids and the others.

His current research projects include studies of laser-matter interaction at ultra-relativistic intensities and the development of table-top plasma accelerators for production of high-energy electron and proton beams and for generation of the ultrashort x-ray and gamma-ray radiation. These particles and radiation beams can be used for cancer radiation therapy or for research in solid-state physics, high-energy-density plasma physics and for atomic-scale imaging on femtosecond  time scale. Dr. Maksimchuk is a co-PI on a grant from the NSF to construct a 3PW ZEUS facility, where he oversees laser beam delivery system and manages three experimental areas. He is also the head of a 20 TW hybrid Ti:sapphire/Nd:glass laser facility.

In 2009 and 2014 Dr. Maksimchuk has received College of Engineering Outstanding Research Scientist Awards and in 2021 he received the University of Michigan Research Faculty Achievement Award

In 2013 Dr. Maksimchuk was elected to Fellow of the American Physical Society.

John Nees

John Nees, MS

Co- Investigator

Research Scientist, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ZEUS Speciality Area: High power laser technology

Office: 2018 Gerstacker
Email: nees@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 657-0230

Research areas: Ultrafast, Lasers, High Field Science, Plasma Physics

Research profile on Google Scholar and on Michigan Research Experts.

Mr. Nees has studied aspects of Ultrafast Science from probing circuits with single-picosecond resolution and separating isotopes in laser generated plumes to developing
lasers for High-Field Science. He is investigating the use of extremely high optical fields in driving plasmas and is currently co-leading the development of the 3 PW laser set to be the main source for the NSF ZEUS laser facility at the University of Michigan. 

Mr. Nees was granted the 2006 Outstanding Investigator of the Year Award by the University of Michigan College of Engineering for his work spanning from picosecond optoelectronics to relativistic plasma research, in addition to teaching Advanced Lasers and Optics (EECS 438) for several years. In 2017 John Nees was elected to Fellow of Optica (formerly, the Optical Society of America) for “contributions to the development of short pulse high rep rate laser technology as well as to the science of high intensity short pulse laser interactions with matter.” In 2020 John Nees received the Kenneth M. Reese Outstanding Research Scientist Award from the College of Engineering.

Milos Burger

Milos Burger, PhD

Assistant Research Scientist, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

Office: 2018 Phoenix Memorial Laboratory
Email: milosb@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 764-8234

Research areas: Laser-matter interactions, Plasma and laser spectroscopy, Nonlinear optically-driven processes in gases  

Research profile on Google Scholar. 

Dr. Burger received his Ph.D. in plasma physics from the University of Belgrade in 2015, where he worked as a teaching and research assistant for six consecutive years. After completing postdoctoral training, he was appointed Assistant Research Scientist at the University of Michigan in 2019. His main research interests concern the basics of laser coupling with matter, as well as applications in the domain of optical sensing. He studies the efficacy of the interaction of ultrashort laser pulses with solids and resulting plasmas as a means for remote detection of elements and compounds with a wide range of applications in environmental monitoring and nuclear safety and security. Dr. Burger is involved in several projects focusing on novel optical instrumentation for advancereactors to monitor reactor structural integrity. His ongoing research is about the interaction of structured electromagnetic fields with air to understand the fundamentals of nonlinear propagation of phase-modulated laser beams in gaseous environments.

Paul Campbell, PhD

Assistant Research Scientist, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Office: 2026 Gerstacker
Email: campbpt@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 763-4875

Research area keywords: magnetized high energy density physics, laboratory astrophysics, laser-plasma accelerators

Research profile on Google Scholar:   https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=KWy14GEAAAAJ&hl=en

Paul earned his PhD in Applied Physics at Michigan after studying physics at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. Before joining the ZEUS project, he spent two years as a fellow supported by the DOE Fusion Energy Sciences postdoctoral research program. His research focuses on particle acceleration and magnetic field generation during intense laser-plasma interactions.

Bixue Hou

Bixue Hou, PhD

Associate Research Scientist, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ZEUS Speciality Area: Laser technology

Office: 2020 Gerstacker
Email: houbx@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 647-0122

Research areas: Laser-matter interactions and development of ultra-fast ultra-intense lasers

Bixue Hou received his Bachelor degree in Physics and Master degree in Optics from Shaanxi Normal University and received his Ph. D degree in Engineering from Xi’an Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences in China.

Yong Ma

Yong Ma, PhD

Assistant Research Scientist, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

ZEUS Speciality Area: Experimental design

Office: 2028 Gerstacker
Email: yongm@umich.edu
Phone: (734) 657-0230

Research areas: Laser plasma interactions, Laser wakefield acceleration, Ultrafast radiation sources

Research profile on ResearchGate and Google scholar

Dr. Yong Ma received his PhD from University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2016. Then he joined the SPIR@L group in Physics department, Lancaster University and the Cockcroft Institute in the UK as a Postdoctoral Research Associate. In 2017, he joined the CUOS High Field Science group at the University of Michigan as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and then appointed as an Assistant Research Scientist in 2020. 

Yong’s research interests include experimental and numerical studies on laser-wakefield acceleration and associated advance radiation sources, electron acceleration from laser-solid acceleration, etc. More specifically, Yong is interested in understanding and controlling the injection dynamics of LWFA to produce high quality electron and X-ray beams; diagnosing the acceleration dynamics and full phase space distribution of
electron beams in LWFA in single shot mode; Streaking betatron X-rays with global plasma density gradients; generating curved hollow plasma channels and controlling the
propagation of high power lasers and the subsequent electron beam acceleration; ultrafast diagnosing electron beams with atto-second temporal resolutions; producing synchronized multichromatic electron beams and gamma-rays.