Eric Lerner, President and Chief Scientist, has been active in dense plasma focus (DPF) research for 30 years. Beginning in 1984, he developed a detailed quantitative theory of the functioning of DPF. Based on this theory, he proposed that the DPF could achieve high ion and electron energies at high densities, suitable for advanced fuel fusion and space propulsion. Under a series of contracts with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he planned and participated in carrying out experiments that tested and confirmed this theory. In addition, he developed an original model of the role of the quantum magnetic field effect on DPF functioning, showing that this effect could have a large effect on increasing ion temperature and decreasing electron temperature, which would reduce unwanted X-ray cooling of the plasma. Eric can be reached at Eric@lppfusion.com
Dr. Syed Hassan, Research Scientist, is a plasma physicist with more than 20 years experience with the dense plasma focus and laser devices. Dr. Hassan received his PhD from NTU, Singapore. He constructed a medium-sized dense plasma focus device for the Blackett Lab, Imperial College London. As a Marie Curie Fellow, he performed experiments with pulsed power devices he constructed for the Technological Educational Institute of Crete, Greece. As a HiPER research fellow, he also performed several experiments related to laser fusion in Europe. Prior to joining LPPFusion, he was a Research Associate at the School of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University. He has both designed plasma focus devices and has innovated diagnostic instruments for the device. Dr. Syed can be reached at Syed@lppfusion.com
Ivy Karamitsos, Chief Information Officer and Communications Director, joined LPPF in 2010. Initially she wrote the code for the collection and analysis of the experimental data. She now coordinates LPPFusion proprietary software and database development; manages network administration, website, content management, and communications, as well as educational and promotional videos, and she oversees the financial system. She completely updated LPPFusion’s website, lab and IT security systems, network and database, and has participated in mission-critical, hands-on experimental operations in the lab. She studied mathematics and classical music in the former Yugoslavia before receiving a degree in Computer Science from Binghamton University, SUNY in 2003. Some of her music accompanies LPPF’s videos. Ivy can be reached at Ivy@lppfusion.com
Jose Varela, Systems Administrator, Mr. Varela is completing his studies for a Computer Science degree at Kean University, and has been providing lighting-fast IT solutions including development of proprietary fusion software for our Focus Fusion experimental device. He is a core member during our experiments and ensures that LPPFusion in and out of lab operations run as smoothly and securely as possible. He joined LPPFusion in 2015. Jose can be reached at Jose@lppfusion.com
Rudolph “Rudy” Fritsch, Research Mechanical Engineer, has been President of Allsteel, a manufacturer of industrial metal-forming equipment, for 15 years. He was born in Hungary in 1947, and emigrated to Canada during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. As an engineer and entrepreneur, he ran a successful family business in Canada for decades, at its peak employing over 100 workers. He is an advocate of Austrian economics and a student of Professor Antal Fekete. Rudy can be reached at Rudy@lppfusion.com
Fred Van Roessel, Research Electrical Engineer, joined LPPF in July, 2010 as a Research Electrical Engineer. He started his career in the Television Group at Philips Research Laboratories in the Netherlands. He stayed with Philips when he emigrated to the US, and was responsible for Broadcast Color Camera Development. Later on he developed the software and hardware for fully automating camera adjustments. For this and earlier work he has been awarded 17 patents. Fred can be reached at Fred@lppfusion.com
Dr. Warwick Dumas, Simulation Researcher. After being awarded his PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Leicester (UK) in 2010, he began volunteering on simulation building for Focus Fusion Society. He is inspired by the prospects for Focus Fusion to make a dramatic change to the global prospects for social justice and environmental conservation. He joined LPPF in 2012, carrying on with the same project, a simulation of the plasma filaments that form when the capacitor banks are discharged. An early version of this simulation helped LPPF to re-design the cathode and the current version still under development, will break new ground in several directions in simulation of plasmas. In the past, he has worked as a statistics analyst for the UK government Learning and Skills Council and with Santander.
Dr. Robert Terry joined LPPF as Computational Physics Consultant and has started working with Dr. Warwick Dumas to develop our ongoing simulation of the early phases of the plasma focus process. This simulation will help us to understand how the current filaments form and what conditions favor or imperil their survival. The filaments in turn are the vital first steps in compressing the plasma to high densities. Dr. Terry has had over 35 years of experience in simulation of plasma phenomena, having strong expertise both in computational techniques and plasma physics. He worked for over 20 years at the US Naval Research Laboratory developing innovative techniques for modeling the Z-pinch, a plasma device closely related to the the dense plasma focus device.