Thomas Schenkel is a physicist and senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he is the interim Director of the Accelerator Technology and Applied Physics Division (http://atap.lbl.gov/). Thomas received his Ph.D. in physics from the Goethe University in Frankfurt. Following time as a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, he joined Berkeley Lab. His research interests include novel accelerator concepts, materials far from equilibrium, exploration of fusion processes, and spin qubit architectures. Thomas also teaches a graduate course on particle accelerators at UC Berkeley.
Thomas worked on variations of time-of-flight mass spectrometry to characterize the environment of bio-molecules as a postdoc. This theme has now come up in the current Covid-19 crisis with new ideas for mass spectrometry and imaging of viruses in droplets.
COVID-19-related research: "Laser, Biosciences Researchers Combine Efforts to Study Viruses in Droplets"
Areas of expertise: accelerators, fusion, lasers, quantum, spin qubits
Mr. Balsmeier has over 15 years of experience in the nuclear industry including reactor core manufacturing, design engineering, project engineering/management, and nuclear construction. He is currently the Nuclear Remote Systems Department Manager at the Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC). Mr. Balsmeier began his career in 2003 as an Officer in the United States Navy. Mr. Balsmeier was assigned as an engineer at Naval Reactor Headquarters, NAVSEA 08, supporting reactor core manufacturing and development. After his Naval service, Mr. Balsmeier started as a project and design engineer for the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in 2008. He focused on plant modifications to support experiments while at ATR. Mr. Balsmeier joined Westinghouse Electric Company in 2011 as a project support engineer for construction of the lead AP1000 plant, Sanmen 1 in Zhejiang, China. While at Sanmen, he focused on reactor plant piping installation and construction of the containment vessel and shield building. In 2014, Mr Balsmeier returned to INL working as an engineer at MFC. While at MFC, he participated in numerous modifications of the Hot Fuels Examination Facility, facility modifications and buildout of research capabilities in the Irradiated Materials Characterization Laboratory, and most recently as an engineering manager. Mr. Balsmeier holds a BS degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas and a MS in Engineering Science from the Naval Postgraduate School. Mr. Balsmeier is a licensed Professional Engineer.
Dr. Sujit Bidhar graduated with his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Tokyo in 2012 specializing in fatigue, fracture mechanics, and finite element modelling in aluminium die cast. He is currently working at Fermilab where he is involved in new target material research and development, developing material models for future high energy beam target materials subjected to thermal shock, and nuclear irradiation damage to predict target lifetime. Dr. Bidhar has set up a lab-scale electrospinning unit and successfully fabricated different ceramic, metallic, and polymeric nanofibers; he is currently designing micromechanical experiments to evaluate single nanofiber mechanical properties using SEM, FIB, and AFM techniques. In the past, he has worked at the University of Tokyo as a researcher in the field of impact analysis on jet engine turbine blade made up of FRP composites, large scale finite element simulation on super computers using LS-DYNA. He has research interest and experience in computational mechanics, solid mechanics, structural analysis, fatigue and fracture, stress analysis, very large scale finite element simulations, image Based Finite Element Method using ANSYS,VOXELCON,LS-DYNA,ABAQUS, FrontISTR,HYPERMESH, MATLAB, Fatigue testing, X-ray CT. He also has experience in conducting experiments at high temperature and pressure environment, various metallurgical laboratory works, SEM micrographs, EDX, RAMAN spectroscopy, Slow strain rate tests.
A senior research fellow in the Biosciences Center, Dr. Michael Himmel has more than 35 years of experience in conducting, supervising, and planning research in: protein biochemistry, recombinant technology, enzyme engineering, new micro-organism discovery, and physicochemistry of macromolecules.
Dr. Himmel has supervised research that targets the application of site-directed mutagenesis and rational protein design to the stabilization and improvement of important industrial enzymes, especially glycosyl hydrolases. He has functioned as PI for the DOE EERE Office of the Biomass Program (OBP) since 1992, and his responsibilities have included: research to improve cellulase performance; reducing biomass pretreatment costs; and improving yields of fermentable sugars. Dr. Himmel also developed new facilities at NREL for biomass conversion research, including a Cellulase Biochemistry Laboratory, a Biomass Surface Characterization Laboratory, a Protein Crystallography Laboratory, and a new Computational Science Team.
During the past three decades, Dr. Himmel contributed 345 peer reviewed journal articles to the literature. In addition, he has edited eight books and been awarded 25 patents. He has organized or co-organized 15 international conferences on aspects of biotechnology and biomass conversion. In 2008, Dr. Himmel edited a new book for Blackwell Publishers entitled "Biomass Recalcitrance," which is listed as a top selling book in science and has now been translated into Chinese. He served as chair for the new Gordon Research Conference on cellulases and cellulosomes in 2003 and continues to support the conference. Dr. Himmel currently works closely with the biomass conversion industry, as demonstrated by the numerous CRADAs currently underway in his NREL laboratory.
Dr. Robert O’Brien is an internationally recognized Principal Nuclear Scientist/Engineer who has focused his career on the development of advanced materials and energy systems in addition to the manufacturing processes to produce materials for harsh environments Dr. O’Brien received a PhD in the nuclear engineering and physics of radioisotope and nuclear power / propulsion systems for space exploration from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. Under his PhD research project, Dr. O’Brien proposed the use of americium-based radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) and developed Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) Electric Field Assisted Sintering Techniques (EFAST) for the encapsulation of nuclear materials for both RTGs and nuclear reactor fuels. Dr. O’Brien also received a Masters degree in Physics with Space Science and technology from the University of Leicester. Dr. O’Brien’s research and programmatic management experience in advanced manufacturing of harsh environment materials, space systems and instrumentation design/development, defense systems, nuclear fuel performance, nuclear instrumentation, nuclear safety, irradiation testing, radioisotope source design, and nuclear power system design and development.
Dr. O’Brien currently serves as the Director of Advanced Manufacturing for the Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Under this role, Dr O’Brien’s leadership extends across all of the Directorates of the laboratory; Energy & Environment Science & Technology, Nuclear Science & Technology, National & Homeland Security, Materials & Fuels Complex, Advanced Test Reactor, and Industry Engagement.
Haruko Wainwright received her MS in nuclear engineering (2006), MA in statistics (2010), and PhD in nuclear engineering (2010) at University of California, Berkeley. Her initial research interest was to investigate the environmental impact of nuclear waste and nuclear weapon productions. Her PhD dissertation focused on Bayesian geostatistical inverse modeling for subsurface characterization at the uranium-contaminated DOE Hanford site. Since then, she has broadened her research interest to various environmental problems, including Arctic ecosystem responses to climate change, groundwater contamination, and deep-subsurface CO2 storage. In addition to working in many interdisciplinary projects, she is a deputy lead of the site application thrust in the Advanced Simulation Capability for Environmental Management project, leading the site application at the Savannah River Site F-Area. She is also on the leadership team of Institute for Resilient Communities, which aims to prepare communities for radiological and other disasters through research, education and outreach activities.
For more information: https://eesa.lbl.gov/profiles/haruko-murakami-wainwright/
COVID-19-related research: "Using Machine Learning to Estimate COVID-19’s Seasonal Cycle"
Title: HPC Application Architect
- Molecular dynamics
- Density Functional Theory Code Development
- Parallel programming (GNU parallel, MPI, OpenMP, PGAS models, etc.)
Hubertus (Huub) van Dam is a computational chemist with expertise in docking and molecular dynamics simulations. In prior work he has collaborated on improving the accuracy of docking calculations by using ab-initio molecular potentials for the electrostatic part of docking scores (DOI: 10.1063/1.2793399). He is currently supporting the National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory (NVBL) effort to find COVID-19 drug candidates using Autodock 4.2, Dock 6 and DeepDriveMD. He also has extensive expertise in writing and supporting large parallel quantum chemistry packages. Currently, he serves as Testing and Assessment Task Lead on the Exascale Computing Project’s NWChemEx effort. NWChemEx is providing a community infrastructure for computational chemistry that takes full advantage of exascale computing technologies.
Charles Macal applies computational modeling and simulation tools to complex systems to solve problems in a variety of fields, including energy and national security.
He is the chief scientist for the Argonne Resilient Infrastructure Initiative, and is a principal investigator for the development of the widely used Repast agent-based modeling toolkit.
He has Appointments at the University of Chicago Computation Institute and the Northwestern-Argonne Institute for Science and Engineering. He is adjunct professor at the University of Chicago, where he teaches a course on Complex Adaptive Systems for Threat Management and Emergency Preparedness.
He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Illinois and holds software copyrights for two systems: ELIST (Enhanced Logistics Intra-theater Support Tool) and EMCAS (Electricity Market Complex Adaptive System).
- B.S. Purdue University, 1974
- M.S., Purdue University, 1975
- Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1989
Awards, Honors and Memberships
- Association for Computing Machinery, Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation, Area Editor for Agent-based Modeling
- Society for Computer Simulation International, Simulation Journal, Associate Editor
Ben Brown is a statistical scientist in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology division within Berkeley Lab’s Biosciences Area. He specializes in the development of novel machine algorithms, usually for the biological and environmental sciences at Berkeley Lab. His group develops “third-wave” learning algorithms that combine the interpretability and reliability of classical statistics with the predictive performance of deep learning. They specialize in designing learning paradigms for complex, high-dimensional systems that enable accurate uncertainty quantification, model discovery, feature selection, and inference. Dr. Brown's expertise include statistics, machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence.
COVID-19-related research: "Using Machine Learning to Estimate COVID-19's Seasonal Cycle". Other principal investigators include: Eoin Brodie, Nicola Falco, Dan Feldman, Zhao Hao, Chaincy Kuo, Joshua Ladau, and Haruko Wainwright.