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2018 LUG Executive Committee Election

LUG is an association of LANSCE users who share information about their neutron-related science, and advise LANSCE on allocation of beam time, facility upgrades and new beam lines, experimental programs and user meetings.


  • LANSCE Visitor Center & User Office
  • Nina Roelofs
  • LANSCE User Program Coordinator
  • (505) 665-9967
  • Email

Polls are closed. The election was April 23 to May 18, 2018.

The Executive Committee of the LANSCE User Group (LUG-EC) is seeking new representatives to serve on the Executive Committee beginning CY 2018/2019.

The LUG-EC meets onsite at LANSCE annually and engages in monthly teleconferences with LANSCE Management and User Program representatives on behalf of you, the User Community. Find more information about the LUG Executive Committee.

Please take some time to read the biographies of this year’s nominees and vote online. You may also write in a candidate and/or leave a comment regarding the electable position.


Artur Braun (Lujan Center)

I am a Physicist from RWTH Aachen/Germany with a PhD in electrochemistry from ETH Zürich/Switzerland. After 6 years in Berkeley and Kentucky I moved to Switzerland. Since 12 years I am working at Empa, now as research group leader. My research experience spans a wide range: magnetic films, carbon aerosols, energy storage and conversion in batteries, fuel cells, solar cells and supercapacitors, and also algae, biofilms and self-organization. I have done SANS, ND, QENS and INS and Tomography, and for a while I was beamline scientist at a neutron reflectometer. As I have been working with so many different materials, I am very much involved in the Materials Research Society (MRS). As for the methodology, I like to combine electrochemical methods with synchrotron and neutron scattering and spectroscopy, about which I recently authored a graduate level textbook. I used to be synchrotron User Representative in Berkeley, Switzerland and for the ESUO.  My scientific interest is the transport processes in complex systems.

My first visit to LANSCE was in 1999, my most recent one in 2014. As a member of the LANSCE User Group Executive Council, I want to advocate for the use of neutrons in science in general and at LANSCE in particular. While we are still 20 years away from a full Century of Neutron Science, neutrons have been of great if not unique service for materials science, which has shaped our modern civilization. Providing budget for neutron research is a very good investment of tax payers’ money into a sustainable future. Increasingly also life sciences are benefitting from access to neutrons. I would like to see more researchers from a diverse research background, also young ones, getting interested in research with neutrons without necessarily being or becoming neutron experts. Diversity generates the creativity, which makes it easy to broaden the range of applied neutron research. Therefore, LANSCE needs again the commitment from D.C. for a general user program.
Edwin Fohtung (Lujan Center)

Dr. Edwin Fohtung, holds a bridge appointment as the LANSCE assistant professor of physics at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is also the 2015 Rosen Scholar at LANL.

Dr. Fohtung did his undergraduate studies in St. Petersburg, Russia where he received his BSc and MSc in technical physics. Edwin received his Ph.D. from the University of Freiburg in Germany. After his postdoctoral fellowship in the physics Department at UC San Diego, Edwin was appointed as the NMSU-LANL LANSCE Assistant professor.

Dr. Fohtung’s research focuses on understanding and probing of the nanoscale structure and dynamics in complex materials by using state of the art x-ray and neutron characterization techniques.

Dr. Fohtung is presently working on developing novel Coherent Diffractive imaging techniques to study complex mesoscale device materials in operando complementarily to neutron scattering probes. Application of these techniques covers a wide spectrum– ranging from materials for defense and security to energy materials for information and storage and biological photonic crystals. 

In addition to his research and teaching activities, Edwin provides scientific consultation for the future LANL signature facility: Matter Radiation Interaction in Extremes project. He is a guest editor of the Journal of Optics special issue on “Coherent Diffractive Imaging” and serves as a member on the ORNL Neutron Sciences Science Review Committee. Edwin is also the recipient of a Department of Defense Air Force Office of Scientific Research, DOE and Los Alamos National Security / Department of Energy awards.

Jonathan Lee (Lujan Center)

Jonathan Lee obtained a MA (Natural Sciences) and MSci (Chemistry) in 1999, followed by a PhD (Physical Chemistry) in 2004 from the University of Cambridge, UK.  He conducted a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory between 2004-2007 before becoming a Staff Scientist and Nanoscale Integration Science Deputy Group Leader within the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate of the same institution.  

Jonathan has 18 years’ experience of User Facilities, primarily at synchrotron sources (9 facilities worldwide), both as a researcher and reviewer.  His research during this time has focused on applying the advanced techniques available at User Facilities, as well as developing associated in situ capabilities and diagnostics, for materials characterization in a diverse range of fields that include nanoscale and nanostructured materials science, bio-mimetic/bio-inspired processes, magnetic materials, high performance alloys, and energy storage and conversion systems. Jonathan is currently the Manager of the Characterization Recharge Center within the Materials Science Division of LLNL.  This center offers a variety of characterization capabilities for the Laboratory via suites for electron microscopy (TEM/SEM), focused ion beam (FIB-SEM), x-ray diffraction, metallography, and an ion accelerator, in addition to several sample preparation laboratories (etching, polishing, laser cutting, ion-milling, electrodeposition, etc.).

Michael Snow (Lujan Center)

Michael Snow is a professor of physics at Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington. He conducts research using mainly slow neutrons to address questions in nuclear/ particle physics, astrophysics/cosmology, condensed matter physics, and gravity. Scientific achievements include: (1) measurement of the Bose condensate fraction in superfluid helium using deep inelastic neutron scattering, (2) measurement of the neutron lifetime using a Penning trap, (3) development of neutron polarizers and analyzers based on transmission through laser polarized helium gas, (3) high-precision measurements of neutron coherent scattering lengths of H, D, and He using neutron interferometry, (4) measurements of the weak interaction between the neutron and the proton, (5) searches for chameleon dark energy fields using neutron interferometry, (6) searches for axion-like particles, in-matter gravitational torsion, and possible exotic forces on neutrons.

Snow has performed several experiments at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) as part of the TRIPLE, NPDGamma, and NSR collaborations. He is the director of the IU Center for Spacetime Symmetries, the IU MS program in accelerator physics associated with the US Particle Accelerator School, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society in the area of precision measurements and fundamental constants. He is the co-spokesperson for the NPDGamma collaboration and is the spokesperson for the NSR and the NOPTREX collaborations. He was the chair of the Instrument Development Team for the nuclear and particle physics beamline at the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Lab and is the chair of the committee for fundamental neutron physics at the European Spallation Source.

Tony van Buuren (Lujan Center)

Dr. van Buuren received the PhD. in physics, in 1996 from the University of British Columbia, Canada. In 1998 he became a staff scientist at LLNL, in 2007 became the Group Leader of the Nanoscale Materials Science and Technology Group and in 2015 he became the Deputy Division Leader for science and technology of the Materials Science Division.

His research interests include; advanced and functional materials for energy conversion and storage, the micro- meso- and nanoscale structure of engineered materials; e.g. assembled nano-materials, nanoporous materials and membranes, biomimetic and bio-inspired nanomaterials and the development of in-situ and operando materials characterization techniques for advanced manufacturing processes. This including ultrafast x-ray diagnostics for the characterization of materials under extreme conditions and the use small angle neutron and x-ray scattering to study of structural and mechanical properties in high explosives and porous materials such as metal foams, aerogels and membranes. He has authored and coauthored more than 140 technical articles and is on the advisory board of numerous DOE and international  user facilities including the Advanced Light Source and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource he is also is the chair of the LLNL materials LDRD portfolio

Jennifer Ciezak-Jenkins (WNR)

Dr. Jennifer Ciezak-Jenkins serves as a Senior Experimental Research Physicist in the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate of the Army Research Laboratory located at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. As part of her official duties, she is the program manager for the Disruptive Energetic Materials and Propulsion Technology program at the Army Research Laboratory, as well as the Disruptive Energetics Program at the Army Research Office.

Dr. Ciezak-Jenkins received her Ph.D. in 2004 from Syracuse University, where her thesis work centered on the use of inelastic neutron and Compton scattering to study charge transfer mechanisms in simple organic bimolecular complexes. Upon graduation, she was awarded a National Research Council Fellowship at the Army Research Laboratory, which was executed at the NIST Center for Neutron Research, and her tenure focused on studying the high-pressure phase behavior of conventional energetic materials using inelastic neutron scattering and neutron powder diffraction to obtain equation-of-state data necessary for validation and verification of modeling and simulation codes. During this time, she was also a visiting investigator at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington working with Dr. Russ Hemley on the use of high-pressure to synthesize novel high-energy density extended solids. In 2006, she joined the US Army Research Laboratory as a Research Physicist and work in her research group currently investigates the use of non-traditional physics based methods, such as high-pressure and plasma vapor deposition, to synthesize new high-energy density materials, such as polynitrogens. Additionally, her group performs dynamic high-pressure studies using laser driven flyer plates and light gas guns, as well as imaging studies investigating the physics of failure in various materials of interest to the defense community.

Dr. Ciezak-Jenkins has been a long standing user of neutron and synchrotron sources within the US and worldwide, along with other national user facilities with high-powered lasers. Dr. Ciezak-Jenkins is a founding member of the ARL Board of Directors of the Dynamic Compression Sector at the Advanced Photon Source, and serves on the User Executive Committee of the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is a member of Sigma Xi, the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society, and Women in Defense. As a program manager, Dr. Ciezak-Jenkins is well experienced in relaying concerns of the scientists to management and developing solutions acceptable to both parties. If elected, she would endeavor to be a strong advocate for the LANSCE user community by providing a communication channel between the management and user community. Additionally, should she be elected to serve she will focus on the continued facility improvements and user capabilities so that the LANSCE facility can continue to function as a cutting-edge science facility.

Marek Flaska (WNR)

Marek Flaska received his BS and MS degrees in nuclear engineering from the Technical University in Bratislava, Slovakia, his PhD from Delft Technical University in The Netherlands, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He also spent 8 years at the University of Michigan as a research faculty. In 2015, he joined the Pennsylvania State University as an assistant professor of nuclear engineering in the Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department (MNE). His research interests are radiation detection, characterization, and imaging with a focus on nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear safeguards, nuclear forensics, and fundamental nuclear physics. Regarding his teaching activities, Dr. Flaska currently teaches the MNE’s undergraduate-level courses “Radiation Detection and Measurement” and “Radiological Safety,” as well as the graduate-level course “Detector and Source Technologies for Nuclear Security.” During his professional career, he has advised a large number of graduate and undergraduate students and published approximately 190 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals and international conference proceedings.

Dr. Flaska has an experience with WNR Facility at LANSCE; he performed an experiment there to measure the neutron-induced fission spectrum for U-235 with organic scintillators and digital data acquisition. To illustrate his passion for fundamental nuclear physics (and the importance of knowledge of fundamental nuclear data), he recently started a DTRA DOD project aimed at characterizing a large number of short-lived fission fragments by means of cyclic neutron activation analysis. Facilities such as LANSCE are immensely important for fundamental and applied research, and it is Dr. Flaska’s main objective to support LANSCE, by both vocally and by being an avid user, to help it being readily available for a variety of users, and to support its further improvements and upgrades. Of the keys to achieve this objective is to attract users with multi-discipline research to LANSCE where there is a potential to influence a wide range of applications simultaneously.

Verena Geppert-Kleinrath (WNR)

Verena Geppert-Kleinrath is a post-doc in LANL’s Neutron Science and Technology group, where she is developing novel neutron and gamma imaging diagnostics for researching the fusion processes at the National Ignition Facility. She has been a PI for several LANSCE campaigns investigating imaging capabilities of advanced scintillator materials at WNR. Verena first gained user experience at LANSCE while contributing to the development and commissioning of the fissionTPC time projection chamber experiment as a student starting in 2011. She graduated from Vienna University of Technology with a PhD in nuclear physics in early 2016, studying the angular distribution of fission fragments in neutron-induced fission of 235U using the fissionTPC.

Her vision for LANSCE includes increasing the visibility of this world-class research facility across the laboratory, the United States, and globally. Having experienced the career-building opportunity to work at LANSCE as a student, she would also like to deepen connections with academic institutions.

Adam Hecht (WNR)

Adam Hecht is a professor of Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico since 2008 doing research on radiation detection, detector development, data mining, and simulations.  He has been involved in research at LANSCE in collaboration with the SPIDER group for 5 years, with several UNM runs on FP-12 for fission fragment yield data.  Several students have earned their MS degrees, and one is completing his PhD dissertation, on this LANSCE based work.

He earned his PhD in Physics at Yale in 2004, on heavy ion accelerator physics at the Yale WNSL facility.  He continued heavy ion accelerator physics as a post-doc based at Argonne National Laboratory from 2004-2007. From 2007-2008 he was a post-doc at the University of Wisconsin in the Department of Medical Physics working on light proton and He beam simulations and dosimetry experiments.

On the LANSCE Users Group Adam Hecht will give a voice to university participation at the lab.

Georgios Perdikakis (WNR)

Georgios Perdikakis received his undergraduate degree from the University of Ioannina in Greece, and his Ph.D. from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece, while being resident at the Demokritos Tandem accelerator facility which is the national laboratory of Greece for nuclear physics. He has been a research associate (2007-2009) and staff physicist (2009-2012) at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University before moving to an FRIB tenure track faculty position at Central Michigan University (CMU) which he still holds at the rank of associate professor. He also holds an adjunct faculty appointment with the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). He is a member of the Joint Institute of Nuclear Astrophysics-Centre for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE), and a member of the LANSCE WNR Program Advisory Committee for the last two years.

Dr. Perdikakis is performing research in experimental nuclear astrophysics and has experience in neutron physics, neutron detection techniques, and statistical model calculations. Currently his research is focused on nuclear reactions with stable and radioactive nuclei. He is interested in the interplay of different mechanisms in nuclear reactions and in the experimental and theoretical estimates of statistical nuclear properties. At Los Alamos, Georgios is focusing his research efforts towards the development of a new capability to perform neutron-induced reactions with short-lived radioactive targets, a joint research effort between IPF, WNR, and CMU.

Sally Seidel (WNR)

Sally Seidel received her Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of Michigan on a search for nucleon decay using the IMB water Cherenkov detector. As a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Toronto on the ARGUS Experiment, she participated in the development of a novel drift chamber and published a study of charmed baryon decay. Seidel joined the University of New Mexico faculty in 1991. On the CDF experiment at Fermilab, she co-led the upgrade silicon tracker sensor design team and carried out a study of multi-jet final states. Since 1995 she has been a member of the ATLAS experiment at the LHC where her contributions include development of new particle tracking technologies and the search for New Physics with heavy quark signatures. On ATLAS she has co-led the pixel sensor group and developed a program for evaluating the radiation hardness of proposed new technologies for the LHC detectors. Seidel recently added a new line of research involving development of radiation-hard components for space exploration. Much of her radiation damage work has been carried out at the LANSCE 800 MeV proton beamline. Seidel's work has been supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Science Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, the Vietnam Education Foundation, Sandia National Laboratories, the European Commission, the University of New Mexico, and the Universities Research Association. She has served as co- director of the Los Alamos Summer School in Physics, as a member of the DOE High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, and as a member of the Fermi Research Alliance Board of Directors.

She has served on the American Physical Society (APS) Committee on International Freedom of Scientists and the Fermilab Users Executive Committee and has held the positions of Secretary- Treasurer of the APS Topical Group on Hadronic Physics, Chair of the APS Four Corners Section Executive Committee, and Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee of the APS Division of Particles and Fields.

Statement of proposed service to the user community: I propose to establish a regular schedule of communications with representatives at each user institute. I envision quarterly opportunities in which the users can connect to one-on-one teleconferences with me to discuss their needs and suggestions for the facility. It is my hope that the proximity of UNM to Los Alamos may further facilitate advocacy by me on behalf of the users.

Norbert Seifert (Industry)

Norbert Seifert (M’00-SM'04) is a Principle Engineer in the Technology and Manufacturing Group at Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon, where he manages a team of dedicated soft error experts responsible for test chip design, planning and conducting radiation test campaigns, modeling of radiation effects, and interacting with internal and external customers on radiation effects topics.

Dr. Seifert has over 20 years of experience in the semiconductor industry focusing on the interaction of radiation with matter at various levels throughout his career. His Ph.D. thesis (Vienna University of Technology, 1993) addressed the formation and dynamics of color centers in wide-bandgap crystals due to low energy electron, proton, synchrotron, and free-electron laser irradiation (research conducted mainly at Vanderbilt University, TN, USA). He worked as a postdoc at North Carolina State University (North Carolina, USA) characterizing charge transfer processes occurring in protons on rare-gas-atom collisions, and as a postdoc at Vienna University of Technology (Vienna, Austria) solving Navier Stokes equations for simulating droplet formations during laser irradiation of metallic surfaces.

From 1997 until 2001 Dr. Seifert had the great privilege of being educated and trained on the job in digital circuit design and computer architecture by technical leads in the Alpha Development Team at Digital Equipment Corporation (the team was acquired by Intel Corporation in 2001 and Dr. Seifert transferred to Intel in 2003). Since 2001, Dr. Seifert has been investigating the impact of ionizing radiation on the data integrity of modern microprocessors, focusing particularly on radiation induced soft errors in logic data paths and clock networks.

Dr. Seifert has authored or co-authored over 60 conference and journal publications (of which more than 30 are related to the topic of soft errors), written one book on chip-level modeling strategies for soft errors and one book chapter on “Soft Error Resilient System Design through Error Correction”. Dr. Seifert has given several tutorials, invited talks, and keynotes on radiation effects at conferences and workshops. He holds four issued and one pending patents on radiation hardening at the circuit level.

In recent years, Dr. Seifert supported an effort lead by the Semiconductor Industry Association that impacted the U.S. Government export control policy (ITAR) to reduce inadvertent export controls on commercial electronics and was awarded the Intel Achievement award (Intel's Highest Award) for this work in 2014.

Dr. Seifert actively participated in the creation of several international industry standards on soft errors, such as JEDEC JESD89A, and is currently a member of the JESD89 Task Group working on the JESD89 revision to be called JESD89B. In his current role, Dr. Seifert regularly interacts with external industry representatives and technical experts at international conferences and work related meetings, where he is recognized as one of the leading radiation effects experts. Over the years, Dr. Seifert has traveled numerous times to Los Alamos for radiation testing (LANSCE; ICE House 1 and 2). He not only enjoyed working there but also loves hiking in the area if time permits. One experiment Dr. Seifert likes to highlight in connection with Los Alamos, is the life testing experiment he conducted in 2010 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in a small shack owned by LANL more than 2000 feet beneath the surface designed to shield devices from cosmic radiation. Traveling down the shaft to the experimental site is an experience Dr. Seifert will never forget.

Rebecca Stokes (Industry)

Martha Rebecca Stokes received her Ph.D. (2012) and M.S. (2008) from Indiana University in metamorphic geology and geochemistry, defining deformation and thermal histories in arc-continent collisions.  She received her B.S. in geology from Texas A&M (2006). She was a postdoctoral associate at MIT in the Material Science and Engineering Department developing sustainable, mineral derived fertilizers. Rebecca joined the Chevron Core Analysis Team (2013), where she is a mineralogist, focusing on clays and unconventional oil/gas resources.  Rebecca is currently P.I. for a joint LANL-Chevron research project investigating nanopore structures, confined fluid behavior, and their relations to texture in shales.

Intent Statement:

Current research efforts in the oil and gas sector are focused on unconventional resources and understanding the relationships between pore architecture, rock fabric, mineralogy, and ultimately, well productivity. Using neutron scattering to study shales, which have very low porosity and permeability, provides a unique way to characterize their pore structures and hosted hydrocarbon/water behavior. Collaborative research between LANSCE and industry, in particular oil and gas companies, creates unique partnership opportunities that target pertinent issues and benefits both LANSCE and industry alike.

Paul Willis-Patel (pRad)

Mr. Paul Willis-Patel received his BEng in Aerospace Manufacturing from Bristol University in 2004, his MSc in Operations Excellence from Cranfield University in 2009 and became a Chartered Engineer in 2012.

Mr. Willis-Patel joined the manufacturing directorate at Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), UK in 2005 as a manufacturing engineer, working within the explosive and uranium technology centers.

In 2007 Willis-Patel joined the hydrodynamics directorate and was the lead scientist on a variety of integrated and focused hydrodynamic experiments both within the UK and US laboratories, and has been AWE`s point of contact for all pRad hydrodynamic related experiments for the past 6 years, working on collaborative experiments such as Molli, Hekla, HiPhy-AMI and Dead Zones.  His role also includes providing SME input within AWE on the design and fielding of experiments at the LANSCE pRad facility.

In 2010, in addition to the lead scientist role, Willis-Patel joined the management team accountable for delivering the suite of hydrodynamics experiments and is currently accountable for delivering the focused explosive experimental program supporting stockpile stewardship and future capabilities at AWE.

In 2014-2016, Willis-Patel was the chair of AWEs Nuclear Warhead Policy Development Programme, working with both US and UK think tanks in areas of civil and military nuclear policies.  This role include the review of papers and presentation before they were submitted to the international community.

Mr. Willis-Patel’s research principally relates to nuclear physics, designing and fielding hydrodynamic experiments which provide data to aid in underwriting hydrocode modelling and CTBT methodologies.  These collaborative research programs, primarily with LANL and LLNL, have included investigations on the failure mechanisms of known features when impacted by shocks within HMX based explosives, corner turning within TATB based explosives and investigations into gaseous Equations of State.

Mr. Willis-Patel is an advocate of pushing the boundaries on new and novel diagnostics on explosive experiments and looks to further the use of proton radiography to resolve areas of mutual interest.  In addition he would like to see the continued use of facilities such as pRad within the nuclear defense industry and promote the importance of their unique capabilities
Eva Birnbaum (IPF)

Eva Birnbaum received a BA in chemistry from Carleton College in Northfield, MN in 1991, followed by a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1995. She came to Los Alamos for a postdoc in the areas of inorganic catalysis and environmental remediation, and became a staff member in Chemistry Division at LANL in 1998, focused on analytical and environmental mitigation projects. She left the Lab in 2006 to become the chief science officer at a small startup company in Los Alamos, working on development of new tools for pharmaceutical discovery.

Birnbaum returned to LANL in 2010 to become the team leader for the Isotope Program at LANL, and took on her current position as the Isotope Production program manager in 2014. The LANL Isotope Program irradiates a variety of targets using the 100-MeV proton beam at the Isotope Production Facility (IPF), followed by radiochemical separations to isolate the desired product. The program delivers hundreds of shipments of isotopes worldwide, primarily for medical applications, and conducts both fundamental and applied research at IPF. She is interested in production of novel isotopes for medical applications and supporting nuclear data experiments at IPF and through the production of required radioactive target materials. Birnbaum has published 51 peer reviewed publications in the areas of chemistry and physics (h index = 18).