Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Alison R. Christopherson
University of Rochester, Laboratory for Laser Energetics


"For theories of fusion alpha heating and metrics to assess proximity to thermonuclear ignition in inertially confined plasmas, and for the development of a novel measurement of hot electron preheat and its spatial distribution in direct-drive laser fusion."


Alison Christopherson received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from the University of Michigan in 2013. As an undergraduate researcher, she worked at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science and at the Plasma Science and Technology Laboratory. In 2013, she began her graduate career at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics to study inertial confinement fusion with support from the Horton Fellowship. Under the supervision of Professor Riccardo Betti, her research interests covered a broad range of topics of importance to the field. She developed analytical models to study the physics of alpha-particle self-heating on implosion hydrodynamics, a physical definition for ignition in DT-layered implosions, and techniques for inferring proximity toward ignition in inertial fusion experiments. In parallel with these efforts, she also developed an experimental platform to measure fusion fuel preheat from the deposition of energetic electrons arising from laser plasma interactions. In 2020, she received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester. Alison now works as a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where her research focuses on designing and modelling high yield inertial fusion experiments on the National Ignition Facility.

Selection Committee:

2022 Selection Committee Members: Jeremiah Williams (Chair), Brett Chapman (Vice Chair), Emily Belli, William Dorland, Seth Davidovits