Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Robert Kirkwood
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


"For predicting and demonstrating the technique of laser scatter on self-generated plasma-optics gratings that enables generation and redirection of high-energy laser beams important for indirect drive inertial confinement fusion and high-power laser-matter interactions."


Robert Kirkwood received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 1982 and 1984 (under F. F. Chen and R. J. Taylor).  He worked at TRW corporation from 1984 to 1985 designing particle diagnostics for  magnetic mirrors and where he received a graduate fellowship.  He received his doctoral degree from MIT in Applied Plasma Physics in 1989, (under Ian Hutchinson) where he developed the first cyclotron absorption diagnostics for tokamaks, and was awarded the Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award (previously the Simon Ramo Award) from the American Physical Society.   He later worked at Caltech developing wave-current drive and as staff physicist at the Air Force Phillips Lab remotely studying energetic particles on Shuttle flights.   Dr. Kirkwood moved to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1994 to help initiate the National Ignition Facility program.   There he led  experiments on multi-beam interactions which led to wavelength tuning of drive symmetry on NIF, and current models of multi-beam backscatter.   He directed independent programs on plasma pulse compression and amplification, and developed optical and x-ray diagnostics techniques for NIF.    Dr. Kirkwood has been a member of the APS Division of Plasma Physics since 1989 serving on numerous divisional committees.

Selection Committee:

Troy Carter, Chair; John Moody; Joel Fajans; William Daughton; Carl Sovinec