Research and development in pulsed power, plasma physics and fusion energy sciences since 2005

Scientific Team

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Dr. Simon Woodruff Physicist

After a decade of research into innovative fusion concepts at the University of Manchester (PhD), Lawrence Livermore National Lab (Postdoc), UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering (Visiting Scholar), and the University of Washington (Research Scientist), Dr. Woodruff founded WSI to help accelerate the development of economic fusion energy. Woodruff has performed work under contract to DOE, universities, national labs and to the private sector, building research devices, performing modeling and simulations primarily directed at simply-connected (hence more compact and simpler-to-engineer) fusion systems. Dr. Woodruff hosts an annual Scientific Computing Bootcamp for undergrads, introducing many of the tools in common use for High Performance Computing. Dr. Woodruff has organized national workshops in fusion energy sciences, and is a current participant in two IAEA initiatives on compact fusion neutron sources and private fusion development. Dr. Woodruff is a member of the American Physical Society and the Institute of Physics.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate


Office: (206)905-9477

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Dr. Paul A. Melnik Engineer, Physicist

During his time at the Redmond Plasma Physics Laboratory, Dr. Melnik gained experience in the design, assembly, and subsystem integration of a large magnetically confined plasma experiment. He has designed a variety of high-energy pulsed power systems with safety interlocks, programmable controls, fiber-optic interfaces, electrostatic shielding, and gained working experience of high voltage safety protocol. Engineering work with Vectorworks, Solidworks, ANSYS, PSpice, ExpressPCB. Also built electric probes, magnetic probes, and managed data acquisition and processing. Interactive code developement with LabView, Python, and Matlab.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate


Office: (206)331-4687

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Dr. Paul Sieck Engineer, Physicist

Dr. Sieck has 16 years experience in laboratory plasma physics and nuclear fusion research. He has worked in a diverse range of experimental programs, from his doctoral work on the HIT-SI spheromak experiment at the University of Washington, to the DIII-D tokamak at General Atomics, and most recently the Polywell program at Energy Matter Conversion Corporation. He has broad experience in magnetic measurements, signal conditioning, data acquisition, laboratory automation, and feedback control of plasmas. His research interests include high-beta MHD, accelerated plasma flows, driven magnetic reconnection, and plasma dynamos.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate


Office: +1-858-348-4483

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James Stuber Design Engineer

James Stuber graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Washington in 2011. Interests in astronautics include orbital mechanics, propulsion, and satellite design. Other interests are computer science and plasma physics. For his senior class capstone James designed hardware and controls for rendezvous with and capture of non-cooperative orbital debris. At Woodruff Scientific James has assisted in the design and construction of lab devices, developed experiment control code, and managed plasma simulations. James is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate


Office: +1 (206) 201-2148

Image of Edwin Bick Hooper

Dr. Edwin "Bick" Hooper Physicist

Edwin B. "Bick" Hooper received his BS and PhD from MIT and has taught, conducted research and managed research at MIT, Yale, and the University of California. He spent most of his career at LLNL where he was Deputy Associate for Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE), among other management and administrative positions. His experimental and theoretical research has focused on MFE confinement geometries including mirrors, tokamaks and the spheromak; in addition he has published work on plasma turbulence, the production of intense negative ion beams, and a novel electric propulsion concept for interplanetary travel. Since retirement he has undertaken resistive MHD simulations for helicity injection into spherical tokamaks and consulted on fusion research. He is the author of over 100 refereed publications and a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

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Dr. Tom Casper Physicist

After a career at LLNL, Casper left the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate after he was selected for a senior position with the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) in Cadarache, France. As a scientific officer, Casper did simulations and computations to explore the capabilities of the ITER device and studied equilibria needed for ITER to meet its performance specifications. He developed control and plasma scenarios that met the plasma control and operational requirements. These have implications on the performance of superconducting magnets, power supplies and the plasma control system. He integrated R&D and analysis results from member nations and defining a program of experimental and modeling activities to further the development of ITER plasma scenarios and control capabilities.

Dr. Kara A. Olson Computational Scientist

Kara has recently completed her doctorate in Computer Science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Her research interests include analysis of simulation models in order to enhance understanding. She has presented her work by invitation in Germany as well as in England, Canada, the Netherlands, and nationally. She was a GAANN Fellow in High Performance Computing & Communications and holds a Master of Science, Computer Science, Bachelor of Computer Science and Bachelor of Science, Mathematics from Old Dominion. She is a member of ACM, ACM SIGSIM, IEEE/CS, and SIAM.

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Katherine Chun Space Grant Summer Intern

Katherine Chun is pursuing an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. Her interests include renewable energy and design for manufacturability.

Thomas Meyer Research Assistant

Thomas Meyer is pursuing a B.SC. in Physics: Comprehensive at the University of Washington. He has experience conducting research on searching for dark matter using machine learning techniques on ATLAS data. His interest include data analysis, simulation and high-performance computing, specifically in its application in contemporary physics issues.

Trevor Smith Space Grant Summer Intern

Studying mechanical engineering at the University of California, San Diego, Trevor's interests include design for practicality, manufacturing optimization and support for sustainable energy sources.


WSI has a large collaborator base and a Scientific Advisory Board of experts in fusion energy sciences at private and public institutions around the U.S., and abroad.

Dr. Tim Ziemba President, Eagle Harbor Technologies

Dr. Ziemba founded Eagle Harbor Technologies (EHT) in 2006 and continued to grow the company rapidly in North Downtown Seattle. His core philosophy is to deliver innovative, high quality results that exceed our customer/grantor expectations in the areas of pulsed power, plasma physics and plasma diagnostics.

Steven Diesburg Design Engineer

After obtaining an MSE in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington in 2013, Steven began working on a DOE funded project working on research and development of improved cookstoves for developing countries. Simultaneously, Steven has been supporting work part-time at WSI developing engineering drawings, simulations, and helping to build out the company’s potential offerings. Previously Steven had completed his BS in Physics, Environmental Studies, and German at Iowa State University in 2007, and worked on environmental cleanup and investigation support for four years as a consultant to the EPA for Booz Allen Hamilton.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate

Dr. Ronald Miller Consultant

Dr. Ronald Miller consults in the areas of new energy technologies (emphasizing fusion energy), systems engineering, decision analysis, risk/value management and energy economics, doing business as Decysive Systems since 2005. Dr. Miller holds a Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Professor Thomas J. Dolan Nuclear Engineer, University of Illinois

Dolan is author of “Fusion Research” (Pergamon, 1982) and editor of “Magnetic Fusion Technology” (Springer, 2014). He served as Head of the IAEA Physics Section and worked in many countries. Now he is editing “Molten Salt Reactors and Thorium Energy” (Elsevier, 2017).

Setthivoine You Assistant Professor, University of Washington

Professor Setthivoine You received an M.Sci. in 1997 and then a PhD in 2002, both in Physics from Imperial College, London. His doctoral work was undertaken at the UKAEA Fusion laboratory in Culham near Oxford. In 2002, he became a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Applied Physics Department at California Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics as an assistant professor in 2009, Professor You worked at the University of Tokyo on research sponsored by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. Professor You's research focuses on the plasma physics of fusion energy and space propulsion. He has worked on density limits and density control of tokamaks using supersonic jet gas-puffing, the formation physics of spheromaks, the interaction between plasma flow and magnetic topology in laboratory astrophysical jets. He is developing a spectroscopic tomographic diagnostic to measure 3D plasma velocities in closed volumes and investigating generalized magnetic relaxation in the laboratory.

Dr. Srinath Vadlamani Computational Scientist

Dr. Vadlamani received his Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from Univ. of Colorado-Boulder in 2005 which focused on merging particle-in-cell and continuum algorithms for fusion scaled plasma simulations. Dr. Vadlamani has developed algorithms and parallel implementations for both plasma and climate scientific applications. Both at Tech-X and NCAR, Dr. Vadlamani implemented and evaluated efficacy of new algorithms on emergent architectures such as GPUS and the Intel Xeon Phi. As a Computational Scientist at ParaTools, Inc, Dr. Vadlamani has extensive experience using, supporting, and deploying high performance engineering techniques to enhance parallel simulation codes.

Dr. James R. C. Garry Physicist, Redcore Consulting, Vancouver B. C.

James is a chartered physicist, and has spent 20 years or so working on applied physics projects of one sort and another. For about 15 years James was a spacecraft engineer, and had involvement with three planetary missions. Now comfortably settled in Vancouver he has switched track and am looking at engineering solutions to energy/resource problems.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate

Dr. Raymond P. Golingo Research Scientist, University of Washington

Dr Raymond Golingo has over 15 years of conducting research on innovative plasma confinement devices. Prior to that he has experience with wind tunnel testing. Dr. Golingo is an expert in diagnostics including spectroscopy, interferometry, magnetic field probes, and Thomson scattering. He has built and run Thomson scattering systems on the ZaP and TCSU experiments, and designed the Thomson scattering system for the HIT-SI experiment. He is also investigating using ZaP as a high power space thruster.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate

Dr. Tim Gray Physicist

Dr. Gray has a more than a decade of experience studying fusion plasmas at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Swarthmore College. His research interests include turbulence, plasma relaxation, self organization, magnetic reconnection, and plasma-surface interactions, specifically using liquid lithium as a first wall.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate

Dr. Nathaniel K. Hicks Physicist, University of Anchorage, Alaska

Dr. Nathaniel Hicks has fourteen years of experience conducting research on innovations in fusion energy science. In his doctoral work at UCLA, Hicks performed novel experiments on a new type of ion beam with magnetic fusion applications and gained broad competence with experimental plasma, beam, and accelerator physics. In particular, Hicks has expertise in volume production ion sources, electrostatic beam extraction and transport, and radio frequency quadrupole (RFQ) accelerators. Hicks also performed the first computational modeling of this type of ion beam in the RFQ and propagation across a transverse magnetic field using particle-in-cell (PIC) codes.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate

Dr. Eric Meier Research Scientist, College of William and Mary

After receiving a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Utah, Eric spent five years in aerospace engineering and rocket development in Washington State. Spurred by enthusiasm for plasma propulsion, Eric earned a PhD at the University of Washington in computational plasma physics. Since graduating in 2011, he has worked as a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and as a research scientist at William and Mary, concentrating on modeling tokamak scrape-off layer and divertor physics.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate

Dr. Karsten McCollam Associate Scientist, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Dr. McCollam’s research focuses mainly on innovative means for producing current drive in toroidal plasmas, and in particular in the Madison Symmetric Torus (MST), at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Dr. Carlos Romero-Talamas Assistant Professor, University of Maryland Baltimore County

Research in Carlos’s group is focused on understanding basic interactions between materials, charged particles, and electromagnetic radiation. Dusty plasmas, which consist of large collections of electrons, ions, molecules, and charged dust grains, are of great interest to us. Relevance and applications of dusty plasmas range from astrophysics to materials processing. Research is carried out in both theory and experiments.

For publications, please visit ResearchGate

Chris Bowman WSI Bootcamp Attendee

An attendee of the WSI Scientific Computing Bootcamp, Chris Bowman graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in physics in 2016. Before he began work at Eagle Harbor Technologies as a research technician he interned at Woodruff Scientific working on post-processing and analysis of plasma simulations.

Chris Raastad Computational Scientist

Chris graduated with Bachelors in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Washington and in the process changed focus from physics, to pure math, to computational physics, to applied math, to finally computer science. He unexpectedly ended up in Estonia on a Fulbright scholarship to study a Masters in Cybersecurity only to accidentally fall into his true passion of hot tech startups. Now he spends his days running, singing, and helping make clean code and quality software at, a startup using shapeshifting robots to take on the online fitting room world.

Fore more information, please visit

Dr. Roger J. Smith Physicist, University of Washington

Dr Roger Smith has over 25 years of experience in diagnostic development in plasma physics. From graduate work on field reversed configurations (FRCs) under Prof. G. Vlases to working at the largest tokamak, the Joint European Torus (JET), facility, Dr Smith has originated new and novel diagnostics: the Transient Internal Probe diagnostic (TIP, 1989), the JET Divertor Electron Cyclotron Absorption diagnostic (1995) and the Pulsed Polarimetry diagnostic (2008). Pulsed polarimetry completes Lidar Thomson scattering, making possible, for the first time, a non-perturbative measurement of internal magnetic field distributions along the laser sightline for plasmas achieving reactor relevant parameters. Dr Smith is currently pursuing spatially resolved field measurements either by pulsed polarimetry internal to magnetized plasmas or by means of optical fibers adjacent to the plasma.

Dr. Myunghee Choi Physicist, IMSOL-X, San Diego, CA

After 17 years of modeling and computational research on present nuclear fusion devices (DIII-D, Tore Supra, KSTAR, Alcator C-Mod, NSTX) and future burning plasma devices (ITER and FDF) at Columbia University in New York, General Atomics in San Diego, CEA in Cararache and NFRI in Korea, she founded IMSOL-X in San Diego on 2013 May to share her knowledge and research experiences with international fusion communities. Dr. Choi is a member of the American Physical Society.