The Michigan Engineer News Center

Two NERS professors elected to the rank of fellow

Professor Sara Pozzi was elected to the rank of Fellow of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, and Professor Alec Thomas was elected to the rank of Fellow of the American Physical Society.| Short Read

Professor Sara A. Pozzi has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management “in recognition of her distinguished contributions to the field of nuclear materials management.”

Enlargephoto of Professor Sara Pozzi
IMAGE:  Professor Sara Pozzi

Pozzi is founding director of the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Consortium for Verification Technology, a $25-million consortium of 12 universities and 9 national laboratories dedicated to the development of new technologies for nuclear treaty verification. She also is co-author of the Monte Carlo code MCNPX-PoliMi, in use at over 50 institutions worldwide. Her research group has pioneered the use of organic scintillators as neutron detectors in instruments that can detect, locate, and characterize special nuclear materials, such as uranium and plutonium.

Since joining the INMM as a student in the 1990s, Pozzi has been an active contributor. She has authored or co-authored 139 papers — nearly all of them with her graduate and undergraduate students — presented at the INMM Annual Meeting and served in many leadership roles. These include serving as founding faculty advisor of the INMM University of Michigan Student Chapter since 2008. The U-M chapter is one of the Institute’s most active.

Enlargephoto of Professor Alec Thomas
IMAGE:  Professor Alec Thomas

Professor Alec Thomas has been elected to the rank of Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). Thomas was recognized “For contributions to the experimental and theoretical understanding of short pulse high intensity laser plasma interactions and in particular for the development of laser wakefield accelerators and the generation of x-rays from these beams.”

The designation of APS Fellow acknowledges members for their advances in physics, including through original research, application to science and technology, teaching or service.

Thomas’ work on high-intensity laser plasma interactions and development of laser wakefield accelerators is the focus of his recent Research Accelerator award from the College of Engineering.

photo of Professor Sara Pozzi
photo of Professor Alec Thomas
Portrait of Jennifer Melms


Jennifer Melms
Administrative Assistant

Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

(734) 764-4260

1906 Cooley Building

The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read