Applied Physics Alumni Win APS Awards

Two outstanding APAM alumni, Dr. Seth Davidovits (right) and Dr. John C. Wright (left), received awards at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics, which took place from November 5-9, 2018 in Portland, OR.

Seth Davidovits (B.S. ‘10, Applied Physics), received the 2018 APS Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award. The award recognizes “exceptional young scientists who have performed original thesis work of outstanding scientific quality and achievement in the area of plasma physics.”

Davidovits, who was the SEAS class of 2010 valedictorian, earned his Ph.D. in plasma physics from Princeton University. He held a Department of Energy (DOE) Computational Science Graduate Fellowship from 2010-2014 and was named a 2018 Frederick A. Howes Scholar in Computational Science. Davidovits is now a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton, where he holds a DOE Fusion Energy Sciences postdoctoral fellowship. He is a member of the American Physical Society and was chosen as a 2018 Howes Scholar. Dr. Davidovits continues to pursue the compression of turbulent plasma, with applications in inertial-confinement-fusion experiments, Z-pinch experiments, and astrophysical plasmas.
John C. Wright (B.S. ‘91, Applied Physics) is a recipient of a 2018 APS Landau-Spitzer Award "for experimental verification, through collaborative experiments, of a novel and highly efficient ion cyclotron resonance heating scenario for plasma heating and generation of energetic ions in magnetic fusion devices."

"Dr. Wright is a principal scientist at MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He received his B.S. in applied physics from Columbia University in 1991 and his Ph.D. in astrophysical sciences from Princeton University in 1998. His research is in developing and applying new capabilities in radio frequency simulations that contribute to improved understanding of the theory and experiments in wave-particle interactions in plasmas. These physics advances have been accompanied by contributions in computer science, including advanced parallel linear algebra algorithms, integrated multi-physics simulation frameworks, and a Web-based approach to workflow, data, and provenance tracking. He is active in several international and multi-institutional domestic collaborations focused on improving the understanding of radio frequency actuators in tokamaks and stellarators." (APS)

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