Dr. Donald Umstadter - Full CV

Leland J & Dorothy H Olson Chair in Atomic, Molecular, & Optical Physics
Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Academic appointments:
  • Leland J. and Dorothy H. Olson Chair of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 1/05-present
  • Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Science Dept., University of Michigan, 9/04-12/04
  • Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Dept., University of Michigan, 9/04-12/04
  • Professor, Applied Physics Program, University of Michigan, 9/04-12/04
  • Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Science Dept., University of Michigan, 9/97-9/04
  • Associate Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Dept., University of Michigan, 9/97-9/04
  • Associate Research Scientist, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Dept., University of Michigan, 9/94-9/97
  • Adjunct Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Science Dept., University of Michigan, 9/94-12/05
  • Adjunct Professor, Applied Physics Program, University of Michigan, 9/94-9/97
  • Assistant Research Scientist, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Dept., University of Michigan, 9/89-9/94
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, AT&T Bell Laboratories and University of Maryland, 9/87-9/89
Education:

Ph.D., (1987), M.S. (1983), B.S. (1981): Physics Department, University of California, Los Angeles
Thesis advisors: J. Dawson (Physics Dept.) and C. Joshi (Electrical Engineering Dept.)
Thesis title: Nonlinear Behavior of Electron Plasma Waves Driven by Stimulated Raman Backscattering

Honors and Awards:
  • Fellow, American Physical Society, 2004.
  • Monroe-Brown Foundation Research Excellence Award, College of Engineering, University of Michigan, 2003.
  • 2003 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Best Paper by the AIAA Nuclear and Future Flight Technical Committee (jointly with advisee K. Flippo, and T. Kammash).
  • Best Paper by a Graduate or Postdoctoral Student, 2002 International Workshop on the Physics of Fast-Ignition Targets, awarded to advisee K. Flippo.
  • University of Michigan Research Scientist Outstanding Achievement Award, 1997
  • University of Michigan Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Award for Outstanding Achievement, 1998
  • University of Michigan College of Engineering Research Scientist Outstanding Achievement Award, 1996
  • Who's Who in Science and Engineering
Research, Teaching and Scholarship:

Prof. Umstadter has taught over 500 students in the classroom, and supervised---in the laboratory---4 students who have completed M.S. degrees, 13 students who have completed PhD degrees, and 9 postdoctoral fellows. He was a co-founder of two National-Science-Foundation-funded centers of excellence: (1) the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science (CUOS), a Science and Technology Center, and (2) Frontiers in Coherent and Ultrafast Optical Science (FOCUS), a Frontiers of Physics Center. He has also been awarded single-investigator grants to do research in the area of fundamental physics from boththe National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. He is currently building a laser system at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, that will have a power rate of 1 PW-Hz, which will be the highest in the U.S.

He and his research team are pioneering a new research field involving the nonlinear optics of ultra-high intensity lasers interacting with plasmas, with applications in advanced radiation sources and particle accelerators. This research includes experiment, theory and numerical simulation in both basic and applied research. His research group was the first to show experimentally how electrons behave when intense light fields accelerate them to relativistic velocities. Their results on relativistic Thomson scattering has lead to the development of novel compact short-wavelength coherent light source. They hold a patent on a method to generate ultrashort pulse-duration x rays. They made the first demonstration and characterization of the transverse geometrical emittance of an electron beam accelerated by a relativistically self-guided laser wakefield. Most recently, they also demonstrated laser acceleration of a naturally collimated beam of MeV ions. Although the beam properties are comparable to those from conventional accelerators, the acceleration gradient is one-hundred-thousand times higher, 10 GeV/cm.

They have co-authored 175 publications in a wide variety of conference proceedings and journals, including 21 in the highest impact scientific periodicals: Nature, Science, or Physical Review Letters. These papers have been cited in the literature a total of more than 1,500 times. Prof. Umstadter is also an author on 9 invited review or tutorial papers, 25 invited papers total, and 74 invited presentations, including a plenary review paper on high-field science at the Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics, and at a Global Science Forum on Compact Short-Pulse High-Intensity Lasers, organized by the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (OECD). One paper, on nonlinear Thomson scattering, was published as the cover story in Nature. He co-wrote an article for the May, 2002 issue of Scientific American, entitled "Extreme Light," which was later incorporated into a special edition of Scientific American, "The Edge of Physics," May, 2003. He was also invited to write an article, Laser-driven X-ray Sources, for the McGraw Hill 2003 Yearbook in Science and Technology. Prof. Umstadter co-authored five U.S. patent applications, four of which have been issued, and one is under review.

Prof. Donald Umstadter

Contact information

University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Behlen Laboratory 257
Lincoln, NE 68588-0111
Phone: (402) 472-8115
dpu@unlserve.unl.edu

Publications

To see a full list of recent refereed publications, other publications and proceedings, patents, and media articles click here.