Management Changes at DOE Fusion Office

August 13, 2017

Following the departure of Ed Synakowski (see FPN17-31), on August 6, 2017 James (“Jim”) Van Dam assumed responsibility as acting associate director for the Office of Fusion Energy Science (OFES) in the DOE Office of Science. Jim received his Ph.D. in plasma physics from UCLA in 1979. Dr. Van Dam was a visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton) and then moved to The University of Texas at Austin when the Institute for Fusion Studies (IFS) was established in 1980. He became Associate Director of the IFS in 1986 and served as Director 2003-2011. He was also Director of the U.S. Burning Plasma Organization and Chief Scientist for the U.S. ITER Project Office 2007-2011. His research areas include kinetic theory, MHD, plasma waves, equilibrium and stability in toroidal confinement fusion devices, energetic particles in burning plasmas, and magnetospheric physics. He has published over 100 papers, plus two books. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society since 1992. Jim can be reached at james.vandam@science.doe.gov

Also effective August 6, 2017, John Mandrekas assumes responsibility as acting division director for the OFES Research Division. John joined the Research Division in OFES in January 2007 following a two-year Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment within the Department, as Program Manager for the OFES Theory and Simulation program. Previously, he was a Senior Research Scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, where he did research in theoretical and computational fusion plasma science and taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in plasma physics and fusion. He received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. John can be reached at john.mandrekas@science.doe.gov