On April 26, Mark Koepke, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, was chosen as chair-elect of the OMEGA Laser User Group.
OLUG facilitates communication and exchanges among the users of OMEGA, from the users as a group to the facility management and from the users to the broader scientific community. The OMEGA Laser Facility, capable of a wide variety of scientific experiments, is a user facility featuring both high-energy lasers and high-intensity lasers. It is located at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics of the University of Rochester. At present, 30 percent of the facility use time is devoted to fundamental science experiments, with the remainder going to inertial confinement fusion research.
Koepke will serve as vice chair for one year (2017-18) and chair for two years (2018-20). He has served on the OLUG executive committee since January 2012. His research in high-energy-density laboratory plasma science is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.The OMEGA Users comprise 428 scientists, students, academics and researchers from 55 universities, over 35 centers and national laboratories and 21 different countries. The largest component of the users comes from the academic community. OLUG defines improvements to the capabilities and operation of the facility that would advance research opportunities for a broad cross-section of the users and presents its findings and recommendations to the facility management. OLUG holds an annual workshop that develops the findings and recommendations and provides an opportunity for young researchers to present their research in a very interactive yet informal setting.