The combined IEEE NPSS 36th International Conference on Plasma Science and 23rd Symposium on Fusion Engineering took place at the Omni hotel in downtown San Diego from May 31–June 5, 2009. It was the first time that the two conferences were combined with single technical and social programs. Both conferences had a single budget and a single local organizing committee. The General Chair of ICOPS was Professor Farhat Beg from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Center for Energy Research, University of California San Diego. The General Chair for SOFE was Dr. Mark Tillack, Center for Energy Research, University of California San Diego. Dr. Dan Goodin of General Atomics chaired the local organizing committee.
The combined conference was a great success! There were about 700 registrants from 31 countries. The distribution of registrants was as follows: United States (483), France (34), Germany (31), South Korea (29), Japan (24), United Kingdom (20) and Italy (18) with the balance from various other countries. Concern over the A(H1N1) flu virus led to a significant number of withdrawals from the SOFE program, especially from Japan and the EU. However, the overall impact on the conference was small.
542 abstracts were submitted to ICOPS with 222 oral and 314 poster presentations. There were 72 presentations from students. There were three ICOPS/SOFE joint plenary talks and three ICOPS-only plenary talks. 308 abstracts were submitted to SOFE from 20 countries, including 18 from students. SOFE was divided into 12 oral sessions, 12 poster sessions and 4 plenary sessions with 8 plenary speakers. The combined ICOPS and SOFE joint plenary speakers were Guenter Janeschitz (ITER IO), John Sethian (NRL) and Ed Moses (LLNL). Three ICOPS plenary speakers were Dr. Michael Kong (Loughborough University, UK), Mark Herrmann (Sandia National Laboratories) and Dr. Bob Barker (Air Force Office of the Scientific Research). A special talk on the NIF Users program was given by Dr. Chris Keane of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The ICOPS technical program was organized by Dr. Christine Coverdale (Committee Chair) of Sandia National Laboratories with assistance from technical area coordinators and session area organizers. Dr. René Raffray chaired the SOFE technical program committee. Details about the technical program and committees can be found on the conference web page, http://cer.ucsd.edu/icopssofe09.
The conference chairs made special efforts to encourage student participation, enabling over 100 students to attend the conference. ICOPS/SOFE offered a Student Travel Grant program to encourage student participation. The Chair of the Student Travel Grant Committee was Ryan Umstattd of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Travel grants were awarded to 20 students (15 from the U.S. and 5 from overseas) assisting their attendance to ICOPS/SOFE 2009.
A full social program was provided, including a welcome reception on Sunday evening with a brief address from Linden Blue, Vice-Chairman of General Atomics. On Monday morning, a companion breakfast was held on the Palm Terrace with a speaker from the San Diego Tourism Bureau. A special reception for IEEE members and Women in Engineering and Science took place on Monday evening with entertainment by Flamenco artists. A night at the ballpark was held on Tuesday. The Omni hotel is located adjacent to Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres; attendees were able to enter the park through a private skybridge and enjoy a reserved block of seats. Unfortunately, the Padres lost to the 2008 world series champion Phillies. The conference awards banquet was held on Wednesday evening. It started with a cocktail hour followed by the award banquet. After the award banquet, there was a live concert by the fabulous “Mar Dels.” The band played songs from the 1950’s and 1960’s.
ICOPS award winners this year included Dr. Bob Barker of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the winner of the Plasma Science and Application award For leadership in plasma technology and applications. The award for the outstanding student in Plasma Science went to Greg Fridman To recognize outstanding contributions to the field of plasma science and technology. The ICOPS best student paper award was given to Atif Ali of the University of Alberta, Canada for Comparison of K-alpha x-ray source from different metal targets using sub-mJ kiloHertz femto-second laser pulses.
SOFE awards were as follows: Mai Ichinose from Kyoto University, who won the best student paper award for her presentation Preliminary Design of High Temperature Lithium-Lead Blanket with SiC Cooling Panel, and A. René Raffray who won the 2009 Fusion Technology Award for his internationally recognized expertise in fusion engineering and his outstanding contributions to fusion technology, especially in the area of thermal hydraulics, high heat flux components and power plant design for both magnetic and inertial fusion energy.
Fourteen companies participated in the exhibitor program organized by Kelly Kaiser of General Atomics. Vendors from the U.S., Europe and Asia participated in this program.
ICOPS/SOFE 2009 gratefully acknowledges the generous support of a number of organizations including: the Center for Energy Research and Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California San Diego, General Atomics, Department of Energy, U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Los Alamos National Laboratory, National Science Foundation, Naval Research Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Princeton Plasma Laboratory.
An IEEE membership recruitment booth was staffed by Dan Jobe of Ktech Inc. and Filimon Roukoutakis of the University of Athens. They did an excellent job and recruited 121 new IEEE members, keeping the record established at the ICOPS 2008.
A minicourse entitled “Target Fabrication and the Physics of High-Energy-Density-Physics Experiments” associated with the ICOPS 2009 was organized by Dr. Rich Stephens of General Atomics. Morning lectures concentrated on considerations faced in building targets: to avoid (or enhance) instabilities (Dr. Mauldin,
General Atomics), creating high-density plasmas (Professor R. Betti, University of Rochester), validating the targets as made (Dr. H. Huang, General Atomics) and probing the HED dynamics (Dr. K. Akli, General Atomics). The focus of afternoon lectures was the range of low-density materials that can be built for HEDP experiments (Dr. J. Hund, General Atomics). These targets then can be used for various physics topics studies including lab astrophysics
(Dr. B. Blue, General Atomics) and shock propagation (Dr. T. Back, General Atomics). The last session focused on developing capability for campaigns on rep-rated lasers (Dr. N. Alexander,
General Atomics). The course ended with an open discussion and addressed the specific interests of the participants.
This year a one-day mini-course was offered in conjunction with SOFE on “The Basics of Fusion Engineering and Design”. Lectures were provided by experts in the fusion engineering field, including Don Steiner (RPI), Lee Cadwallader (INL), Neil Morley (UCLA), Farrokh Najmabadi (UC San Diego) and Dave Rasmussen (USIPO/ORNL). The minicourse was organized by Don Steiner and René Raffray.
A Special Issue of IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science (TPS) will be published to document ICOPS 2009. The Special Issue is devoted to Plenary and Invited Talks from ICOPS 2009. The Guest Editors are Farhat Beg (University of California, San Diego), Monica Blank (Communications and Power Industries, USA), and Michael Kong (University of Loughborgouh, UK). They are overseeing this special Issue together with Steve Gitomer, Editor-in-Chief.
The proceedings of the 23rd SOFE are now in preparation, for posting at the IEEE Xplore web site and distribution on a CD to all registered attendees of SOFE. In addition, for the first time ever, all SOFE authors were invited to submit extended versions of their conference manuscripts for peer review and publication in the IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science. David Ruzic from the University of
Illinois and Jean Paul Allain from Purdue University will serve as guest editors.
For more information on ICOPS/SOFE 2009 and associated events, please contact Farhat Beg, General Chair ICOPS, Mark Tillack, General Chair SOFE or please visit the joint ICOPS/SOFE web site at http://cer.ucsd.edu/icopssofe09/.