Respected physicist to provide technical leadership and strategic vision for GA’s magnetic fusion programs
San Diego, 18 March 2022 –General Atomics (GA) has named Dr. Wayne Solomon as Vice President for its Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE) Division, effective immediately.
“I want to congratulate Wayne on his promotion to the role of Vice President for the MFE Division,” said Dr. Anantha Krishnan, Senior Vice President for the General Atomics Energy Group. “Wayne has been an integral part of GA’s Energy Group for many years and brings a wealth of experience and both institutional and community knowledge to this position. This is an exciting time for fusion, and as we look towards the future, I can think of no better person than Wayne to lead MFE.”
“I am excited to take on this important role,” Dr. Solomon said. “Since first coming to DIII-D almost twenty years ago, I have been incredibly privileged to have worked closely with GA’s incredible group of researchers on the most pressing challenges in fusion. A confluence of events has set the stage for rapid advances in fusion energy in the coming years, and I look forward to working with the team to secure an inspiring and rewarding future for everyone in MFE as we strive to make fusion energy a reality.”
Dr. Solomon joined GA in 2016 as Deputy Director for the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. Most recently, he held the role of Director of Science & Technology and Deputy Director for MFE, where he helped develop a long-range strategy for the Division and oversaw innovative science, research, and technology development programs within the Energy Group.
Dr. Solomon also has had a strong involvement in the fusion science community. In 2018, he became a Co-chair of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics Community Planning Process and helped lead the effort to develop a consensus long range strategic plan for the U.S. fusion community. After completion of that work, he was selected as a leader of the Department of Energy Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) Long Range Planning Subcommittee, and the report was unanimously endorsed by the full FESAC committee.
Reflecting on his vision for the MFE Division, Dr. Solomon sees GA’s world-leading theory and simulation teams as playing a significant role in developing solutions for the commercialization of fusion energy.
“I see a vibrant future for DIII-D,” added Solomon, “with key upgrades that will enable the facility and its team to close out major gaps on the path to a fusion pilot plant based on the steady-state advanced tokamak. A fusion pilot plant will need a range of technologies to be developed and matured to sufficient technical readiness. The MFE Division, working closely with our many collaborating partners, is poised to make significant contributions to many areas of fusion science, including blankets, diagnostics, control systems, materials, and magnets.”
DIII-D is the largest magnetic fusion research facility in the U.S. and is operated as a national user facility by General Atomics for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. Researchers come to DIII-D from across the globe to investigate a wide range of topics from fundamental plasma science to how future fusion power plants will work.
Prior to joining GA, Dr. Solomon worked at DIII-D as a collaborating scientist from Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and led the Dynamics and Control research group. He holds a Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the Australian National University.
GA’s outgoing Vice President for MFE, Dr. Tony Taylor, will continue to contribute to GA’s MFE Division as a Fellow.
“I wish to thank Tony Taylor for his more than four decades of outstanding service to GA and the fusion community,” said. Dr. Krishnan. “The MFE Division’s technical capabilities and programmatic impact has grown significantly under his steady leadership. As he steps away from the role of Vice President, we look forward to his continued guidance and support in his new role as a GA Fellow.”
About General Atomics: Since the dawn of the atomic age, General Atomics innovations have advanced the state of the art across the full spectrum of science and technology – from nuclear energy and defense to medicine and high-performance computing. Behind a talented global team of scientists, engineers, and professionals, GA’s unique experience and capabilities continue to deliver safe, sustainable, economical, and innovative solutions to meet growing global demands.
About the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. >DIII-D is the largest magnetic fusion research facility in the U.S. and has been the site of numerous pioneering contributions to the development of fusion energy science. DIII-D continues the drive toward practical fusion energy with critical research conducted in collaboration with more than 600 scientists representing over 100 institutions worldwide. As a U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science User Facility, participation in DIII-D research is open to all interested parties. For more information, visit www.ga.com/diii-d.
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Senior Director of Strategic Development