Graduate Students

Ryan Albosta

PhD Student

Ryan is an experimental research assistant for Benedikt Geiger with a bachelor’s degree in Physics and a minor in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M. He is developing high speed spectrometers for application at HSX and D-IIID.

J. Fernando Castillo

PhD Student

Fernando studies the impurity transport properties of HSX using laser blow-off injection experiments. His research goal is to compare experimental results to neoclassical calculations to determine whether transport is anomalous. Previous stellarator impurity injection experiments in other devices have seen discrepancies in impurity flows and accumulations as predicted by neoclassical models.

Micheal Gerard

PhD Student

Michael received his Bachelor degree in Physics and Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he did research in lunar geology and plasma wakefield acceleration.  He started graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall of 2019.  He is pursuing a PhD in the Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics department under his advisor Benedikt Geiger.  He does computational research in plasma turbulence optimization for HSX.

Thomas Kruger

PhD Student

Thomas has been a graduate student with the HSX group since 2018. He studies stellarator coil and ferromagnetic insert optimization. He is also part of a research group designing the world’s first high temperature superconducting stellarator coil, funded by ARPA-E.

Ian Mckinney

PhD Student

Ian has been a graduate student with the HSX group since the fall of 2016. He studies drift-wave turbulence in 3-D magnetic equilibria using both gyrokinetic code GENE and reduced fluid models. Ian has recently published some of his research pertaining to ion-temperature-gradient-driven turbulence in HSX and NCSX (see:

Dimitri Michaelides

PhD Student

Dimitri joined HSX in the fall of 2017, and is now currently working to find the resonant electric field needed to see a transition into a non-linear viscosity regime in plasma.  Once he finds the field using a biasing electrode, he plans to measure the flows in the regime.

Luquant Singh

Undergraduate Student

Luquant has conducted research at HSX as an undergraduate since 2017 and will be joining the lab as a graduate student in the Fall of 2020. His current research focuses on improvements to modular coil designs for future stellarators.

Jason Smoniewski

PhD Student

Jason has studied edge flows and field structure with a Gundestrup probe, the monoenergetic approximation in neoclassical transport calculations, neoclassical viscosity with a bias probe, and calculations of neoclassical impurity transport at HSX. Jason’s thesis compares turbulent transport in the quasi-helical symmetry and broken symmetry configurations of HSX in both experiment and simulation using the GENE code, power balance calculations, and reflectometry measurements.

Colin Swee

PhD Student

Colin graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Fall, 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Physics. During that time his research involved novel methods for characterizing reactive processing plasmas. He began his graduate studies in the Nuclear Engineering department in the Fall of 2019 and now works with forward modeling of impurity transport in stellarators in conjunction with laser blow off studies.

Alexander Thornton

PhD Student

Alex has been a graduate student with HSX since 2017. He studies RF heating, beam heating, energetic particle confinement, and wall conditioning systems. He is currently working on an upgrade to the ECRH system that will allow HSX to operate at higher densities.