Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

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Tom Kohut, an operations manager at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), received the “Managers Who Get Safety” Award presented by the San Francisco Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals. Recipients demonstrate superior commitment to the safety and well-being of employees, the environment, and the community. Kohut was recognized for his significant contributions to ensuring the security of NIF’s complex and high-risk operations by engaging collaboratively with multiple Laboratory resources and encouraging employees at all levels to think about safety during routine meetings.

Livermore researchers claimed first place in an international symbolic regression competition hosted by SRBench at the 2022 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. The group, led by Brenden Petersen, applied their Unified Deep Symbolic Regression (uDSR) algorithm to real-world COVID-19 data to predict and interpret epidemiological effects in New York state. The work emerged as part of a Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program project aimed at integrating several deep learning and search methods into a unified framework. The uDSR method garnered high scores based on algorithmic accuracy and simplicity, and the team also placed third in the competition’s synthetic track.

Livermore physicist Debbie Callahan received the 2022 Leadership Award from Fusion Power Associates (FPA), a nonprofit fusion and plasma science research and education organization. The FPA Board of Directors highlighted Callahan’s decades of contribution to hohlraum designs used for implosion experiments at NIF. Since joining Livermore in 1987 as a graduate student, she has authored and co-authored more than 200 refereed journal publications related to fusion energy. Callahan was also praised for her dedication to cultivating scientific talent through recruiting, training, and mentoring researchers who will lead the coming era of NIF target design.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society honored a team that included three Livermore researchers. Lead author Kelli Humbird was joined by Luc Peterson and Brian Spears in receiving the 2022 Transactions on Plasma Science Best Paper Award for introducing hierarchical transfer learning (TL) to calibrate inertial confinement fusion experiments at NIF. Humbird’s team described a novel TL approach that first calibrates implosion physics models based on simulations, then fine-tunes models given high-fidelity experimental data, ultimately providing models that predict implosion dynamics more accurately than simulations alone.