Five Lab postdocs will attend 73rd annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings

Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting attendees (Download Image)

From left: Andrew Rowberg, Tomi Akindele, Tina Ebert, Raspberry Simpson and Elizabeth Grace will attend the 73rd annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting.


Getting the chance to meet and mingle with scientists who have achieved Nobel Prize winning greatness will be the reality for five Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) postdoctoral appointees selected to attend the 73rd annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings. Tina Ebert, Elizabeth Grace and Raspberry Simpson were selected as the 2024 LLNL cohort; Tomi Akindele and Andrew Rowberg also will attend in person since COVID-19 necessitated virtual gatherings in their selection year.

The Lindau meetings alternate between the disciplines of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine. Held in Germany this summer, this international scientific forum is dedicated to the physics discipline. Students and postdocs from around the world meet with Nobel laureates to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience among scientists of different generations, cultures and disciplines. This year’s selected postdocs’ interests center on laser plasma physics research.

Tina Ebert

Ebert joined the Lab in August 2022 as a postdoctoral researcher in the Physical and Life Sciences X-ray Measurement and Diagnostic Science group. Her research focuses on the development and application of narrowband X-ray crystal imaging diagnostics to study high-energy-density matter at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). She is excited to participate in such a prestigious meeting.

“Such an inspiring environment will be ideal to spark new ideas for future high-impact projects and provide new perspectives on identifying, approaching, and pursuing current research needs that require our attention,” Ebert said.

She wanted to work at the Lab for its highly stimulating workplace environment. “NIF is a one-of-a-kind facility enabling experiments that cannot be performed at any other place in the world, which allows us to constantly push the boundaries of what we currently know and can do,” she said.

Elizabeth Grace

Grace, whose work centers on developing novel optical diagnostics for high-energy-density laser plasmas, joined the Lab in January 2023 as the High Energy Density Science Fellow in NIF & Photon Science.

When she heard of her selection she was elated. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to engage with Nobel Laureates, as well as meeting with my peers from across the world.”

She said the people, high quality of mentorship and scale of the science involved attracted her to the Lab. “I wouldn’t be here without my graduate co-adviser Tammy Ma, who has been an excellent mentor to me, especially in my earlier years as a graduate student. The welcoming environment and positive working culture that Tammy has created in her group makes science much more enjoyable and efficient.”

Raspberry Simpson

Simpson, who joined the Lab in October 2022 as a Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellow for NIF & Photon Science, is excited about attending.

“I’ve been eyeing the Lindau meeting since I was a summer student at the Lab and was waiting for it to cycle back to physics. It was an awesome feeling learning that I will be able to attend,” Simpson said.

Her research centers around laser-driven particle accelerators (LDPA), a natural extension of, and some cases complementary to, traditional particle accelerators. She is looking forward to learning about exciting work from scientists working in other areas of physics. “The meeting also emphasizes areas for connection, collaboration and community, so being able to have the time and space to connect with other scientists at different stages in their careers in this type of environment feels really exciting," she said.

Tomi Akindele

Akindele joined the Lab in May 2018 and received the Lindau fellowship as an LLNL postdoc in 2021, and is now a research scientist in the Physical and Life Sciences Nuclear and Chemical Science Division.

Her research centers on detector development and particle interaction media for fundamental physics and nuclear nonproliferation. She’s looking forward to understanding how Nobel laureates handled obstacles along the way to their success, including funding for research and development and working in large teams where personalities come into play.

“Understanding how the Nobel laureates navigated the non-science portions of their careers is very interesting to me,” she said.

At the Lab, she wants to provide mentorship and advocacy for groups who may not have had the same educational opportunities she has had. “I am motivated to develop R&D to provide opportunities for underserved groups," she said.

Andrew Rowberg

Rowberg joined the Lab in October 2021 as a postdoc in the Physical and Life Sciences Materials Science Division and was originally selected to attend when he was a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2020.

He performs atomic-scale simulations on materials used for the storage and production of hydrogen, which can be used as an energy source.

Although he attended the meeting virtually in 2020 and 2021, he’s looking forward to the one-of-a-kind chance to meet so many brilliant scientists at the top of their fields.

“It’s always cool, if also perhaps a bit intimidating, to see Nobel Prize winners out in the wild, but I’m eager to experience the Lindau meeting’s unique ability to encourage friendly, informal interactions between young scientists and Nobel laureates,” he said.

He said what motivates him at the Lab is the ability to do work that can lead to tangible improvements in the real world. “That is why I find working with renewable energy technology to be so attractive,” he said.

All five are able to attend through the support of the University of California President’s 2024 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings Fellows Program.