Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Regina Soufli has been elected as an SPIE senior member. SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, bestows the senior member designation on individuals who have distinguished themselves through their professional experience and their active involvement within both the optics community and SPIE.
Soufli is recognized for her scientific achievements in extreme ultraviolet/X-ray optics and nanoscale multilayer interference coatings, as well as her work within SPIE. She has been actively involved as a leader within the society since 1998, chairing conferences, co-organizing conferences, teaching SPIE courses and serving as an editor for conference proceedings.
On her involvement in SPIE, Soufli said: “Organizations like this are full of our colleagues from laboratories and universities around the world, so participating in them is a vital part of growth and development within our field. The opportunities offered by groups such as SPIE can inspire new ideas and work — we cannot do our jobs just by sitting in our offices and labs, we have to be out there communicating our ideas and listening to others so we can come back to our own work with fresh ideas.”
While at LLNL, she has led programs that developed first-of-a-kind optics for photolithography, NASA solar physics and astrophysics missions, X-ray free-electron lasers and other high-energy physics applications. She also has performed pioneering research in the field of X-ray interactions with matter and is working with her team on next-generation, multi-layer optical coatings for even higher energy experiments in the ‘hard’ X-ray spectrum. This work is a Strategic Initiative project within the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program. In 2013, she was a member of a team that received a Group Achievement Award from NASA and she was elected a fellow of the Optical Society (OSA) in 2014.
“It is humbling and it’s a great honor, especially following on the heels of my election to fellow at OSA,” Soufli said. “I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to be recognized by my colleagues in this way. It makes me want to strive to continue on this path of creativity and productivity with my involvement in R&D.”
Having co-authored more than 120 publications, she also is the recipient of two R&D 100 awards and several LLNL awards. She recently served as principal investigator for projects that developed key technology for the latest generation of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES). These satellites monitor Earth’s weather from space, but also observe solar weather events such as solar flares and storms. “My team and I are always interested in developing faster, better monitoring of space weather, as providing advanced imaging of these events is essential for understanding space phenomena,” she said. She currently is a part of two more work-for-others projects involving space instrumentation.
Jim Trebes, the director of LLNL’s Physics Division, has followed Soufli’s career since her first day at the Lab and said: “Regina has built an outstanding career here at the Lab in lithography, basic science, astronomy and much more. She’s already internationally known as a pioneer in her field, and this latest recognition is extremely well-deserved."
Soufli’s career, spanning from her doctoral research at the Center for X-ray Optics at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to her time as a staff member at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics working on NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, has yielded methodologies and experimental values for the X-ray refractive index of materials that are used as benchmarks and references by the global scientific community.
“I am extremely grateful to the Lab and my colleagues here,” she said. “None of these successes would have happened if it were not for the Lab and the support we have here. Over my 18 years at LLNL, I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing people, colleagues, technical staff and management, who have enabled this success for me.”