LIVERMORE, California - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Tammy Ma has won the American Physical Society's (APS) 2016 Thomas H. Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Physics Research.
Ma was recognized for "innovation and leadership in quantifying hydrodynamic instability mix in inertial confinement fusion implosions (ICF) on the National Ignition Facility and for key contributions to experiments demonstrating fusion fuel gains exceeding unity."
"This is an amazing honor, and I am humbled to represent the NIF and LLNL teams," Ma said. "Thank you to everyone who has and continues to support, motivate, teach and encourage me - I feel incredibly lucky to get to work here at LLNL."
The Thomas H. Stix Award annually honors an individual researcher who has made outstanding theoretical, experimental, computational or technical contributions in plasma physics early in his/her career. It was established in 2013 by a contribution from the Division of Plasma Physics. Ma will receive a $2,000 stipend and a certificate when the award is presented at the 58th annual meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics in San Jose, California. The meeting will take place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.
Ma earned her bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Caltech in 2005, received her master's degree in 2008 and Ph.D. in 2010, both from the University of California, San Diego.
Following graduate school, Ma completed a postdoc position at LLNL before becoming a staff scientist in 2012, where she now leads many of the ICF experiments at NIF. Ma was responsible for developing an X-ray imaging diagnostic (the Ross Pair Filters) and established a methodology for determining hydrodynamic mix and pressure in NIF implosions. She heads the X-Ray Analysis Group for the ICF program and has authored or co-authored more than 110 peer-reviewed journal publications. Ma also is active in the Laboratory's community outreach programs, participating in school visits, Science on Saturday and the annual Expanding Your Horizon programs for girls in grades 6-9.
Ma was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.