Justin Kunimune, third-year graduate student in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) is one of four graduate students awarded a 2022 Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Laboratory Residency Graduate Fellowship (DOE NNSA LRGF).
At MIT Kunimune studies inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments in the High-Energy-Density Physics Division of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center with division head, Dr Johan Frenje. ICF is a scheme for producing fusion in which spherical capsules of deuterium and tritium are imploded to high temperatures and densities using powerful lasers. Kunimune's work focuses on developing diagnostics to glean new insights from ICF experiments.
For his LRGF residency, Kunimune will spend time at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he will develop new analysis tools to reconstruct the three-dimensional shapes of ICF implosions. Implosion asymmetries are a major challenge in ICF — these reconstructions will allow aid design and performance, allowing more efficient implosions that reach higher yields. Kunimune will be mentored by NSE alum Dan Casey and will work closely with Verena Geppert-Kleinrath's research group at LANL
The DOE NNSA LRGF aims to connect laboratory scientists with professors and students working in fields relevant to stewardship of the nation’s nuclear stockpile, and foster collaborative research relationships. NSE's Raspberry Simpson was one of the four inaugural fellows inthe first year of the program in 2018.