Carolyn Kuranz
Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
University of Michigan

January 2020

Alumni Focus

Professor Kuranz is an experimental plasma physicist with research interests in high-energy-density plasmas, hydrodynamic instabilities, radiation hydrodynamics, and magnetized plasmas. She performs her research at high-power laser facilities around the world, including the National Ignition Facility and the Omega Laser Facility. Professor Kuranz received her Ph.D. in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan in 2009 and her Bachelors in Physics from Bryn Mawr College in 2002. Her Ph.D. thesis, "Blast-wave-driven, multidimensional Rayleigh-Taylor instability experiments," was based on experiments carried out at the LLE Omega Laser Facility and supported by the NLUF program.

In 2019 she was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society. She was cited for spearheading academic use of the National Ignition Facility for seminal experiments in plasma laboratory astrophysics, specifically the effects of locally generated intense radiation on an interface and on astrophysically relevant interfacial instabilities. She has also been awarded the Ted Kennedy Family Faculty Team Excellence Award and the American Astronomical Society Laboratory Astrophysics Division Early Career Award. Professor Kuranz also serves as Director for the Center for Laboratory Astrophysics, a National Nuclear Security Administration Center of Excellence, and has a joint appointment in the University of Michigan Climate and Space Sciences Engineering Department.