Office of the Director

LLE is a unique national resource for research and education in science and technology and a major asset of the University. The Rochester area and the University have a history of innovation that provides a singular environment for LLE within a technologically sophisticated scientific community, resulting in substantial regional economic impact. Established in 1970 as a center for the investigation of the interaction of intense radiation with matter, LLE has a five-fold mission: (1) to conduct laser-fusion implosion experiments in support of the National Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program; (2) to develop new laser and materials technologies; (3) to provide education in electro-optics, high-power lasers, high-energy-density physics, plasma physics, and nuclear fusion technology; (4) to conduct research and development in advanced technology related to high-energy-density physics; and (5) to operate the National Laser Users’ Facility (NLUF).

The year 2010 marked the 50th anniversary of the invention of the laser. The year was also the 81st anniversary of The Institute of Optics, one of the exceptional departments within the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The potential of the laser was immediately recognized at the University because of the excellence and expertise of both the University of Rochester faculty and the Rochester community in the physical sciences, particularly physics and optics. Exceptional leadership at the University, especially that of the University’s 7th President, Robert L. Sproull, a well-respected physicist and administrator as well as a former director of the U.S. Government’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, led to the establishment of the Laboratory in 1970.

The Office of the Director has provided vital leadership since the inception of the Laboratory more than 40 years ago. Starting with a modest staff and budget, the scope of the oversight provided by the Office has encompassed areas such as National and Energy Security Policy, world-class optical design and manufacturing, basic science research in high-energy-density physics including laboratory astrophysics, plasma nuclear physics, dynamics of materials under high stress, and non-linear hydrodynamics as well as the successful mentoring of graduate, undergraduate and high school students. Today the Office of the Director continues to provide energetic and visionary leadership in the Laboratory’s overarching quest for inertial confinement fusion, assuring the Laboratory’s success for years to come.

The senior leaders reporting to the Office of the Director include:

Director E. Michael Campbell

Dr. Campbell is an internationally known expert in inertial fusion, high-energy-density physics, high-power lasers and their applications, and advanced energy technologies including Generation IV nuclear fission reactors and biofuels. He has won numerous awards including the Department of Energy’s E. O. Lawrence Award, the American Nuclear Society’s Edward Teller Award, the American Physical Society’s John Dawson Award, the Department of Energy’s Excellence in Weapons Research Award, and the Leadership Award of Fusion Power Associates. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, American Physical Society, and the European Institute of Physics. He has published over 200 articles in scientific journals and holds five patents including the design of the first laboratory x-ray laser. He has given numerous invited and plenary talks at both national and international conferences. He is the originator of the Inertial Fusion Science and Applications Conference.

Dr. Campbell has been a member of numerous committees providing advice and strategy, including the Department of Defense, Missile Defense Agency, National Academy of Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Texas, the National Research Council of Canada, Missile Defense Agency, and Lockheed Martin Corporation. He served on the Board of Evans and Sutherland Corporation and has worked in various scientific and leadership positions at both federal laboratories and the private sector including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, General Atomics, Logos Technologies, and Sandia National Laboratories. He has received his degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and the University of Western Sydney.

E. Michael Campbell

E. Michael Campbell

Laboratory for Laser Energetics

LLE Mission Statement

The Laboratory has a five-fold mission:
  1. To conduct implosion experiments and basic physics experiments in support of the National Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program.
  2. To develop new laser and materials technologies.
  3. To provide graduate and undergraduate education in electro-optics, high-power lasers, high-energy-density physics, plasma physics, and nuclear fusion technology.
  4. To operate the National Laser Users’ Facility.
  5. To conduct research and development in advanced technology related to high-energy-density phenomena.