Dr. T. Craig Sangster is the Experimental Division Director at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics. The scientists, engineers, and technicians in the Division conduct hundreds of experiments per year at the Omega Laser Facility and the National Ignition Facility, and collaborate with academic partners at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the State University of New York at Geneseo, the University of Michigan, the University of Nevada-Reno, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The experimental program spans a broad range of high-energy-density physics with a particular focus on the demonstration of net fusion energy based on the inertial fusion concept (a key step toward a fusion-energy–based future). The Experimental Division has world-leading capabilities for the development of complex laser-target physics platforms and advanced diagnostic instrumentation, as well as the development of novel optical and imaging capabilities that enable the scientists to push the limits of what can be measured with laser-driven target-physics experiments. Additionally, the Division partners with General Atomics to develop and field the complex targets required for these experiments; the targets rely on advanced materials, cryogenics, and precision fabrication techniques.
Dr. Sangster joined the Laboratory in 2001 as the Omega Experiments Group Leader and was appointed the head of the Experimental Division in 2014. From 1986 to 2001, Dr. Sangster was a staff scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where he was a founding member of the PHENIX collaboration at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (quark-gluon plasma science), the head of the Nuclear Diagnostics Group within the Inertial Confinement Fusion Program, and the Experimental Group Leader within the Heavy Ion Fusion Program. He has authored or co-authored over 400 journal articles that have been cited over 25,000 times.
Dr. Sangster grew up in Texas and earned a B.S. degree in Physics from Baylor University in 1981. A particularly persuasive faculty member there encouraged him to attend graduate school rather than fly airplanes and he left the heat of Texas for the cornfields of Indiana to attend Purdue University, earning the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the Physics Department in 1983 and 1986, respectively.