Mike Campbell to Retire as Director of U. Rochester LLE

November 3, 2021

E. Michael Campbell, a scientific leader in laser science and plasma physics, has announced he will retire on December 31, 2021 as director of the U. Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics. Campbell will continue to carry out his duties as LLE director until the end of the calendar year and will remain as a consultant to LLE until a new director is named.

Rochester President Sarah C. Mangelsdorf praised Campbell's leadership in expanding the LLE's capabilities and fostering relationships both with national laboratories and between the LLE and the River Campus.

"Mike has been invaluable to the LLE and the University of Rochester," says Mangelsdorf, who is also the G. Robert Witmer, Jr. University Professor at the University of Rochester. "He has elevated the national profile of the LLE and has greatly expanded awareness of the University of Rochester among policymakers in Washington, DC. He has also worked to build strong connections between the LLE and other parts of the University of Rochester."

Mike joined the University in 2015 as LLE deputy director and was promoted to director in 2017 following the retirement of his predecessor, Bob McCrory. Prior to coming to Rochester, he held senior positions at several institutions including the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, General Atomics and at Sandia National Laboratories.

"One of the things I set out to do as director was to expand LLE's role across the University of Rochester campus," Campbell says. "During my time here, we've hired some world-class people and expanded our partnerships with other laboratories. I think we've really demonstrated the quality and impact of research at the University and at the LLE."

As director, Campbell also worked to create a more diverse and inclusive research environment at LLE. He established a senior-level diversity manager position, with the primary goal of establishing strategies to increase workforce diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related positions. He also established LLE High-Energy-Density Physics (HEDP) Equity Scholarships to increase the diversity of representation within and to draw the best talent to the HEDP fields. Additionally, at Campbell's urging, LLE was accepted into a new program of the American Physical Society to increase diversity in physics departments and laboratories. In the City of Rochester, he greatly expanded access to research opportunities and scholarships to area high school students from diverse, underserved backgrounds, with the goal of introducing students to the many areas of science and technology involved in laser energetics research.

Campbell has won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Department of Energy's E.O. Lawrence Award in 1994 for "his leadership in inertial confinement fusion and laser-plasma physics." He was honored with the American Nuclear Society's Edward Teller Award, the Department of Energy's Excellence in Weapons Research Award, and the Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award. Other honors include election as a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society, and the European Institute of Physics.

He received degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and the University of Western Sydney. He has authored more than 250 scientific journal articles and holds five patents, including the design of the first laboratory x-ray laser, for which he was awarded the American Physical Society's John Dawson Award. He is also a current member of Fusion Power Associates Board of Directors.

Mike can be reached at: mcamp@lle.rochester.edu

For more, see the U. Rochester press release at: