Stephen P. Obenschain Retires from U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

November 16, 2022

Dr. Stephen P. Obenschain will be retiring from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) on December 2, 2022 after 44 years of service.

Dr. Obenschain has led the research program in laser fusion at NRL for the past 22 years. He is also the co-inventor of the world's most advanced form of laser-beam smoothing (induced spatial incoherence) and has been the leading experimentalist demonstrating how this technique greatly reduces instabilities impeding successful inertial-confinement fusion implosions.

While at NRL, Dr. Obenschain oversaw the upgrade of the Pharos solid-state laser and the development and construction of two of the world's largest excimer lasers: the Nike krypton-fluoride laser and the Electra argon-fluoride laser. All of these efforts have advanced the goal of achieving high-yield implosions for stockpile-stewardship science and for power production via laser-driven fusion.

Dr. Obenschain is a recipient of the John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Research from the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Plasma Physics and the 2012 Leadership Award from Fusion Power Associates. Additionally, he is a Fellow of APS, holds two U.S. patents and has written and contributed to over 270 scientific publications.

Currently he can be reached at stephen.obenschain@nrl.navy.mil