Gilgenbach, M. Ronald


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(734) 763-1261

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Nuclear Energy

Chihiro Kikuchi Collegiate Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences



» Nuclear Energy


Ronald M. Gilgenbach is the Chihiro Kikuchi Collegiate Professor in the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department at the University of Michigan. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University in 1978. His B.S. (1972) and M.S. (1973) degrees were received at the University of Wisconsin. In the early 1970’s he spent several years as a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs. From 1978-1980, he performed gyrotron research at the Naval Research Lab (NRL) and performed the first electron cyclotron heating experiments on a tokamak plasma in the USA at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Gilgenbach joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1980 and became Director of the Plasma, Pulsed Power and Microwave Laboratory. At UM, Dr. Gilgenbach has supervised 50 graduated Ph.D. students, has published over 180 articles in refereed journals, and has 5 patents granted. As NERS department Chair from 2010-2018, he conceived and led the construction of the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory building in the shell of the former Ford Nuclear Reactor building. His research at Michigan has concentrated on pulsed-power driven fusion energy, advanced particle accelerators, electron beams, plasma physics, high power microwave generation, as well as biological interactions of radio-frequency and ultrawideband radiation, particularly for killing cancer cells. He has collaborated in research with scientists at Air Force Research Lab, Sandia National Labs, NASA Glenn, Northrop-Grumman, L-3 Communications, General Motors Research Labs, Los Alamos National Lab, Fermilab, Naval Research Lab and Institute of High Current Electronics (Russia). He received the UM College of Engineering Research Award in 1993, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1984) and the 1997 Plasma Sciences and Applications Committee (PSAC) Award from the IEEE, served as PSAC Chair in 2007-2008 and received an Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the American Nuclear Society. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics and the American Nuclear Society and Life Fellow of the IEEE. In 2016-2018, he served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research. He is past Associate Editor of the journal, Physics of Plasmas.

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