Kevin Fournier, B.S. 1990

National Ignition Facility User Office Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory – Livermore, CA

1990 Major: Physics and Mathematics

How has being a Physics graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"My entire professional life has been shaped by being a physics major. I went on to graduate school at the Johns Hopkins University and earned a Ph.D. While working on my Ph.D., I spent time at MIT doing research at the Plasma Science Fusion Center, and also went to California to learn to run computer codes at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). I never left! I have been employed by LLNL for 28.5 years. I have worked on tokamak devices at MIT., in Frascati Italy, and Garching Germany, and have performed experiments at laser facilities in Osaka Japan, Aldermaston England, and Rochester NY. I currently run the User Science program at the world's largest and highest-energy laser research facility, and have been present and a small part of the first ever demonstration of an ignited plasma in the laboratory."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Physics programs? 

"Stick with the program, it's a long haul, but it's worth it. Trust your advisor: he or she has valuable experience and hard-won wisdom. Be open to any opportunities that come your way, help your peers (students and post-docs), you never know where they will take you!"

Kevin Fournier