Short Course Instructors Biographies


Superconducting Magnet Design

Paolo Ferracin is currently a staff scientist in the Superconducting Magnets and Cryostats Group at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva. After graduating in Nuclear Engineering at the Politecnico of Torino, Italy in 1998, he joined the CERN Main Magnet and Superconductors Group as a PhD Student to work on the mechanics and magnetics of the main superconducting dipole magnets for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). In May 2002, he started working in the Superconducting Magnet Program  of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), first as a Physicist Postdoctoral Fellow and then as a Staff Scientist, on the development of Nb3Sn dipoles and quadrupoles for the next generation particle accelerators. In 2011, he re-joined the Superconducting Magnets Group at CERN. For the past 18 years, he has conducted research in the area of applied superconductivity and superconducting magnet technology for particle accelerators.

Joseph Minervini is Division Head for Technology and Engineering in the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Senior Research Engineer in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. He has experience and research interests in a wide variety of large-scale applications of superconductors including for fusion energy, magnetic levitation, energy storage, power generation, and transmission, magnetic separation, as well as medical applications. Dr. Minervini holds a B.S. Engineering degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Herman ten Kate received his Bachelor degree from the University of Twente in 1976, his M.Sc. degree in Applied Physics and Superconductivity in 1980 (for research on superconducting switches and transformers) and his Ph.D. degree for thesis research on ‘Superconducting Rectifiers” in 1985. In 1985, he became an assistant professor at the University of Twente and was the leader of the High Current Superconductivity Group from 1991 though 1996. In 1997, Prof. ten Kate was appointed to a special chair as Extraordinary Professor for Industrial Applications of Superconductivity. In 1996 he accepted an appointment at CERN where he worked on a number of projects developing high performance, high field superconducting magnets for particle accelerator applications as a staff member of the Physics Department and became the ATLAS Magnet Systems Project Leader. The ATLAS Magnet system is the largest superconducting magnet system built for particle accelerator applications and played a critical role on the recent discovery of the Higgs boson. In addition to ATLAS, he and his team are involved in problems solving for various detector magnets at CERN, as well as design of new detector magnets for ILC, IAXO and PANDA and are leading the design of the new detector magnets for the Future Circular Collider.

Michael Parizh is a Principal Scientist at GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY, USA. Prior to joining GE, Dr. Parizh was working for IGC (acquired by Philips) for about 20 years where he occupied engineering and management positions including position of the Magnet Design Engineering manager. Dr. Michael Parizh has over 30 years of experience in applied superconductivity and development of superconducting magnets for medical, power, research and military applications. He made significant technical contributions to design of all types of MRI magnet systems, 900 MHz (21 tesla) wide bore NMR magnet system (in cooperation with NHMFL), 8 tesla magnet for FT-ICR spectrometry, Superconducting Magnetic Energy Storage (SMES), superconducting current controller and many other projects. Dr. Parizh is an active member of the superconductivity community: he was the Program committee chair for ASC 2014 and again for ASC 2016, and is a member of the IEEE Council for Superconductivity.

Minfeng Xu is a manager of Electromagnetics & Superconductivity Lab in MRI Technology Systems, GE Global Research. He is working on the next generation superconducting magnets for a variety of applications using  different types of superconductors. Before joining GE Global Research (GRC), Dr. Xu worked in GE Healthcare in designing and engineering superconducting magnets for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As a postdoctoral researcher, he worked in a micro-kelvin laboratory to achieve ultra-low temperatures down to mK. His first industrial work was the engineering of specialty superconducting magnets for high energy particle accelerators (SSC) and fusion experiment (TPX). Areas of his expertise include large-scale applications of superconductivity, research in low temperature physics and cryogenics. Dr. Xu has published more than 60 technical papers and one book chapter, and has 24 U.S. patents.


Superconducting Power Devices 

Pascal Tixador received an Engineer degree in Electrical Engineering and a PhD degree in Electrical Engineering from the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble in 1984 and 1987 respectively.  He was engaged for sixteen months in the LHC project at CERN, and in 1989 he was employed by the CNRS (French National Scientific Research Center) at the LEG (now G2Elab) and ERTBT (now Institut Néel). Since September 2007, P. Tixador is a full professor at Grenoble INP, the Grenoble Technical University. Dr. Tixador received the Bronze Medal form CNRS in 1992, the Blondel Medal from SEE (French Electronics and Electrical Engineering Society) in 2000 and the Ingénieur Général Chanson Award in 2005.  His current interests are superconducting power applications (fault current limiters, electrical machines, SMES and high field magnets) form design to model construction, but also simulation activities, in close collaboration with industry.  He led French programs about YBCO coated conductors, from their elaboration to their uses.  He is now involved in HTS high field magnets.  He is author/coauthor of more than 120 peer reviewed papers and holds several patents and supervised more than 25 PhD’s. He is the secretary of the CCS (Cryogenics and Superconductivity Commission,, which unites the French involved partners.  He was the secretary of ESAS (European Society for Applied Superconductivity, from 2006 up to 2012. Prof. Tixador was the chairman of EUCAS 2015 in Lyon (6-10 September 2015).


Superconducting Electronics and Quantum Computation

Frederick Wellstood is a professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and a member of the Center for Nanophysics and Advanced Materials and the Joint Quantum Institute. His research interests include SQUIDs, magnetic imaging, excess noise, two-level systems, and superconducting qubits.


High Temperature Superconducting Materials: Fabrication, Properties, and their Deployment in Large Scale Applications

Luisa Chiesa is an associate professor at Tufts University. Before joining the faculty at Tufts in 2009, Dr. Chiesa received her Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT and her bachelor in Physics from the Universita’ Statale in Milan (Italy). Dr. Chiesa worked in the field of superconducting magnets for the past 15 years. After a year as a visiting student at Fermilab working on quench protection for the LHC quadrupoles, she joined the Superconducting Magnets group at LBNL where she was heavily involved in the experimental characterization of high field superconducting magnets. Currently, her primary research area is the electro-mechanical characterization of low temperature and high temperature superconductors for large magnets used in high‐energy physics and fusion power devices. In particular her laboratory specializes in experimental and numerical techniques to characterize the critical current of superconducting strands, tapes and cables under different mechanical loading conditions. Dr. Chiesa is an active member of the IEEE Council on Superconductivity and serves as technical editor on the IEEE Transaction on Applied Superconductivity journal and as board member of major conferences in the field of superconductivity.

Tengming Shen is a staff scientist with the Superconducting Magnet Program at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Between 2010 and 2015, he was a technical staff of Superconducting Materials Department and Magnet Systems department at the technical division of Fermilab where he led the development of high-temperature superconducting wires and magnet systems. Dr. Shen obtained his PhD in 2010 at Florida State University in Electrical Engineering with a thesis on heat treatment and design of Ag/Bi-2212 round wire at the Applied Superconductivity Center of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. He has been studying superconductors, superconducting devices, and auxiliary technologies for more than a decade and publishing one book chapter and more than 20 papers in the field. He won an early career award from the U.S. Department of Energy for engineering high field superconducting for frontier accelerator technology.  He has also served as committee member, session chair, and technical editor for international conferences on applied superconductivity, magnet technology, and cryogenic materials.


Cryogenic Systems Engineering with Cryocoolers

Melora Larson is the Technical Group Supervisor for the Cryogenic Instruments and Technology group at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She is also a member of the Systems Engineering Team for the Europa Clipper Payload. In addition she provides Systems Engineering support to the Mid-Infrared Instrument on the James Webb Space telescope. She has a BS with Honors in Physics from Stanford University and a PhD in experimental Physics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She has worked in cryogenics since she was an undergraduate, when she wrote her Honors thesis on her work for the space mission Gravity Probe-B.


Effective Technical Presentations & Papers Educational Short Course

Julia M. Williams, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her experience in undergraduate teaching began in 1985 when she taught English Composition at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, then continued through her graduate years at Emory University, where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Throughout her career at Rose-Hulman, she has blended her work in the classroom with work in assessment. She was the founder of the Program in Technical Communication at Rose-Hulman, a campus-wide effort to improve students’ written and oral communication skills in a variety of courses. In 1995 she joined the effort to create and implement the RosE Portfolio System, an online portfolio assessment tool that is still in use today as the RosEvaluation Tool. Evidence of student learning from the RosEvaluation is used by the Institute and academic programs to measure student learning and to direct curriculum improvements.  She has been active in the use and assessment of tablet PCs in the classroom, and she has collaborated with faculty and staff in projects such as the Rose-Hulman Leadership Advancement Program and the national RosEvaluation Conference. Williams’s publications on assessment, engineering and professional communication, and tablet PCs have appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, and The Impact of Tablet PCs and Pen-based Technologies in the Classroom, among others.  She is the recipient of the 2015 Schlesinger Award (IEEE Professional Communication Society), the 2010 Sterling Olmsted Award (ASEE Liberal Education Division), the 2007 Council for Higher Education Accreditation Award, 2007 HP Technology for Teaching Award, and the 2005 Microsoft Research Award.  She is also the recipient of the 2008 Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees Outstanding Scholar Award and the 2004 Humanities and Social Sciences Department Outstanding Researcher Award. Dr. Williams is past President of the IEEE Professional Communication Society.