Special & Memorial Sessions

The ASC 2020 program committee is planning a number of special sessions which will be of interest for different attendees, including engineers/scientists, system-level developers, and industry-level representatives. Sessions will include special-invited and contributed presentations. 

This page will be updated as new information becomes available. Please be sure to check back.

Confirmed Special & Memorial Sessions

Recent Cable Achievements for Fusion Magnets

From a techno-economic standpoint, increasing the confinement magnetic field of a tokamak reactor is the most effective path towards making fusion power a reality. The reason being that the power of a tokamak scales proportionally to the magnetic field elevated to the fourth power—allowing for much smaller devices to reach Q>0. Such a device, even at present REBCO conductor costs, may be an attractive alternative to fusion machines based on NbSn and NbTi superconductors. As a result there have been a significant new initiatives, funded from both private and government sources, to produce high current HTS cables suitable for compact fusion devices. This special session focuses on recent advances in REBCO cables and addresses the many challenges that this technology presents, including quench detection, AC losses, current sharing, joints, and above all, current capacity and mechanical stability.

Session Conveners: Nikolai Martovesky and Charlie Sanabria

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Magnet Quench Detection and Diagnostics 

During the test and operation of superconducting magnets various types of sensors and analysis methods are used to monitor magnet condition, detect fault scenarios and resistive transitions, and get insight to the phenomena occurring inside the magnet. In recent years, novel developments have emerged in the field of magnet diagnostics. This special session aims to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art magnet diagnostic and quench detection methods. The session will start with a keynote presentation by Dr. Maxim Marchevsky (LBNL) and proceeds with a series of short presentations covering the status, possibilities and challenges related to different technologies such as voltage monitoring, optic fibers, acoustic emission, stray capacitance, or direct temperature measurements.

Session Conveners: Tiina Salmi and Emmanuele Ravaioli

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Archie Campbell Memorial Session  

Professor Archie Campbell passed away on November 21, 2019 following a long and successful career in the study of ac loss, flux pinning and the applications of all forms of type II superconductors.

Archie, who spent his entire career at the University of Cambridge, was a particular authority on the behavior of fields in magnetic materials and, with his friend and colleague Jan Evetts, in 1972 co-authored the classic Campbell and Evetts monograph on Critical Currents in Superconductors. This extraordinary work, which was even translated into Russian, is considered to be the bible of applied superconductivity and has guided literally thousands of researchers, both young and old, in the subject now for almost 50 years. In 2010 Archie was presented with the IEEE Council on Superconductivity Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to Applied Superconductor Materials Technology and in 2018 received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Cryogenic Materials Conference. He was a Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, for more than 50 years, and it was fitting that the conference to celebrate his extraordinary career in 2007 and attended by colleagues from all around the world, was held jointly by Christ’s and Corpus Christi, his undergraduate Cambridge college.

Archie gave unwavering support to his many friends, colleagues and the 10’s of post-docs and students he supervised over the years, and young people, in particular. He was approachable, engaged and gave his time freely and unconditionally to anyone who wanted to talk to him about science. The positive impact he had on the lives of so many people was profound, and his passing is a huge loss to the scientific community.

This memorial session will focus on Archie’s main areas of interest in the properties and applications of Type II superconductivity.


Session Conveners: David Cardwell, Tim Coombs, John Durrell and David Larbalestier

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Novel Computing: Reversible and Neuromorphic

As the scaling of silicon circuits continues to plateau, the future of computing is both more uncertain and more exciting than at any time in the last forty years. Many challenges will need to be solved for the next generation of computing technologies, including lowering heat dissipation through higher energy efficiency and the ability to solve complex problems through computing architecture. Two platforms that offer promise in those areas are Reversible Computing and Neuromorphic Computing. In the past few years, several groups have achieved promising results in superconducting implementations of both Reversible and Neuromorphic Computing. This session will review the progress in both of these areas of Novel Computing. (Note: the session will be split equally between the two areas)

Session Conveners: Kevin Osborn and Ken Segall

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Lucio Rossi Career Celebration

Lucio Rossi has a long and distinguished history of major contributions to the field of applied superconductivity. His track record at CERN as the leader for superconducting magnets for the LHC and as leader for the HiLumi project is without peer. In 2007 he was presented with the prestigious IEEE Council on Superconductivity Award for Sustained and Significant Contributions in the Field of Applied Superconductivity. He was elected Fellow of the IEEE in 2013 with the citation: “For leadership in developing magnetic systems for the Large Hadron Collider.” He served as Distinguished Lecturer for the Council on Superconductivity from 2011 to 2013. We honor his service at CERN and at INFN Milano as a mentor, teacher and technical leader.

Session Conveners: Bruce Strauss and Lyn Evans

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Quantum Engineering and Its Applications for Computing and Networks

The field of quantum information is growing rapidly, along with expectations for future advances in computing and networking. Quantum engineers are already exploiting the quantum effects of superconducting Josephson junctions to realize superposition and entanglement in circuits with multiple quantum bits. The speakers in this special session will describe their research on superconducting components, RF electronics, system integration and control for superconducting qubit systems, and share their perspectives on future directions and applications in quantum engineering.

Session Conveners: William Oliver and Thomas Ohki

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Progress in the Industrial Fabrication of Coated Conductors 

The demand for superconducting coated conductors for applications such as power lines, commercial fusion reactors, high field magnets and electrical machines, is leading to an increasing need to improve performance and reproducibility, to increase production and piece length and to decrease production costs of REBCO tapes. This special session will focus on recent progress by HTS tape manufacturers in achieving these often conflicting goals.

Session Conveners: Anna Kario and Teresa Puig

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TES Workshop


Transition-edge sensors, or TESs, are superconducting, thermal detectors. The energy of incoming photons or particles, or the energy of a nuclear reaction within an embedded material, is converted to heat in an absorber. A TES operates in the resistive transition between its superconducting and normal-metal states, where the electrical resistance is a strong function of temperature. Thus the heat of absorption raises the device temperature and resistance. A SQUID ammeter measures changes in the device current. TESs are increasingly used in many measurement fields, including cosmic-microwave-background cosmology, X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy, quantum information, dark-matter searches, and measurement of the neutrino mass.

The first TES Workshop was held in 2002, with the goal that TES researchers from across the globe could share, discuss, and understand confusing experimental results from their early TESs of different geometries and materials systems. The Workshop has been held every two years since, and has been joined to the Applied Superconductivity Conference since 2008.

TES devices provide interesting laboratories in which to study the nature of superconductivity itself; the Workshop has an oral and a poster session dedicated to device physics. Another pair of workshop sessions (one oral, one poster) are about device readout: ever larger and more capable arrays of TES devices are being developed for various measurement applications, and new multiplexed readout schemes are required as an enabling technology. In a nod to the maturation of the TES field toward measurement instrumentation in an exploding number of fields, there are three oral sessions and one poster session about measurement applications. Fabrication of TES devices is covered in a Workshop poster session. Finally, an oral and a poster session are dedicated to other superconducting thermal detectors (such as magnetic calorimeters and hot-electron bolometers) that share some elements of design, physics, and readout with TESs, and are thus of interest to the TES community.

To be added to the email list for this and future TES Workshops, please contact Dale Li (SLAC). The TES-Workshop email list is separate from that of the wider ASC conference. Please follow this link for additional information: https://sites.google.com/view/tesworkshop2020/.

The Role of Innovation in Superconductivity and its Application

Applied Superconductivity has benefited from multidisciplinary innovations in physics, materials and engineering. The plenary sessions during the conference reflect this amalgam. Superconductivity is at the heart of exciting areas such as fusion energy, quantum information science, and transition edge sensors.

In this sessions world renowned panelists discuss from their perspectives, important innovations in the field of applied superconductivity and how innovation can be encouraged in the field. The session will be in the form a panel discussion after an introductory talk from Dr. Ziad Melhem (OINS). Audience members can pose questions to the panel and will be answered live during the session.

Session Convener: Shreyas Balachandran 
Session Co-Conveners: Chris Segal, Abiola Oloye, Jacob Rochester, and Griffin Bradford

Panel members:

  1. Dr Ziad Melhem, is the Strategic Business Development Manager at Oxford Instruments NanoScience (OINS), managing OINS Strategic Business Development on Quantum, Nanoscience and Nanotechnology applications, Ziad has over 30 years’ experience on product and business development activities in applied superconductivity, Low and High temperature superconducting (LTS & HTS) materials, and cryogenic and nanotechnology applications for scientific, medical, energy and industrial sectors.
  2. Dr. Amm obtained her Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from Florida State University and a B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Toronto. She has more than 25 years of experience in superconductivity and magnet design. She is currently the head of the Superconducting Magnet Division at Brookhaven National Lab, where she works with her team to deliver innovative accelerator and high field magnet technology. Dr. Amm is a member of several professional societies and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). She is also Design for Six Sigma Black Belt and MATRIZ certified.
  3. David C. Larbalestier is the chief materials scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and a distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the American Physical Society, the Institute of Physics (U.K.), the IEEE, the Materials Research Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and more recently the Royal Academy of Engineers (UK). He was awarded the 2000 IEEE Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to Applied Superconductor Materials Technology.
  4. Greg Brittles is a Senior Magnet Engineer at Tokamak Energy Ltd – a U.K. company developing spherical tokamaks for fusion energy production. Greg obtained his DPhil in superconducting materials from Oxford University’s Centre for Applied Superconductivity in 2016. Greg joined Tokamak Energy in 2016, and now leads a growing team of talented engineers in various aspects of High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) magnet development. He has recently been awarded a Future Leaders Fellowship by UK Research and Innovation.