Plenary Speakers

Donna Strickland

Professor, University of Waterloo

Donna Strickland is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and is one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for developing chirped pulse amplification with Gérard Mourou, her PhD supervisor at the time. They published this Nobel-winning research in 1985 when Strickland was a PhD student at the University of Rochester in New York state. Together they paved the way toward the most intense laser pulses ever created. The research has several applications today in industry and medicine — including the cutting of a patient’s cornea in laser eye surgery, and the machining of small glass parts for use in cell phones.

Strickland was a research associate at the National Research Council Canada, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a member of technical staff at Princeton University. In 1997, she joined the University of Waterloo, where her ultrafast laser group develops high-intensity laser systems for nonlinear optics investigations. She is a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship, a Premier’s Research Excellence Award and a Cottrell Scholar Award.  She served as the president of the Optical Society (OSA) in 2013 and is a fellow of OSA, the Royal Society of Canada, and SPIE (International Society for Optics and Photonics). Strickland is an honorary fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering as well as the Institute of Physics. She received the Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement and holds  numerous honorary doctorates.

Georgia A De Nolfo

Research Astrophysicist, Fields and Particles at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Dr. de Nolfo has over 20 years of experience in experimental astrophysics. Her early work focused on instrument development, mission support, and data analysis of high-altitude balloon-borne payloads for cosmic ray physics. Currently, Dr. de Nolfo focuses on the study of solar energetic particle (SEP) data and instrument development of charged and neutral particle detectors for a wide variety of applications including solar and radiation belt science.

Katrina Koehler

Assistant Professor of Physics, Houghton College

Researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory

Katrina Koehler is an assistant professor of physics at Houghton College and splits her time between Houghton College and Los Alamos National Laboratory. Her PhD in physics comes from Western Michigan University, and her research interests include novel detector technologies and advanced algorithms for nuclear safeguards and low temperature detectors for basic nuclear and atomic physics. She is passionate about evidence-based teaching techniques, productivity tools, and increasing minority representation in the field.

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