Dr. Joseph W. Schumer

Head, Pulsed Power Physics , Naval Research Laboratory

Washington, DC


About Dr. Joseph W. Schumer

Dr. Joseph W. Schumer is Branch Head and a senior research physicist in the Pulsed Power Physics Branch, Plasma Physics Division of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC, primarily involved in the research areas of plasma physics and nuclear science. He received degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (B.S. 1992) and University of Michigan (M.S. 1994 and Ph.D. 1997).   Since coming to NRL in 1997, he has earned an international reputation as being an expert computational physicist by analytically and computationally modeling plasmas, vacuum and plasma-filled diodes, plasma-wave interactions in microwave structures, and charged particle beams using magnetohydrodynamic, kinetic (Vlasov-Maxwell and particle-in-cell), and Monte-Carlo methods.  As Branch Head, he leads experimental and theoretical efforts over a wide area of pulsed power applications including: the development of high-power nuclear weapons effects simulators (NWES) and radiation sources for the US, UK, and France; the design of pulsed power systems and charged particle beam diodes for the Department of Energy (DOE); validating advanced plasma chemistry/beam transport models of “System Generated Electromagnetic Pulse” using small-scale laboratory experiments; development of compact pulsed power to drive microwave sources for DoD projects; development of the electromagnetic railgun; intense pulsed active detection methods for DoD and the UK Ministry of Defence; the study of accelerated decay of radioisotopes as “advanced energetic materials.” In recognition for support of DOE Stockpile Based Stewardship research, he was the co-recipient of three DOE Defense Program Awards of Excellence (2002, 2004, 2017) and three NRL Alan Berman Research Publication Awards (2001, 2006, 2012).   He is a senior member of IEEE, Chair of NPSS Plasma Science Applications Committee ExCom, panelist on various senior DOE Advisory Boards for stockpile stewardship and radiation sciences, and has served on various university Nuclear Engineering Advisory Boards since 2009.  He holds a 4th degree black belt in Shotokan-Fudokan Karate and is an officer of the U.S. Fudokan National Organization.