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SUPR 2017 Invited Speakers

Keynote: Greg McNeil

Innovation Labs at Flex

Greg McNeil is Vice President Product Design Innovation Labs located in the Silicon Valley. Flex (NASDAQ: FLEX) which is a $25B, industry-leading, Fortune Global 500 end-to-end supply chain solutions company with a global workforce of 200,000 and operations in over 30 countries.

Prior to his current role, Mr. McNeil held vice president level product development and product management positions within large corporations. At Apple, Microsoft, Cadence Design Systems, Sun Microsystems and Palm, he designed world-class products and led teams responsible for product development and product management.

In addition to his corporate experience, Mr. McNeil has also held numerous positions at start-up companies. He helped to change the landscape of the living room at WebTV Networks; created a new class of servers at Cobalt Networks; developed RFID based credit card payment solutions at ViVOtech; and founded the media player company, VVM Systems. 

Mr. McNeil holds degrees in Engineering and Business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (BSME), Stanford University (MSME) and Santa Clara University (MBA), respectively. Prior to his technology career, he spent nearly a decade as a professional cyclist, competing worldwide, representing the United States in two Cycling World Championships, and one world record. More recently, in 2013, he won the Duathlon Age-Group World Championships. 

Lia Merminga

Accelerator Directorate, SLAC

Dr. Lia Merminga is the Associate Laboratory Director for the Accelerator Directorate at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and professor at Stanford University. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the Accelerator Directorate’s operations and research programs, and for providing strategic vision, leadership and management for the directorate’s 400 scientists, engineers and technical staff.

Prior to joining SLAC, Dr. Merminga was Head of the Accelerator Division at TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics. She co-led the ARIEL project with direct responsibility for the design and construction of the ARIEL electron linac, and established the first graduate program in Accelerator Physics in Canada. Previously Dr. Merminga worked at Jefferson Laboratory in Virginia, where she became director of the Center for Advanced Studies of Accelerators (CASA).

Dr. Merminga’s research interests include physics and technology of superconducting rf linacs; energy recovery linacs and applications to free electron lasers, synchrotron radiation sources and electron-ion colliders; multibunch instabilities in recirculating accelerators, radiofrequency control and modeling; rare isotope beam production and acceleration; X-ray free-electron lasers; advanced acceleration concepts and applications.

Dr. Merminga received a B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Athens, Greece, and M.Sc. degrees in Physics and Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Physics all from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.


Steven Kahn

Department of Physics, Stanford

Steven Kahn is a Professor of Physics and is the Cassius Lamb Kirk Professor in the Natural Sciences. In 2013 he was made the Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a large-aperture wide-field telescope now under development to survey half the sky every few nights. LSST will detect over three billion galaxies, providing detailed measurements of their red shifts, shapes, and properties. His current areas of focus include X-ray spectroscopy cosmic sources, atomic physics measurements of highly charged ions relevant to astrophysical plasmas, and development of space and ground-based instrumentation.

Guillem Pratx

Radiation Oncology, division of Medical Physics, Stanford

Guillem Pratx, PhD is an assistant professor in Radiation Oncology, division of Medical Physics. After training at Ecole Centrale Paris with a BS in Engineering, he moved on to Stanford University to complete a PhD in Electrical Engineering, with a focus on medical imaging. He is currently leading the Physical Oncology Lab, where his primary research focus is on developing physical tools for cancer research and cancer care. Using a blend of instrumentation, chemistry and computer algorithms, new methods have been developed to interrogate the functional behavior of single cancer cells, track cell trafficking in vivo, and verify the delivery radiation treatments. His lab is particularly interested in phenomena that combine ionizing and optical radiation for biomedical use. Dr. Prof. Pratx was nominated as Damon Runyon Innovator and Society of Nuclear Medicine Young Investigator. His work is funded primarily by the National Institutes of Health.

Jennifer Dionne

Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford

Jennifer Dionne is an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford. Jen received her Ph. D. in Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology, advised by Harry Atwater, and B.S. degrees in Physics and Systems & Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to joining Stanford, she served as a postdoctoral researcher in Chemistry at Berkeley, advised by Paul Alivisatos.  Jen’s research develops new nano and optical materials for applications ranging from high-efficiency energy conversion and storage to bioimaging and manipulation. This research has led to demonstration of negative refraction at visible wavelengths, design of optical tweezers for nano-specimen trapping, demonstration of a metamaterial fluid, and synthesis of high-efficiency and active upconverting materials. Most recently, Jen has developed in situ techniques to visualize chemical transformations and light-matter interactions with nanometer-scale spatial resolution. She is the recipient of the Adolph Lomb Medal (2016), Sloan Foundation Fellowship (2015), and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2014), and was recently featured on Oprah’s list of “50 Things that will make you say ‘Wow’!”. When not in the lab, Jen enjoys teaching three classes (“Materials Chemistry”, “Optoelectronics”, and “Science of the Impossible”), exploring the intersection of art and science, and cycling the latest century.

Joel England

Advanced Accelerator Research, SLAC

Dr. Joel England obtained his PhD in accelerator physics at the University of California Los Angeles, where he developed a method of generating tailored drive beams for more efficient excitation of plasma-based particle accelerators and designed a novel low-power X-band deflecting mode cavity for use as a particle beam temporal diagnostic.  In parallel with his graduate studies, he did consulting work on X-band cavity design and on magnetostatic design.  In 2008, Dr. England joined the Advanced Accelerator Research Department at SLAC, led by Dr. Eric Colby and Prof. Bob Siemann, as a postdoctoral researcher working on optical-scale particle accelerators powered by solid state lasers.  In 2010, Dr. England became a Panofsky Fellow at SLAC and leader of the Dielectric Laser Acceleration Group, which, in collaboration with the research group of Prof. Robert Byer at Stanford, has developed and performed the first demonstrations of high-gradient acceleration in laser-driven dielectric structures.  Dr. England has served as a working group co-leader for the Advanced Accelerator Concepts Workshop and the APS DPF Meeting, a grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, and on various organizational committees.  He is author or co-author on over 50 publications and proceedings on accelerator physics, and has given talks at numerous particle accelerator conferences and workshops. 

Chris M Golde

BEAM, Stanford Career Education

Chris M Golde is a career educator working with PhD students and postdoctoral scholars, at BEAM, Stanford Career Education. She has worked over 25 years in graduate education, as a student, faculty member, administrator, advocate, researcher, and scholar. Before joining BEAM, she was Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education in the VPGE office at Stanford, Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds a PhD in education and an MA in sociology, both from Stanford University. She has written extensively on graduate education, and now writes a blog on graduate education called Grad|Logic (