Lauren M Garrison

Research Staff


  • PhD., Nuclear Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, December 2013.
  • MS., Nuclear Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, August 2010.
  • BS.,  Highest Honors, Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, concentration in Plasma; minor in Physics; minor in International Engineering with focus on France, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 2007.

Areas of Expertise: 

  • Plasma-material interactions for fusion systems; refractory metal composites; radiation damage of materials; mechanical and thermal properties of metals; high voltage systems; microscopy techniques including scanning electron microscopy, focused ion beam, electron backscatter diffraction, energy dispersive spectroscopy, white light interferometry; data gathering, analysis, and simulation software including Matlab, SIMION, LabView, SRIM.


  • Weinberg Fellow - Oak Ridge National Laboratory, December 2013-present
    • Member of the Nuclear Structural Materials Group
    • Investigating response of materials to neutron and ion irradiation
    • Developing advanced tungsten materials for use in fusion reactors
    • Investigating zircaloy-4 and steels for novel fission-fusion applications
  • Graduate Research Fellow - University of Wisconsin, Madison,  September 2008-August 2013
    • Lead researcher on the Materials Irradiation Experiment for irradiating samples with He+ at high temperature to simulate fusion reactor conditions
    • Developed new technique for identifying sample features and analyzed samples with multiple microscopy techniques to characterize radiation damage
  • Intern - Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, SULI program, Summer 2007
    • Worked as a member of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search research group.
    • Installed a new cryocooler system, carried out vibration testing, and developed plan for vibration reduction of the system
  • Intern  - Center for Plasma-Materials Interaction, University of Illinois, Summer 2006
    • Assisted with research on cleaning of mirrors for semiconductor processing
    • Co-headed installation and set-up of new plasma sputtering device
  • Engineering Learning Assistant - University of Illinois, Fall 2006
    • Taught class of 32 nuclear engineering freshmen twice a week for three weeks.
    • Developed lessons and projects, graded assignments, and mentored students
  • Intern - Centre de Génie Chimique des Milieux Rhéologiquement Complexes (GEMICO), Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine in Nancy, France,  Summer 2005
    • Experimented with multiple emulsions and inversion of oily and aqueous mixtures.
    • Prepared reports, read research papers, and conducted all communication in French.

Major Professional Society Involvement

  • Secretary-Treasurer of the American Nuclear Society Fusion Energy Division, 2018-2021
  • Committee member of the Materials Explorer Committee, within the Public and Governmental Affairs Committee of TMS, 2016-
  • Executive Committee member of the American Nuclear Society Fusion Energy Division, 2016-2018
  • Program Committee Member and Student Program Chair for TOFE Conferences 2016, 2018, 2020

Mentoring Accomplishments

  • 1 undergraduate student mentored, 2015
  • 2 undergraduate students mentored, 2016
    • one student won the SULI summer intern poster session
  • 2 undergraduate, 1 graduate student mentored, 2017
  • 4 undergraduate, 2 graduate students mentored, 2018
    • one student won the NESLS summer intern poster session
    • one student won Best Student Paper at the 2018 Technology of Fusion Energy conference
  • 4 undergraduate, 2 graduate students, 1 post-doctoral associate, 2019


Best Poster Award, Plasma Facing Materials and Components Conference, Germany, 2017
TMS Structural Materials Division Young Leader Professional Development Award, 2016
62nd Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany, 2012
Selected as one of 550 students worldwide to attend a week of lectures and discussions given by Nobel Laureates
Chosen as one of three students to appear in the Nature film “Energy Endgame” discussing energy for the future with Laureates Dr. Mario Molina and Dr. Robert Laughlin
Department of Energy Office of Science Graduate Fellowship, 2010-2013
Nationally competitive fellowship which supported tuition, stipend, research allowance, and conference participation