Rick Spielman

  • LLE Senior Scientist
  • Professor of Physics (Research)

PhD in Plasma Physics, University of California Davis, 1978

218 Laboratory for Laser Energetics
(585) 715-0416


Rick Spielman received his Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from the University of California, Davis, in 1978. Moving to Sandia National Laboratories in 1979, he was first a Member of the Technical Staff, then a Principal Member of the Technical Staff, and finally a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff. He was the Chief Scientist and Project Manager at Sandia for the successful Z Machine—the most powerful pulsed-power driver in the world. In 1999, he was promoted to be the Manager of the Pulsed Power Research Department in the Pulsed Power Center at Sandia. He then worked for four years in startup companies. From 2005–2012 he was the Vice President of Pulsed Power of Ktech Corporation. In 2013 he joined Idaho State University where he was a Professor of Physics and Director of the Idaho Accelerator Center, where he was part of the pulsed-power effort. Rick joined the University of Rochester, Laboratory for Laser Energetics as a Senior Scientist in 2019. He is also Professor (Research) of Physics.

Research Interests: High-voltage pulsed-power design and engineering, vacuum power flow, circuit modeling, particle-in-cell modeling of transmission lines, and hydrodynamic modeling of hypersonic flows.

Research Overview: Dr. Spielman is leading the design effort for Omega Z and is working with Sandia National Laboratories in the design of the refurbished Saturn accelerator and the next generation pulsed-power facility (NGPPF).