Brian K. Spears
Inertial Conﬁnement Fusion, AX Division
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, CA 94551
Ofﬁce: (925) 423-4825
5634 Idlewood Street
Dublin, CA 94568
Home: (925) 556-9469
Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley Mechanical Engineering 2004 GPA: 3.98/4.0
B.S. University of Texas at Austin Mechanical Engineering 2000 GPA: 3.98/4.0
B.A. University of Texas at Austin Plan II Liberal Arts 2000 GPA: 3.98/4.0
• Physicist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Served as lead designer for the NIC THD campaign. Used massively parallel computing systems
to simulate radiation hydrodynamics of inertial conﬁnement fusion (ICF) targets with cryogenic fuel
(DT and THD) layers. Set speciﬁcations for THD fuel composition and operating conditions. Built
databases of simulated implosions in multidimensional parameter spaces using uncertaintity quan-
tiﬁcation (UQ) machinery. Developed an experimentally observable performance metric (ITFX) to
predict DT implosion performance based on low neutron yield THD surrogate targets.
Developed the tuning strategy for the NIC convergent ablation campaign. Designed technique devel-
opment experiments on the Omega laser. Developed rad-hydro simulations and streaked radiography
postprocessors for Omega and NIF implosions. Performed single- and multi-variable sensitivity anal-
yses to guide tuning experiments on the NIF.
Developed numerical simulations of high precision radiography and phase contrast radiography for
beryllium ICF targets.
Uncertainty Quantiﬁcation Strategic Initiative Co-PI:
Served as the ICF applications lead. Collaborated with UQ methods researchers to apply UQ and data
mining techniques to the development and analysis of ICF simulation databases.
Emerging Leader Committee member:
Member of group identiﬁed as potential future lab leadership tasked with making suggestions to ad-
ministration based on view from the research staff level.
Predictive Science Academic Alliance Program (PSAAP) TST for applications:
Provided oversight and coordination of the LLNL UQ science colloboration with the University of
Michigan PSAAP program.
• Postdoctoral Researcher, Agilent Laboratories.
June, 2004-September, 2004.
Developed a lock-in ampliﬁer with a chaotic reference. Used an inverse dynamical system approach
to reduce noise and distortion.
• National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, University of California, Berkeley.
August, 2000-June, 2004.
Performed dynamical systems analysis of the nonlinear equations of motion of a charged particle in
a quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer. Used topological and perturbation techniques to under-
stand new bifurcations of solutions and routes to chaos. Revealed possible new applications and new
operating regimes for ion trap mass spectrometers.
• Graduate Student Researcher, LLNL/UCRP grant at University of California, Berkeley.
August, 2003-June, 2004.
liquid shells enclosing compressible gas. Model results will be used to verify LLNL numerical codes
for inertial conﬁnement fusion. Results are applicable to a variety of physical implosion problems.
• Research Assistant, Applied Research Laboratories, University of Texas, Austin.
August, 1999-May, 2000.
Performed independent research on acoustic agglomeration of liquid aerosol. Designed an apparatus
for the generation and agglomeration of liquid aerosol. Performed experimental studies of the effect
of sound frequency on particle agglomeration rates.
• Summer Engineer, Fina Oil and Chemical Company.
June, 1999-August, 1999.
Analyzed the rheological and mechanical properties of ﬁlm-grade and blow-molding-grade high den-
sity polyethylene (HDPE) resins. Used an optical control system to analyze gel inclusions in HDPE
resin. Modeled the constitutive response of gel inclusions.
• Student Researcher, Southwest Research Institute.
June, 1998-August, 1998.
Performed thermo-mechanical analyses using distinct element codes to determine the lifetime of nu-
clear waste repositories.
1. Spears, BK. Development of an experimentally observable metric to predict DT implosion perfor-
mance based on low neutron yield THD implosions. In preparation.
2. Edwards MJ, Spears BK, and the Ignition IPT. The Experimental Plan for Cryogenic Layered Tar-
get Implosions on the National Ignition Facility – the Inertial Conﬁnement Approach to Fusion. In
3. Landen OL, Boehly TR, Bradley DK, Braun DG, Callahan DA, Celliers PM, Collins GW, Dewald EL,
Divol L, Glenzer SH, Hamza A, Hicks DG, Hoffman N, Izumi N, Jones OS, Kirkwood RK (Kirkwood,
R. K.)1, Kyrala GA (Kyrala, G. A.)3, Michel P (Michel, P.)1, Milovich J (Milovich, J.)1, Munro DH
(Munro, D. H.)1, Nikroo A (Nikroo, A.)4, Olson RE (Olson, R. E.)5, Robey HF (Robey, H. F.)1,
Spears BK (Spears, B. K.)1, Thomas CA (Thomas, C. A.)1, Weber SV (Weber, S. V.)1, Wilson DC
(Wilson, D. C.)3, Marinak MM (Marinak, M. M.)1, Suter LJ (Suter, L. J.)1, Hammel BA (Hammel,
B. A.)1, Meyerhofer DD (Meyerhofer, D. D.)2, Atherton J (Atherton, J.)1, Edwards J (Edwards, J.)1,
Haan SW (Haan, S. W.)1, Lindl JD (Lindl, J. D.)1, MacGowan BJ (MacGowan, B. J.)1, Moses EI
(Moses, E. I.). Capsule performance optimization in the National Ignition Campaign. PHYSICS OF
PLASMAS Volume: 17 Issue: 5 Article Number: 056301 Published: MAY 2010.
4. Betti R (Betti, R.)1,2, Chang PY (Chang, P. Y.)1,2, Spears BK (Spears, B. K.)3, Anderson KS (An-
derson, K. S.)1,2, Edwards J (Edwards, J.)3, Fatenejad M (Fatenejad, M.)4, Lindl JD (Lindl, J. D.)3,
McCrory RL (McCrory, R. L.)1, Nora R (Nora, R.)1,2, Shvarts D (Shvarts, D.)5. Thermonuclear
ignition in inertial conﬁnement fusion and comparison with magnetic conﬁnement. PHYSICS OF
PLASMAS Volume: 17 Issue: 5 Article Number: 058102 Published: MAY 2010
5. Chang P (Chang, Py.)1,2, Betti R (Betti, R.)1,2, Spears BK (Spears, B. K.)3, Anderson KS (Anderson,
K. S.)1,2, Edwards J (Edwards, J.)3, Fatenejad M (Fatenejad, M.)4, Lindl JD (Lindl, J. D.)3, McCrory
RL (McCrory, R. L.)1, Nora R (Nora, R.)1,2, Shvarts D (Shvarts, D.). Generalized Measurable Igni-
tion Criterion for Inertial Conﬁnement Fusion. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Volume: 104 Issue:
13 Article Number: 135002 Published: APR 2 2010.
6. B. K. Spears1, S. Brandon1, D. Clark1,C. Cerjan1, J. Edwards1,O. Landen1, J. Lindl1, S. Haan1,
S. Hatchett1, J. Salmonson1, P. Springer1, S.V.Weber1, and D. Wilson2. PREDICTION OF IGNI-
TION IMPLOSION PERFORMANCE USING MEASUREMENTS OF LOW-DEUTERIUM SUR-
ROGATES. Journal of Physics: Conference Series (IFSA 2009 proceedings in press)
7. Haan SW (Haan, S. W.)1, Callahan DA (Callahan, D. A.)1, Edwards MJ (Edwards, M. J.)1, Hammel
BA (Hammel, B. A.)1, Ho DD (Ho, D. D.)1, Jones OS (Jones, O. S.)1, Lindl JD (Lindl, J. D.)1,
MacGowan BJ (MacGowan, B. J.)1, Marinak MM (Marinak, M. M.)1, Munro DH (Munro, D. H.)1,
Pollaine SM (Pollaine, S. M.)1, Salmonson JD (Salmonson, J. D.)1, Spears BK (Spears, B. K.)1, Suter
LJ (Suter, L. J.). REV3 UPDATE OF REQUIREMENTS FOR NIF IGNITION TARGETS. FUSION
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Volume: 55 Issue: 3 Pages: 227-232 Published: APR 2009.
8. Wilson DC (Wilson, D. C.)1, Bradley PA (Bradley, P. A.)1, Cerjan CJ (Cerjan, C. J.)2, Salmonson
JD (Salmonson, J. D.)2, Spears BK (Spears, B. K.)2, Hatchet SP (Hatchet, S. P., II)2, Herrmann HW
(Herrmann, H. W.)1, Glebov VY (Glebov, V. Yu.). Diagnosing ignition with DT reaction history. RE-
VIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS Volume: 79 Issue: 10 Article Number: 10E525 Published:
9. Olson RE (Olson, R. E.)1, Hicks DG (Hicks, D. G.)2, Spears BK (Spears, B. K.)2, Celliers PM
(Celliers, P. M.)2, Holder JP (Holder, J. P.)2, Landen OL (Landen, O. L.)2, Geissel M (Geissel, M.)1,
Kellogg JW (Kellogg, J. W.)1, Bennett GR (Bennett, G. R.)1, Edens AD (Edens, A. D.)1, Atherton
BW (Atherton, B. W.)1, Leeper RJ (Leeper, R. J.). Design of a streaked radiography instrument for
ICF ablator tuning measurements. REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS Volume: 79 Issue:
10 Article Number: 10E913 Published: OCT 2008.
10. Brian Spears, Damien Hicks, Carol Velsko, Mark Stoyer, Harry Robey, Dave Munro, Steve Haan,
Otto Landen. Inﬂuence and measurement of mass ablation in ICF implosions. Journal of Physics:
Conference Series 112 (2008).
11. Spears BK, Tuﬁllaro NB. A chaotic lock-in ampliﬁer. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS Vol-
ume: 76 Issue: 3 Pages: 213-217 Published: MAR 2008.
12. Bennett GR (Bennett, G. R.), Herrmann MC (Herrmann, M. C.), Edwards MJ (Edwards, M. J.),
Spears BK (Spears, B. K.), Back CA (Back, C. A.), Breden EW (Breden, E. W.), Christenson PJ
(Christenson, P. J.), Cuneo ME (Cuneo, M. E.), Dannenburg KL (Dannenburg, K. L.), Frederick C
(Frederick, C.), Keller KL (Keller, K. L.), Mulville TD (Mulville, T. D.), Nikroo A (Nikroo, A.),
Peterson K (Peterson, K.), Porter JL (Porter, J. L.), Russell CO (Russell, C. O.), Sinars DB (Sinars, D.
B.), Smith IC (Smith, I. C.), Stamm RM (Stamm, R. M.), Vesey RA (Vesey, R. A.). Fill-tube-induced
mass perturbations on X-ray-driven, ignition-scale, inertial-conﬁnement-fusion capsule shells and the
implications for ignition experiments. PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS Volume: 99 Issue: 20 Article
Number: 205003 Published: NOV 16 2007.
13. H AAN SW (H AAN , S. W.), H ERRMANN MC (H ERRMANN , M. C.), S ALMONSON JD (S ALMONSON ,
J. D.), A MENDT PA (A MENDT, P. A.), C ALLAHAN DA (C ALLAHAN , D. A.), D ITTRICH TR (D IT-
TRICH , T. R.), E DWARDS MJ (E DWARDS , M. J.), J ONES OS (J ONES , O. S.), M ARINAK MM
(M ARINAK , M. M.), M UNRO DH (M UNRO , D. H.), P OLLAINE SM (P OLLAINE , S. M.), S PEARS
BK (S PEARS , B. K.), S UTER LJ (S UTER , L. J.). Update on design simulations for NIF ignition
targets, and the rollup of all speciﬁcations into an error budget. EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL
D Volume: 44 Issue: 2 Pages: 249-258 Published: AUG 2007.
14. H AAN SW, A MENDT PA, C ALLAHAN DA, D ITTRICH TR , E DWARDS MJ, H AMMEL BA, H O DD,
J ONES OS, L INDL JD, M ARINAK MM, M UNRO DH, P OLLAINE SM, S ALMONSON JD, S PEARS
BK, & S UTER LJ. Update on speciﬁcations for NIF ignition targets. FUSION SCIENCE AND
TECHNOLOGY Volume: 51 Issue: 4 Pages: 509-513 Published: MAY 2007.
15. H AAN S. W., H ERRMANN M. C., A MENDT P. A., C ALLAHAN D. A., D ITTRICH T. R., E DWARDS
M. J., J ONES O. S., M ARINAK M. M., M UNRO D. H., P OLLAINE S. M., S ALMONSON J. D.,
S PEARS B. K., & S UTER L. J. Update on speciﬁcations for NIF ignition targets, and their rollup into
an error budget, Fusion Sci. and Tech., 49, 553-557, (2006)
16. B. K. S PEARS , M. H UTCHINGS , & A. J. S ZERI Topological bifurcations of attracting 2-tori of
quasiperiodically driven nonlinear oscillators, J. Nonlinear Science, 15, 423-452 (2005).
17. B. K. S PEARS & A. J. S ZERI A new route to chaos through topological torus bifurcations, Chaos,
18. B. K. S PEARS, Nonlinear dynamics of quasiperiodically driven oscillators: knotted torus attractors
and their bifurcations, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, (2004).
19. B. K. S PEARS & A. J. S ZERI Topology and resonances in a quasiperiodically forced oscillator, Phys-
ica D, 197, 69-85 (2004).
Public Lectures and Invited Talks
1. B. K. Spears, Predicting ignition implosion performance using low-deuterium surrogates. APS Divi-
sion of Plasma Physics, October, 2009.
2. B. K. Spears, Predicting ignition implosion performance using low-deuterium surrogates. IFSA,
3. B. K. Spears, Using THD targets in the National Ignition Campaign. WCI summer student seminar,
4. B. K. Spears, Tuning mass ablation rate during the National Ignition Campaign. APS Division of
Plasma Physics, October, 2007.
5. B. K. Spears, Inﬂuence and measurement of mass ablation in ICF implosions. IFSA, September, 2007
6. B. K. S PEARS Copper activation signatures for ablation rate measurements in inertial conﬁnement
7. B. K. S PEARS Phase Contrast Radiography for Dynamic Plasma Experiments, CASIS Signal and
Image Processing Conference, November,2005
8. B. K. S PEARS Phase Contrast Radiography for Dynamic Plasma Experiments, APS Division of
Plasma Physics, October,2005
9. B. K. S PEARS Nonlinear dynamics of ion traps: knotted torus attractors and their bifurcations. Semi-
nar Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, April 2004.
10. B. K. S PEARS Nonlinear dynamics of quasiperiodically driven oscillators: knotted torus attractors
and their bifurcations. Dissertation Seminar UC Berkeley, April 2004.
11. B. K. S PEARS Topological bifurcations of knotted tori quasiperiodically driven oscillators. Control
and Dynamical Systems Seminar Series (Marsden Group) Caltech, October 2003.
12. B. K. S PEARS & A. J. S ZERI Knotted invariant manifolds in a system with QP forcing. SIAM
Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems Utah, May 2003.
Patent pending with Agilent technologies. ”A chaotic signal mixer.”
Dynamics: dynamical systems (ODEs, PDEs, maps), geometric and topological methods for nonlinear dy-
namics, perturbation techniques, stability and conﬁnement, chaotic transport, bifurcation the-
ory, routes to chaos, analysis of time series, encryption and chaotic masking, nonlinear control
Physics: High Energy Density Physics – inertial conﬁnement fusion, hydrodynamics, radiation transport,
Fluid Mechanics – hydrodynamic shape stability, physics of collapsing ﬂows, mixing and trans-
Solid Mechanics – elasticity, plasticity, dynamics of deformable bodies, stability of continuous
Rigid-body Mechanics – Lagrangian mechanics, Hamiltonian mechanics.
Computational Science: uncertainty quantiﬁcation, veriﬁcation and validation, data mining, ﬁtting and re-
Teaching and Mentoring Experience
• Summer Mentor, LLNL.
David Starishak, “Development of decision trees for categorization of failure modes in ICF exper-
iments (2008),” and “Adaptive sampling for enhancement of machine learning in ICF simulation
• Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley.
Conducted the graduate level course Nonlinear oscillations in dynamical systems in Spring 2007. The
course emphasizes dynamical systems techniques for nonlinear ODEs and maps, bifurcation theory,
• Summer Mentor, LLNL.
Peter Gullekson, “Applicationsof streaked radiography for diagnosing ICF experiments (2006).”
• Summer Mentor, LLNL.
Karl Twelker, “Development of streaked radiography postprocessors for simulated ICF implosions
• Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAAN) Workshop Participant
The GAANN fellowship program was designed to help train graduate students with interest in edu-
cation and teaching careers. Participants took part in regular workshops and discussions focused on
building lecture skills, analyzing teaching techniques, and learning from successful instructors.
September, 2000-May, 2003
• Graduate Student Instructor, University of California, Berkeley.
Lagrangian mechanics. January, 2004-May, 2004.
Prepared and gave discussion sections aimed at a mixed undergraduate and graduate audience. Super-
vised semester projects. Held regular ofﬁce hours for homework and course assistance.
• Graduate Student Instructor, University of California, Berkeley.
Graduate vibrations. August, 2002-December, 2002.
Prepared and gave discussion sections and held regular ofﬁce hours for homework and course assis-
Education and Outreach
• B. K. S PEARS AND R. DYLLA -S PEARS, Careers in Science, Lecture to 5th and 6th grade science
students, Oak Crest Intermediate School, San Antonio, Texas, December 2005.
Described science education and science careers with emphasis on opportunities for under-represented
• B. K. S PEARS What is dynamics? Seminar for Applied Mathematics Undergraduates, UC Berkeley,
Invited by the undergraduate applied mathematics society to give an 1 hour presentation describing
dynamical systems as well as opportunities for applied mathematics considering graduate school and
• Volunteer supervisor, American Inst. of Chem. Eng. Chemical Car Competition, San Francisco,
Provided safety oversight for mixed chemical waste streams generated by an alternative-fuel-driven
Selected Honors and Awards
WCI Directorate outstanding student mentor award 2009
NIF Programs Award: Outstanding contributions to implosions characterization
AX Division outstanding student mentor award 2005
Nominee (1 of 2) from UC Berkeley for the 2004 Council of Graduate Schools International Distinguished
Dissertation Award in Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Engineering
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need Fellowship Recipient (declined) and Program Participant
Finished in top 10% of Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellowship candidates (2004)
SIAM Applications of Dynamical Systems 2003 travel award
Graduate with Highest Honors in Mechanical Engineering (UT Austin)
Graduate with Highest Honors in Liberal Arts (UT Austin)
Outstanding Leader-Scholar, ME class of 2000 (awarded annually to a single ME graduate of UT Austin)
Engineer in Training, Texas
University of Texas Undergraduate Research Fellow and Grant recipient
University of Texas Presidential Endowed Scholarship recipient (most prestigious scholarship awarded to
undergraduates in progress)
Presidential Endowed Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering (most prestigious departmental scholarship
Engineering, Liberal Arts, and College Scholar
Ernest Cockrell, Jr. Scholarship recipient
American Physical Society,
Tau Beta Pi,
Phi Beta Kappa
Date and place of birth: 8/31/77 San Antonio, TX USA