A new era for the Institute for Shock Physics

Closeup of Brian Jensen.
Brian Jensen

Physics professor and former Los Alamos National Laboratory Physicist Brian Jensen is the new director of Washington State University’s state-of-the-art Institute for Shock Physics (ISP). He succeeds founding ISP Director Yogendra Gupta, who led the program for 26 years.

“The Institute for Shock Physics embodies more than 65 years of excellence in shock wave research and education at WSU. I am truly honored to serve as the next ISP director and am excited to work with the amazing people within the institute and Washington State University who help maintain and advance our role as a national leader in the field,” said Jensen.

Known for its interdisciplinary approach, ISP is dedicated to exploring the response of condensed matter under extreme conditions. Jensen, a WSU alumnus who earned his PhD in physics in 2003, will lead research initiatives to continue the evolution of dynamic compression science, including the use of next-gen capabilities in light sources, and expand the community of scientists equipped to leverage these advancements. He will also oversee WSU’s long-standing relationship with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), including operation of the Dynamic Compression Sector, a national user facility located at Argonne National Laboratories outside of Chicago.

“It is wonderful to welcome Dr. Brian Jensen ‘back’ to the Institute for Shock Physics and Washington State University following a very successful career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His strong record of research achievements and wide recognition as a leader in dynamic compression science provide an excellent foundation for his role as the ISP Director,” said Gupta.

Jensen joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy faculty last September and assumed full director responsibilities earlier this year. Jensen specializes in shock wave research using time-resolved, in-situ diagnostics such as X-ray diffraction and imaging to identify correlations between microscopic behavior and observed responses. His many honors include a Fellowship in the American Physical Society, the Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows’ Prize for Leadership, and a NNSA Office of Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations Excellence award.

“Brian is well suited to play a pivotal role in sustaining the institute over the long term through innovative scientific and educational activities, development of meaningful research collaborations with academic institutions and national laboratories, and his desire to continue shock wave research advances at WSU,” said Gupta.

Gupta, a WSU Regents Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will continue to focus on his research activities.

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