Principal Investigators

Alex Glaser
Alexander GLASER is Assistant Professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. He is a participant in the University’s Program on Science and Global Security and works with the International Panel on Fissile Materials, which publishes the annual Global Fissile Material Report. PhD in Physics from Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany.

M. V. Ramana
M. V. RAMANA obtained his Ph.D. in Physics from Boston University in 1994 and joined Princeton’s Program on Science and Global Security (SGS) in 1998. Between 2004 and 2009, he was at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development in Bangalore, India. He is currently appointed jointly with SGS and the Nuclear Futures Laboratory and works on the future of nuclear energy in the context of climate change and nuclear disarmament. Ramana is completing a book on nuclear power in India. He is a member of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and the International Panel on Fissile Materials.

Associated Faculty and Researchers

Ali Ahmad
Ali AHMAD is a research fellow in Nuclear Technology Policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. Ali’s Work covers nuclear technology and nuclear fuel cycle assessments, nuclear energy and climate change, technical and policy aspects of small modular reactors and the introduction of nuclear power to new markets. A Physics graduate from The Lebanese University in Beirut, Ali holds a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from Cambridge University.
Boaz Barak
Boaz BARAK is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Research New England. Previously, he was an associate professor at the Princeton University’s Computer Science department, and before that a member in the School of Math at the Institute for Advanced Study. Barak has a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He is a key participant in our verification project.

Hal Feiveson
Harold A. FEIVESON is a Senior Research Scientist and Lecturer in Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, Feiveson’s principal research interests are in the fields of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy policy. His recent work has focused on the ways in which the nuclear arsenals of the U.S. and the former Soviet Union can be dismantled and “de-alerted”, the strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime (including a universal ban on the production of weapons-useable material and on nuclear weapons testing), and the strengthening of the separation between nuclear weapons and civilian nuclear energy activities. Feiveson is the editor of the journal, Science & Global Security.

Rob Goldston
Robert J. GOLDSTON is Professor of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University and an international leader in the fields of plasma physics and magnetic fusion energy. From 1997 to 2008, he served as Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), a collaborative national center for plasma and fusion science. He received his PhD in Astrophysics from Princeton University in 1977.
Zia Mian Zia MIAN is a Research Scientist in Princeton University’s Program on Science and Global Security and directs its Project on Peace and Security in South Asia. His research interests are in nuclear weapons and nuclear energy policy in South Asia. PhD in Physics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Rob Socolow
Robert SOCOLOW is a Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. His current research focuses on global carbon management and fossil-carbon sequestration. He is the co-principal investigator (with ecologist, Stephen Pacala) of Princeton University’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative (CMI), a fifteen-year (2000-2015) research project supported by BP and Ford.

Frank von Hippel
Frank VON HIPPEL is Professor of Public and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. A former assistant director for national security in the White House Office of Science and Technology, von Hippel’s areas of policy research include nuclear arms control and nonproliferation, energy, and checks and balances in policymaking for technology. Prior to coming to Princeton, he worked for ten years in the field of elementary-particle theoretical physics. He has written extensively on the technical basis for nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament initiatives, the future of nuclear energy, and improved automobile fuel economy. He won a 1993 MacArthur fellowship in recognition of his outstanding contributions to his fields of research. Ph.D. in Physics from Oxford University.


Sébastien Philippe
Sébastien PHILIPPE is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Since he joined Princeton in the summer of 2012, his research have covered topics in the areas of verification technology, nuclear archaeology and safeguards implementation. He is a graduate student participant in the university’s program on Science and Global Security. Prior to moving to Princeton, Sébastien worked for two years within the French Ministry of Defense: first as a graduate research fellow in the Strategic Research Institute of the Ecole Militaire in Paris; and then as an military nuclear safety engineer in the oceanic strategic force within the defense procurement agency. He received a M.Sc. in Mechanical and Design Engineering from the French National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA, Lyon) in 2010 and a B.A.I. from Trinity College Dublin in 2009 as part of a joint european degree program.

Mark Walker
Mark WALKER is a first-year PhD student at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. For the last three years, he has been involved with research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on verification technology for nuclear arms control treaties. In the summer of 2010, he was also an intern at the U.S. Office of Naval Reactors. He is a 2011 recipient of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, and earned his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2012.


James Acton
James ACTON is an associate in the Nonproliferation Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Prior to joining the Carnegie Endowment in October 2008, Acton was a lecturer at the Centre for Science and Security Studies in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London and was the science and technology researcher at the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC), where he was a participant in the UK-Norway dialogue on verifying the dismantlement of warheads. He has published widely on topics related to nonproliferation and disarmament. PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge.

Laura Berzak Hopkins
Laura BERZAK HOPKINS was a Visiting Fellow at the Program on Science and Global Security until May 2012. Her research focused on issues related to the large-scale deployment of Small Modular Reactors. From 2010-2011, she held an American Physical Society Congressional Science Fellowship, where she served as a scientific advisor for U.S. Senator Kent Conrad and on the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs. Laura received her Ph.D. in Plasma Physics from Princeton University in 2010. During her graduate studies, Laura was a National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Stewardship Science Graduate Fellow at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and was the chief operator of a new fusion energy-relevant experimental reactor. Laura is now at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

Tom Bielefeld
Tom BIELEFELD is a Research Fellow in the Belfer Center’s Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard University. His research interests comprise nuclear and missile nonproliferation, radioactive sources security, radiological attack preparedness and response, and nuclear forensic science. Tom studied physics in Bremen (Germany) and in Swansea (Wales). His career in the arms control field began at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (Germany), where he studied missile defense systems and missile proliferation.

R. Scott Kemp
R. Scott KEMP is Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Before joining MIT in 2012, Kemp was an Associate Research Scholar with the Princeton Program on Science and Global Security. His current research focuses on the proliferation of enrichment technology and the history of nonproliferation policy. From 2010–2011, he was the U.S. State Department’s Science Advisor in the Office of the Special Advisor for Nonproliferation and Arms Control. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 2010.
David Turnbull David TURNBULL is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering working on Raman-amplified ultra-intense lasers, one application of which is for fast ignition inertial confinement fusion. As part of this 2-year PEI-STEP environmental policy fellowship, he will examine nuclear weapons proliferation risks associated with fusion-fission hybrid power plant schemes. Computer simulations of the proposed reactors will help to quantify some of the proliferation-relevant parameters and how they vary with the specific details of a given design. The LIFE proposal involving a laser fusion driver, as well as proposals to use hybrid “burners” to incinerate nuclear waste from existing and future fission power plants, are of particular interest. The project will also include an economic analysis of the hybrid plants as compared to other nuclear fusion and fission reactors.

Former Students

Alex Gasner
Alex GASNER (Class of 2010) works on a nuclear-archaeology project for his Senior Thesis in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, undertaking the first application of the Isotope Ratio Method (IRM) for a heavy water-moderated plutonium production reactor. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate the utility of the IRM for verifying plutonium stocks, both for nonproliferation or for arms control purposes, and develop a general in-field approach for adapting the IRM to new reactor types and configurations. We propose a novel approach to sampling reactors in the field to minimize real-world errors.

James Thorman
James THORMAN (Class of 2010) is analyzing the potential for a nuclear renaissance in the United States in the next ten to fifteen years for his Senior Thesis in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His analysis is based on using the scale-up of the French nuclear energy program during the 1970s and 1980s, in particular, the set of conditions that supported the establishment of the industry, as a lens through which to assess the current nuclear landscape in the United States.