Young Professionals introduces outstanding young professionals (under 40 years of age) who are doing interesting things in cryogenics and superconductivity and who show promise of making a difference in their fields. Debuted in the Summer 2006 issue, the feature has presented many young persons whom we are proud to see have indeed lived up to that promise.
Tiina Salmi, 34
My educational and professional background: I have an MSc in electrical engineering from Tampere University of Technology, now Tampere University. I majored in biomedical physics, but as I did my diploma thesis at CERN on quench protection of a fast cycled superferric NbTi magnet, I got hooked and have since continued with accelerator magnets. I had the opportunity to work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the US for three years, and do research on quench protection for the Nb3Sn quadrupole magnets for the High-Luminosity LHC. After that, I returned to Finland and finished my PhD thesis on the topic of heater-based protection of high field magnets. After the PhD, I have continued as a post-doctoral researcher at Tampere and participated in the Future Circular Collider 16 T dipole magnet design from the quench protection point of view.
How I got into cryogenics: I was fascinated by modern physics and particle accelerators so I applied to CERN, first for a summer student internship and then for a technical student internship. As a technical student, I got to work with a project related to magnet quench protection. I got quickly excited about superconductivity and quench, and I still am—after more than 10 years.
My mentor and my experiemce with him/her: When I was at CERN during my diploma thesis, my advisors were Dr. Ezio Todesco and Dr. Luca Bottura. I have always admired their knowledge and ability to explain things in such a clear and patient manner. At LBNL, I worked with Dr. Helene Felice and Dr. Schlomo Caspi. I learned a lot from their vast experience with superconducting magnets and from their high standards for the methodological rigor and ambitiousness of results. In Tampere my mentor and supervisor has been Dr. Antti Stenvall. We have a great team spirit within our small group in Tampere, and I know that I can always trust in Antti’s support in whatever technical, scientific, social or even philosophical problems I encounter at work.
My present company/position: I work at Tampere University in the superconductivity and modeling group. I have an Academy of Finland post-doctoral researcher fellowship.
My contributions to the cryogenic field: I have worked in the design of quench protection for superconducting accelerator magnets for 10 years. I have developed software and methods for analyzing the effectiveness of heater-based protection and looked for different ways to optimize it. The last three years I have been supporting the design of the 16 T dipole magnets for the Future Circular Collider. During the initial magnet design phase, I developed methods and tools to help ensure that the final magnets will be protectable.
Together with a colleague at CERN, Marco Prioli (now at INFN Milan), we designed the conceptual protection schemes for the magnets either using the heaters or the new Coupling Loss Induced Quench technology. It turns out that CLIQ is the more promising alternative in protecting these challenging high energy magnets. Until now, the FCC magnets have only been designed on paper. I am eagerly looking forward to this demo magnet development and experimental characterization and the designed quench protection systems.
What are the most important developments in cryogenics? If we look at present developments from an accelerator magnet point of view, conductor development towards HTS and Nb3Sn wires with higher Jc and lower cost is important.
Also, I think that development of more and more comprehensive computer simulations is important. That will allow us to reduce the cost of experiments, shorten the design and fabrication time for large and challenging devices, and allow for cost optimization in design. In my work, I have tried to address magnet design optimization from a quench protection point of view.
What advances do you hope to see in the future? I have happily followed the improvements in the computer modeling methodology and software developments during recent years. This is undoubtedly something that will continue to advance every year. In particular, I look forward to seeing the CERN-developed STEAM (Simulation of Transient Effects in Accelerator Magnets) framework used at its full potential.
I also hope to see artificial intelligence in use for the design of accelerator magnets and other devices. This is something I would like to focus on myself in the next years.
And finally, as do we all, I hope to see a cost-reduction in HTS conductors, smaller and portable cryostats and serious infusion of superconducting applications to fields such as electrical networks, wind turbines, and transportation.
Where can readers find out more about your projects? www.researchgate.net/profile/Tiina_Salmi or go to the FCC website for more news (fcc.web.cern.ch).
Seungwhan Baek, 34
My educational and professional background: My undergraduate major is mechanical engineering. (I didn’t like the thermodynamics course at that time, but I enjoyed heat transfer.) During my masters courses, I studied the high temperature fuel cell system. My doctoral thesis describes heat exchanger performance deviation in the cryogenic environment. The target system was mixed refrigerant JT cooling system.
How I got into cryogenics: I met cryogenics during my PhD. My first cryogenic experiment was an investigation of a microchannel heat exchanger between 77 K and 300 K. I never knew or thought about temperatures below -20° C, the operating temperature of a commercial home refrigerator. It was exciting to create a bridge between room and cryogenic temperatures. The first experiment was not easy, though; creating a leak-free vacuum environment took me several weeks. Attaching thermometers without breaking lead wires and twisting was also a temper-testing operation.
My mentor and my experiemce with him/her: It was a great honor to work with Peter Bradley and Ray Radebaugh at NIST. I spent my post-doctoral life as a guest researcher at NIST in Boulder. Peter was my cryogenic professor, colleague, and life mentor. Of course, he was also my boss. Peter taught me the basics of cryogenic measurements, from the principles and history of thermometers to the full calibration of thermometers before every use. To this day, I always validate thermometers before every use, as Peter instructed me.
My present company/position: I am a senior researcher at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI). As a part of the space launch vehicle research and development office, we are constructing and testing the “Made in Korea” space launch vehicle. I am working on cryogenic heat transfer analysis in a rocket, specifically the cryogenic helium heat exchanger, cryogenic natural circulation, cryogenic propellant management, etc.
—NIST Material Measurement Laboratory Accolade 2015 (Measurement Science Excellence) as a guest researcher at NIST.
—KARI Best team of 2018: Our launcher propulsion system team led the launch vehicle complex ground hot-firing tests last year, KARI acknowledged the achievement of our team.
My contributions to the cryogenic field: The application of the microchannel to the cryogenic system is a trend these days. Our group showed the feasibility of fabricating a microchannel heat exchanger using etching and diffusion bonding. We discovered some odd features such as axial conduction and two-phase heat transfer phenomena were experimentally validated, meaning it will be possible to make cryogenics systems smaller and smaller. For example, a lighter rocket heat exchanger can be constructed with microchannel technology.
What are the most important developments in cryogenics? The JT expansion system with a glass-etched microchannel. This small and visible JT system enables easy access to cryogenics.
What advances do you hope to see in the future? As high performance smart devices become popular, cryogenic cooling devices with superinsulation may become as small as smartphones. It will take about 10 years to achieve this advance.
In terms of rocket science as rocket science, a zero-boiloff propellant system should be developed to enable the interplanetary trips. I will work hard to help achieve this!
Where can readers find out more about your projects? https://www.researchgate.net/profile/S_Baek or https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6375-6767.
Christopher M. Anton, 37
My educational and professional background: I have a BS and PhD in mechanical engineering from Michigan Technological University. My graduate research focused on the growth, deposition and patterning of a photosensitive biological membrane onto semiconductor substrates in order to create novel optical sensors.
I held a postdoctoral fellowship at the US Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen MD from 2008-2010. I contributed to both the nanoelectronics and biological inspired devices groups, with a primary focus on the development of chemical and biological sensors based on carbon nanotube field effect transistors. I worked as a research scientist at Episensors, Inc. from 2010-2015, serving as the project lead in the development of several short-wave infrared camera systems with integrated cryogenic cooling systems. Since 2015 I have worked as a Senior Project Manager at Meyer Tool & Manufacturing (CSA CSM), where I am responsible for quoting, design and project management of a wide variety of cryogenic related projects.
How I got into cryogenics: My earliest exposure to cryogenics was through the study and use of scanning electron microscopy and focused ion beam machining during my graduate studies and postdoctoral work. These systems rely on liquid nitrogen cooling as well as high vacuum in order to operate. During my time at Episensors, I was in charge of designing and fabricating a modular dewar system capable of cooling a short wave infrared focal plane array to cryogenic temperatures using a commercially available closed-cycle cooler system. The experience gained in these earlier projects led me to join Meyer Tool & Manufacturing, where the majority of my efforts focus on the design and management of complex cryogenic and vacuum related projects.
My mentor and my experiemce with him/her: Prof. Craig Friedrich served as my PhD advisor and provided excellent support and encouragement while also allowing me the freedom to overcome challenges and find solutions independently. With regard to cryogenics, two people have provided critical mentoring as my career has progressed. I worked very closely with Robert Crosby at Episensors, and learned a great deal about dewar design and hands-on fabrication. I also had the privilege to work closely with Meyer Tool VP of engineering Ed Bonnema and benefited from his decades of experience in the design and fabrication of cryogenic systems and subsystems.
My present company/position: I currently serve as a Senior Project Manager at Meyer Tool & Manufacturing, where we specialize in the design and fabrication of customized cryogenic systems, vacuum chambers, pressure vessels and complex weldments and machined parts. I am the technical lead on some of our more complex and longer-term projects from initial introduction to potential customers, to the design and quote stage, through completion of fabrication and delivery of the project to our customer. I have been identified as successor to Ed and I am a leader of engineering improvement initiatives, actively pursuing ideas to implement positive company change. I mentor newer and/or less experienced engineers as they onboard and pursue personal growth and career development.
My contributions to the cryogenic field: I have been the project manager for a wide variety of cryogenic-based projects during my time at Meyer Tool. I have managed liquid helium cryostats, vacuum jacketing of niobium superconducting cavities, thermal shields, LN2 cooled dewar systems, transfer lines, and a variety of vacuum chambers for cryogenic applications. These projects were delivered to key institutions in the cryogenics community, including Fermilab, Argonne National Lab, Jefferson Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
What are the most important developments in cryogenics? From a manufacturing perspective, the effective collaboration between scientists, engineers and skilled fabricators has been and will continue to be crucial in moving the field of cryogenics forward. Complex cryogenic systems often make use of exotic materials, complex weldments and tightly toleranced components in order to achieve optimal operation. I strive to understand the goals of every project we are awarded, often pre-award, and work with customers to optimize design and manufacturing workflow for the desired results in a cost-effected manner.
What advances do you hope to see in the future? Future advances in cryocoolers (improved cooling power, increased efficiency, reduced size) could lead to exciting new opportunities in the field of cryogenics. As cryocoolers continue to improve, it will be necessary to determine whether they or conventional cryogenic cooling are the best fit for a given application, and designing the overall system appropriately.
Where can readers find out more about your projects? While many of our projects are covered by NDAs, those that can be shown are often highlighted by the Meyer Tool & Manufacturing sales department, both via continual updates the company website (https://www.mtm-inc.com/) and through our monthly company newsletter (sign up at https://www.mtm-inc.com/newsletter-signup.html). Personally, I can be followed at (www.linkedin.com/in/christophermanton). ■