Lauren Cooper awarded Department of Energy Fellowship for her work on ultra-short pulse fiber lasers

Cooper’s research is focused on nonlinear coherent pulse stacking, a method of generating pulses with energies and pulse durations suitable for particle accelerators and attosecond science.
Lauren Cooper headshot

ECE PhD student Lauren Cooper has been awarded a fellowship from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (DOE-SCGSR) for her research focused on advancing fiber lasers. Cooper’s goal is to use fiber lasers for nonlinear coherent pulse stacking, which is needed to reach the highest energies possible while simultaneously maintaining a bandwidth for 40fs pulses. This work could help provide the bursts for next-generation particle accelerators – which have a variety of uses in medicine, manufacturing, and food safety – and advance attosecond science, as well as other applications.

“This research would be able to provide both a high average power and a high peak power laser source,” Cooper said. “Ideally, this setup could provide the driver for a laser-wakefield accelerator.”

Laser-wakefield accelerators (LWFAs) promise to deliver compact, high energy particle accelerators, which are particularly useful for medical, biological, military, defense, and industrial applications, as well as condensed matter and high energy density science.

The DOE-SCGSR fellowship is awarded to outstanding U.S. graduate students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory or facility. Cooper will be working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is managed by University of California.

“I really like the national lab environment, because there are so many different cool projects going on at same time,” Cooper said. “It’s really motivating and inspiring to me, so I’m looking forward to that.”

I really like the national lab environment, because there are so many different cool projects going on at same time.

ECE PhD student Lauren Cooper

Cooper’s placement will be from January to June 2022, and then she will return to Ann Arbor for the remainder of her PhD.

“I chose Michigan for my PhD because obviously the research was really interesting, but it was also such a welcoming community,” Cooper said. “Everyone actually hangs out together and are friends. It’s a great atmosphere.”

Cooper is a member of the Graduate Society for Women Engineers, the Optics Society at the University of Michigan, and Eta Kappa Nu (HKN), the Honor Society for Electrical and Computer Engineers. She also serves as an ECE Student Ambassador.

She earned her BS in Mechanical Engineering from Western Kentucky University, and she is advised by Prof. Almantas Galvanauskas.