Group personnel

Principle Investigator

Alexey Arefiev joined the faculty at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in 2017. He received his B.Sc. in physics from Novosibirsk State University (Russia) and his Ph.D in physics from The University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Arefiev worked as a Research Scientist at the Institute for Fusion Studies and as an Associate Director for Theory at the Center for High Energy Density Science at the University of Texas at Austin. Arefiev serves as a co-executive secretary of the Joint Institute for Fusion Theory (2011 to present), one of the programs through which the US-Japan Fusion Research Collaboration is organized. 


Postdoctoral scholars

Yin Shi

Yin Shi  became  a postdocoral scholar at UCSD from  April  2018.  He  was a  visiting researcher ( with Newton International Fellowship) at Imperial College  between  April 2016 and March 2018.  He got his PhD from State Key Laboratory of High Field Laser Physics, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, China at 2015.


Graduate students

Haotian Mao

Haotian Mao became a PhD student at UCSD in April 2019. Prior to this, he graduated as a master student from Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department at UCSD. He received a B.Sc. in Energy & Power Engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University in China.  

Katherine Chin
Kathleen Weichman

Kathleen Weichman's research centers on laser-plasma physics in kTesla-level magnetic fields. Kathleen joined the Arefiev group in January 2018, before which she was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and holds a B.Sc. in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Michael Pokornik

Michael Pokornik became a PhD student at UCSD and joined the group in the fall of 2019.  Previously, he graduated with an MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University. and received a B.Sc. in Applied Physics and a BA in Mathematics from Texas Lutheran University.  Michael has currently been working as a laser scientist at General Atomics.  Michael is interested in laser plasma physics and high performance computing.

Tao Wang

Tao Wang's research focus is electron acceleration and gamma-ray generation in structured targets. He came to UCSD in September 2017, before which he was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. He received a B.Sc. in applied physics from Jilin University in China. 

Yutong He

Yutong He joined the Arefiev group in Fall 2018. He holds undergraduate degrees from UCSD in physics and mathematics with an engineering mechanics minor. He is mainly interested in computational physics.


Research associates

Kavin Tangtart…

Kavin Tangtartharakul graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UCSD in Spring 2018. He joined the Arefiev group at the beginning of 2019. 


Undergraduate students

Alexandre Leonelli

Alexandre Leonelli is an undergraduate studying Physics at UC San Diego. He joined the Arefiev group in the summer of 2019 to pursue his interest in computational physics.

Wilson Li

Wilson Li is an undergraduate studying Aerospace Engineering at UCSD. He joined the Arefiev group in Spring 2019.



Former lab members


Postdoctoral scholars

Oliver Jansen

Oliver Jansen began his appointment as a postdocoral scholar at UCSD in September 2017. Prior to this, he was a postdoctoral scholar in the Interaction, Fusion par Confinement Inertiel, Astrophysique group at the CELIA laboratory of the University of Bordeaux. He graduated from the Heinrich-Heine University at Düsseldorf in 2014.