CASUS doctoral student Maximilian Böhme is one of three young scientists to receive this year’s Lawrence Fellowship. After successfully defending his doctoral thesis in Germany, he is expected to move to the USA in the middle of 2024 to take up a post-doctoral position at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, funded entirely by the fellowship.

The prestigious scholarship from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a major research facility funded by the US Department of Energy, has been in existence for many years. More than 100 applications are received each year. Normally, candidates from the best US universities win through in the application process. “The fact that I am one of the few scholarship holders who didn’t do their doctorate in the USA makes me particularly proud, of course,“ says Böhme.

In addition to the applicant’s background, the proposed research topic also plays a major role in the application process. Böhme has developed a simulation code at CASUS to precisely describe matter under extreme conditions (high pressure, high temperature). Such simulations enable precise insights into fusion experiments, such as those carried out in California. In the coming months, Böhme plans to develop a new method for precisely calculating the transport of electromagnetic radiation in dense plasmas. If he succeeds, this would lead to new insights in the fields of astrophysics and laser or inertial confinement fusion.

The scholarship is valid for 24 months. Many of the recipients have subsequently taken up professorships or been offered permanent positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Some moved into industry. “I can’t yet say what I will do afterwards. But what is certain is that this scholarship will open several interesting doors for me,“ Böhme is convinced.

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is located in the city of Livermore, around 70 km east of San Francisco. The approximately 9,000 employees conduct research into national security issues. The topics range from nuclear technology to biological and chemical hazards. The center is also involved in the development of new technologies to utilize various energy sources, including laser or inertial confinement fusion.