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Plasma Dynamics Computational Laboratory

Research Mission

Our work focuses on researching plasma physics phenomena as applied to nuclear fusion, space, and a number of basic plasma science applications of relevance to national interest. Nuclear fusion has the potential to meet terrestrial energy demands perpetually (as far as human timescales are concerned) and an efficient, compact fusion reactor has the potential to power long-duration, high thrust, high specific impulse human spaceflight.  Controlled fusion, however, remains one of the biggest challenges of the twenty first century. With these motivations, we develop high-fidelity physics models to study fundamental plasma science for plasma-based space propulsion, inertial confinement, magneto-inertial, and magnetic confinement fusion, and space science, to name a few. 

If you have a strong background in computer programming, differential equations, and fluid dynamics and are interested in this research, please send your CV to Dr. Bhuvana Srinivasan at

Recent News

  • Lujain Almarhabi joins the Plasma Dynamics Computational Laboratory as a new PhD student in Fall 2020, welcome Lujain!
  • We are excited to have Daniel Alex and Liam Welch continue as undergraduate researchers in our lab in Fall 2020
  • Drs. Srinivasan, Adams, and Brizzolara at Virginia Tech, together with Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, have been awarded an ARPA-E grant to advance lower-cost fusion News Article
  • Blacksburg High School student Vishvesha Sridhar won first place under the Physics and Astronomy category in the Highlands Regional Fair and qualified for state level. Congratulations to Vishvesha and also to Chirag for playing a critical role!
  • Yang Song successfully defends his PhD and showcases the newly developed PHORCE (Package for High ORder simulations of Convection-diffusion Equations) code, congratulations Dr. Song!
  • Members of our team presented a great set of talks and posters at the 2019 APS Division of Plasma Physics conference, the 2019 APS Division of Fluid Dynamics conference, and the 2019 AGU conference
  • Megan McCracken earns the New Horizons Graduate Fellowship and the Marietta/Tolson Fellowships
  • John Rodman earns the Nerney/Tolson Fellowships
  • Matthew Carrier, Jon Labatut, Megan McCracken, John Rodman, and Gaurav Sakhawala join the Plasma Dynamics Computational Laboratory as new graduate students in Fall 2019
  • Robert Masti is awarded the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory High-Energy-Density Fellowship to continue his PhD research
  • Chirag Rathod's cat, Miko Angelo, is involved in Virginia Tech research and is featured in the news! News Article
  • Prof. Srinivasan earns the NSF CAREER award to study plasma physics in exploding stars:  News article
  • Dr. Cagas presents two talks at the SIAM Computational Science and Engineering 2019 conference in Spokane, WA
  • Chirag Rathod earns the Outstanding Student Presentation Award at the American Geophysical Union conference for presenting his research in Washington, DC in December 2018
  • Kolter Bradshaw and Camille Samulski join the Plasma Dynamics Computational Laboratory as new graduate students during the 2018-2019 academic year
  • Dr. Petr Cagas, Yuzhi Li, Robert Masti, and Yang Song present their research at the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics conference in Portland, OR in November 2018