Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi School Graduate Wins New IEEE Award for Innovative Doctoral Work

At USC, Themos Kallos studied the development of next-generation particle accelerators by harnessing electric fields generated in plasmas.

February 10, 2009 —

Former Viterbi School doctoral student Efthymios “Themos” Kallos, who earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering-electrophysics in 2008, has won the 2009 Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Doctoral Student Award of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Science Society.

The award, being given for the first time, recognizes significant and innovative technical contributions to the field of particle accelerator science and technology as demonstrated in a student’s doctoral thesis.

Themos Cropped
Themos Kallos

Kallos won for his doctoral work focused on using multiple electron bunches as a tool for the development of next-generation particle accelerators by harnessing electric fields generated in plasmas.

Particle accelerators probe the fundamental forces of nature by accelerating and then smashing energetic particles against each other. Using electric fields in plasmas to accelerate the particles, future accelerators could be dramatically reduced in size and be constructed at a fraction of the current cost, Kallos said.

While at USC, Kallos was involved in experimentally demonstrating for the first time the acceleration of a trailing electron bunch in a high-gradient wakefield driven by a preceding bunch.  Additionally, he analyzed schemes that utilize multiple bunches to drive the wakefields, showing that the energy of a trailing bunch can be efficiently multiplied in a single stage, thus possibly reducing the total length of an accelerator to a more manageable scale.

Kallos conducted his doctoral work under the supervision of former Viterbi School Professor Tom Katsouleas, who is now dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, and Professor Patric Muggli, who now leads the plasma-accelerator research group. The experimental part of the work that led to the award was done at the Brookhaven National Lab, Long Island, NY. 

Kallos is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the Queen Mary University of London, in the United Kingdom, working on metamaterial-based electromagnetic cloaks.

He completed his undergraduate degree in 2003 at the electrical and computer engineering department in the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, before entering the Ph.D. degree program in electrical engineering at USC. 

He will receive the award at the Particle Accelerator Conference 2009, to be held in Vancouver, Canada, in May.