Seattle Fusion Week 2023

Thank you to everyone who attended 2023 Seattle Fusion Week!

Wednesday, October 11th from 12:00-1:30pm PT in Seattle, register today for the Perkins Coie Lunch Series: A Discussion on the Fusion Energy Policy and Regulation Landscape. 

Thursday, October 12th from 11:00am-6:00pm PT in Everett.

Join fusion energy companies, elected officials, research institutions, NGOs and more for educational presentations and a networking reception.

Agenda and Hotel Options


Visiting from out of state? Check out our list of recommended hotels in the Seattle and Everett area.

The BUILT Cluster

The CleanTech Alliance, through the BUILT Cluster, is focused on advancing clean, safe Fusion Energy. Fusion energy will be a gamechanger for the clean energy economy and is poised to become a $40 trillion global industry. With four emerging fusion energy companies in the Seattle area, Washington state will be a leader in fusion, clean energy, and energy equity. Learn more about the BUILT Cluster.

Speakers

11:30AM – 12:00 PM PT – Special Pre-Event In-Person Networking Opportunity

Senator Maria Cantwell, United States Senator for the State of Washington, United States Senate

Maria Cantwell currently serves as a United States Senator for the State of Washington. As a respected leader – both in public service and in the private sector – Maria has always embraced the values she first learned growing up in a strong working-class family. With the help of Pell Grants, Maria was the first member of her family to graduate college. Later, a successful businesswoman in Washington’s hi-tech industry, she helped build a company that created hundreds of high-paying jobs from the ground up.

Maria was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000, 2006, 2012, and again in 2018, pledging to honor the hard work, aspirations and faith of the people of Washington state. She is working to create affordable opportunities for consumers, businesses and families, to make our nation more secure today, to foster innovation for tomorrow, and to stand with parents as they educate and care for their children.

Wednesday, October 11th from 12:00-1:30pm | Perkins Coie Lunch Series: A Discussion on the Fusion Energy Policy and Regulation Landscape.

Moderator

Senator Joe Nguyễn, Senator for Washington’s 34th Legislative District, Washington State Legislature

Born and raised in the 34th Legislative District, Sen. Joe Nguyễn has deep roots in the community. His experiences and his involvement with community makes him an ardent champion for investing in Washington families and residents, expanding economic opportunities, and marks him a bold leader in our fight against the climate crisis.

Joe is the Chair of the Environment, Energy & Technology Committee. He is also serves on the Ways & Means Committee, Human Services Committee, and is the Senate Democratic Assistant Floor Leader. Elected to the state Senate in 2019, he has spent his tenure advocating for working families and community members who historically have been left out of the political process. His priorities mirror the committees he serves on.

Joe has been a thoughtful and innovative leader in his efforts to mitigate the climate crisis. He knows only too well how marginalized communities experience environmental harm disproportionately, and that to ensure that our communities thrive as a whole, we need to act urgently. His sponsored legislation has increased availability of zero emissions vehicles and expanded the Clean Buildings Act.

Speakers

Dr. Aditi Verma, Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan

Dr. Aditi Verma joined NERS in the Fall of 2021 as an Assistant Research Scientist and became an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2022. She supports and interacts with the Fastest Path team as a Faculty Associate. Verma is a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’s Project on Managing the Atom, and former Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center where she was jointly appointed by the Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program. At MIT, she was a Burchard Scholar and a Kelly-Douglas Fellow.

Andrew Sowder, Senior Technical Executive, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) 

Andrew has over two decades of experience in advanced nuclear energy policy and research. He joined EPRI in 2007 as a Technical Executive after working for the U.S. Department of State as a Physical Scientist and Foreign Affairs Officer. He received a B.S. in Optics from the University of Rochester in 1990 and a Ph.D. in environmental nuclear engineering from Clemson University in 1998. He is currently working on a research focus area on advanced nuclear technology energy systems to promote alignment of public sector investment in national R&D programs and private sector innovation efforts with the needs of the technology customer. 

John Edwards, Senior Advisor, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)

John Edwards is a Senior Advisor at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).  John received his PhD in plasma physics from Imperial College London and has over 35 years experience in high energy density physics and inertial confinement fusion (ICF) with the majority of this time focused on national security applications.   John was the ICF Program Director at LLNL for much of the last decade until 2021 and oversaw the development of the integrated design that eventually went on to achieve ignition.  John is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, holds the Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award and is a co-winner of the American Physical Society’s 2022 Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research for the first laboratory demonstration of a burning deuterium-tritium plasma where alpha heating dominates the plasma energetics. 


Thursday, October 12th from 11:00am-12:00pm | Fusion Energy 101 (if you don’t know what fusion is yet or how it works, this session is for you!)

Speakers

Andy Freeberg, Head of Communications, Zap Energy

Andy Freeberg is the Head of Communications at Zap Energy, leading the company’s efforts to engage and educate key audiences about Zap’s work to unlock the transformative potential of fusion energy. He comes to Zap with a long track record of science and technology communications, including at the University of Washington, the Pacific Marine Energy Center, the DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Before that, he earned an MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from MSU-Bozeman and a BS in Radio/Television/Film and Environmental Science from Northwestern University.

Kate Kelly, Chief of Staff, Avalanche Energy

Kate is Chief of Staff at Avalanche Energy: a Seattle-based, venture-backed fusion energy startup developing modular fusion microreactors. Prior to joining Avalanche, Kate worked in Product Management at DreamBox Learning and Microsoft. Kate is an Electrical Engineer by training, having previously worked in nuclear consulting and always dreamed of working on Climate Tech. 

Jessie Barton, Director of Communications, Helion

Jessie Barton is the Director of Communications at Helion. She is a science communicator passionate about the merging of clean energy and innovative technology. In her role at Helion, she works with scientists and engineers to break down technical concepts to educate the public about Helion’s fusion technology.

In addition to her role at Helion, Jessie is a Board Member at the CleanTech Alliance and Technology Alliance and is an Advisor to Seattle’s Furniture Repair Bank. Jessie earned her BA in Communications Studies from Drury University and an MS in Communication from Purdue University.


Thursday, October 12th from 12:30-1:15pm | Keynote: Why Washington? What Makes Washington State the Ideal Spot for a Fusion Energy Hub? 

Introductory Speaker

Chris Ajemian, Consultant, Chris Ajemian Consulting

Chris Ajemian consults in fusion energy commercialization.  He was an owner and director at CTFusion, a Seattle based fusion power startup that spun out of the University of Washington for five years where he did business development and regulatory affairs.  He worked with investors, power utilities, the NRC, and federal and state governments. 

He founded Seattle Fusion Week with the CleanTech Alliance where he is a member of the board.  Before fusion, he worked in foreign policy and nuclear safeguards at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.  He has practiced corporate law, been a journalist covering the U.S. Congress and White House, and worked on three U.S. presidential campaigns (John Kerry 2004, Barack Obama 2008/12).  

Speaker

Dr. Mike Campbell, President, MCM Consultants

Dr. Mike Campbell is an internationally known expert in Inertial Fusion, Plasma physics, High Energy Density Physics, high power lasers and their applications and advanced energy technologies including Generation IV nuclear fission reactors and biofuels. He has won numerous awards including Department of Energy’s E. O. Lawrence Award, the American Nuclear Society’s Edward Teller Award, the American Physical Society’s John Dawson Award, the Department of Energy’s Excellence in Weapons Research Award, and the Leadership Award of Fusion Power Associates.

He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optica (formerly OSA). He has published over 250 articles in scientific journals and holds 5 patents. Campbell has worked in various scientific and leadership positions at both federal laboratories, Universities and the private sector including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, General Atomics, Logos Technologies, Sandia National Laboratory, and the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics. He has received his degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and the University of Western Sydney.


Thursday, October 12th from 1:45-2:30pm | Building the Fusion Energy Workforce (Track #1)

Moderator

Monica Brummer, Director, Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy

With a background in higher education, marketing and communications, Monica serves as a partner with CleanTech Alliance as Career Connect Washington’s Clean Energy/Clean Technology Industry Intermediary. We connect utilities, labor and related businesses to Washington’s education system. Collaborating with all stakeholders to share news, trends and gaps, so that together, we’re able to build a better workforce to support our state’s progressive clean energy initiatives and emerging technologies.

The Center of Excellence is one of 12 Centers throughout the state that support the industry sectors that drive Washington’s economy. Monica serves on several committees including the Lewis County Energy Innovation Coalition, Capital STEM Executive Steering Committee, the Foundation for Water and Energy Education, National Renewable Energy Lab’s Energy Executives, Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Advisory Committee and the Hydrogen Academia Working Group.

Speakers

Susan Houghton, Climate Resilience Project Manager, Livermore Lab Foundation

Susan Houghton leads the Foundation’s work in Climate Resiliency and Carbon Management, working closely with colleagues at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, community and academic partners. She joined the LLF team in 2019. A former television journalist, she served in senior public affairs and communications positions at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, UC Berkeley, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, among others. With more than 30 years of experience at the intersection of communications, public affairs and philanthropy, she also founded three vibrant nonprofit 501c3 organizations dedicated to residential and programmatic support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and currently serves on the board of directors for Three Valleys Community Foundation.

Alyssa Jackson, Director, Snohomish STEM Network, and Co-director, Career Connect Washington NW Region

With over 8 years of experience in education and a passion for career connected learning, Alyssa is dedicated to bridging the gap between education and business sectors. Her expertise involves fostering collaborative partnerships to create equitable opportunities for students, preparing them for success in high-demand industries. Holding a Master of Science in Information Technology & Administrative Management degree, Alyssa is dedicated to supporting career connected learning through education and future workforce development.

Dr. Christopher Keane, Vice President, Research, Vice Chancellor, Research, Washington State University

Dr. Christopher Keane joined Washington State University in 2014 as vice president for research and professor of physics (vice chancellor for research, Pullman title was added later). Dr. Keane is also WSU’s Research Integrity Officer (RIO).  He has taken significant steps to reshape the University’s research enterprise. Dr. Keane spearheaded the 120-day study, which identified WSU’s areas of research excellence. He led top faculty members in articulating “grand challenges”—institutional research priorities that focus on urgent regional, national, and global problems. He continues to address those priorities, aiming to, in his words, “define and realize research opportunities that will strengthen WSU, the state of Washington, and our nation.”

Previously Dr. Keane led the user office of the National Ignition Facility (NIF)—the world’s most energetic laser—at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. There he worked with a user group of approximately 400 members. He worked at the lab since 2007, following positions of increasing responsibility with the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration.

Bhuvana Srinivasan, Associate Professor Aeronautics and Astronautics College of Engineering, University of Washington

Bhuvana Srinivasan directs the PLASMAWISE (PLAsma Simulation for MAterial interactions, Waves, Instabilities, Shocks, Everything else plasma) laboratory which studies 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 energy system 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.


Thursday, October 12th from 1:45-2:30pm PT | Building the Fusion Energy Supply Chain (Track #2)

Moderator

Tammy Deets, International Business Development Specialist – Agtech, CleanTech, and Maritime, Washington State Department of Commerce

Tammy has a broad range of experience in both public and private sectors, including starting an international business consulting company in Hong Kong, co-founding a nonprofit to promote clean energy, and managing two political campaigns – one for a state senator and another for a city council seat. Currently, she is an international trade manager at the Washington State Department of Commerce. She brings her strong business development background to assist small and medium size enterprises in advanced manufacturing, agriculture technology, clean tech, and maritime sector to enter and/or expand in the international market.

Speakers

Dr. Richard Pearson, Chief Innovator, UK Director, Kyoto Fusioneering

Dr. Richard Pearson is co-founder of Kyoto Fusioneering, a Japanese fusion start-up, where he has served as Chief Innovator since starting the company in 2019. Richard drives the company’s innovation strategy, and is responsible for spearheading technology development, cultivating critical stakeholder partnerships, and championing cutting-edge R&D, all whilst maintaining a holistic view of market and product needs.

Richard is emerging as a young thought leader in the fusion sector, with his most significant contributions being in the areas of innovation and commercialization, fusion plant engineering, and policy and communication. He holds a PhD in Fusion Engineering and Innovation from The Open University (UK) and a MSc in nuclear engineering from Imperial College London. He also holds positions as a visiting senior research associate at both Kyoto University (Japan) and at the University of Bristol (UK), and is currently a Guest Editor for the Journal of Fusion Energy.

Andy Reardon, Account Manager, Keller Technology

Andy Reardon is an Account Manager for Keller Technology and works to bridge the gap between their customers cutting edge technology and Keller’s world class manufacturing capabilities. A graduate of University at Buffalo with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Andy has worked a variety of roles in several industries including managing a fabrication shop as it’s VP. This experience gave him the tools to apply a manufacturing mindset while looking at the rigorous drawings and specifications their customers need to meet their goals

Mike Sexsmith, Vice President, Engineering, General Fusion

Mike Sexsmith has more than 20 years of global engineering and industrial operations experience in the clean technology innovation sector. A dynamic leader, Mike has successfully guided large teams of researchers and engineers throughout the technology design and product development phases.

Mike previously served as Director of Diagnostics and Control Systems at General Fusion and, prior to joining the company, held leadership roles at Unilia and Ballard Power Systems Inc., where he supported the commercialization of fuel cell technology for clean energy applications.

Today, Mike sits on the Board of Directors of Amogy, a sustainable energy start-up. He holds a Master of Applied Science in Engineering Physics and Materials Engineering from the University of British Columbia.


Thursday, October 12th from 1:45-2:30pm PT | Fusion Engineering Needs (Track #3)

Moderator

Dr. Aditi Verma, Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan

Dr. Aditi Verma joined NERS in the Fall of 2021 as an Assistant Research Scientist and became an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2022. She supports and interacts with the Fastest Path team as a Faculty Associate. Verma is a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’s Project on Managing the Atom, and former Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center where she was jointly appointed by the Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program. At MIT, she was a Burchard Scholar and a Kelly-Douglas Fellow.

Speakers

Kate Kelly, Chief of Staff, Avalanche Energy

Kate is Chief of Staff at Avalanche Energy: a Seattle-based, venture-backed fusion energy startup developing modular fusion microreactors. Prior to joining Avalanche, Kate worked in Product Management at DreamBox Learning and Microsoft. Kate is an Electrical Engineer by training, having previously worked in nuclear consulting and always dreamed of working on Climate Tech. 

Dr. John McCloy, Professor and Director, School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Washington State University

Dr. McCloy is Professor and current Director of the School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering and Lindholm Endowed Chair in Materials Engineering at Washington State University (WSU). His professional career includes stints in industry, national laboratory, and academia sectors: a professor at WSU since 2013, and previously a research scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where he retains a joint appointment as Chief Scientist.

At WSU, he leads the Nuclear, Optical, Magnetic, & Electronic (NOME) Materials Lab and the Crystals and SemiConductors (CASC) group, both within the Institute of Materials Research (IMR). Together these scientists and engineers develop materials solutions for energy, environment, and security applications. Over his career, he has worked in diverse engineering aspects of cryogenics, composite structures, telescopes, optical ceramics, magnetic nanoparticles, nuclear fuels, and glasses for immobilization of radioactive waste.

Dr. Grant Cool, CSA, Motus Design Group

Dr. Cool holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, a B.A.Sc in Metallurgy and Material Science Engineering from University of Toronto, and is a licensed professional engineer in Canada.  Dr. Cool was a subject matter expert for Lockheed Martin on the development of its LMH-1 Hybrid Airship, and COO of Hybrid Enterprises, a spin-out of Lockheed Martin, created to build the global market for hybrid airships.

From 2000 to 2011, Dr. Cool was the President and Chief Engineer of Kivalliq Marine Exploration.  Numerous projects involved the development and implementation of hydrogen fuel cells.  Dr. Cool has also served on various corporate and association boards related to EV and hydrogen economy endeavors, including CHFCA and CHBC.

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