Graduate Studies

The Institute for Shock Physics is a multidisciplinary research organization within the College of Arts and Sciences at Washington State University.  Institute faculty participants from the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Engineering and Architecture study the response of materials at extreme conditions. Students from various academic departments can carry out research projects for Ph.D. degrees at the Institute.  Students affiliated with the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, Mechanical and Materials Engineering, and the Materials Science and Engineering Program are encouraged to explore the research opportunities within the Institute.

The active involvement of the faculty in research, extensive experimental facilities, hands-on experience, and access to the DOE NNSA National Laboratories (Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, and Sandia) provide a unique opportunity to graduate students in the physical sciences and engineering.  The close working relationships between graduate students and senior researchers allow mentoring and professional acquaintances that will grow beyond that of the typical classroom environment, which culminates into a mutually satisfying experience. Washington State University graduates in the field of shock physics have moved on to successful professional careers. Financial support for outstanding graduate students is available through either Research Assistantships or the ISP Graduate Scholar Award.  Required qualifications include an interest in ISP research activities, an excellent academic record, and admission to an academic department in the physical sciences or engineering at WSU.

Graduate Student Highlights

Graduate student in laboratory.

Name:  Travis Volz
Degree: Ph.D., Physics (2020)
Research Topic: Using time-resolved X-ray diffraction measurements to examine structural transformations in shocked solids.
Current Employer: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Graduate student in laboratory.

Name: Sakun Duwal
Degree: Ph.D., Chemistry (2018)
Research Topic: Phase Transitions, Metallization, Superconductivity and Magnetic Ordering in Dense Carbon Disulfide and Chemical Analogs
Current Employer: Sandia National Laboratories

Graduate student in laboratory

Name: Anirban Mandal
Degree: Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering (2016)
Research Topic: Examining, both experimentally and computationally, the elastic-plastic deformation of shock compressed Molybdenum (Mo) single crystals.
Current Employer: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Graduate student examines object through a lens.

Name: Seth Root
Degree: Ph.D., Physics (2007)
Research Topic: Examining physical and chemical changes in multiply shock compressed liquid benzene using optical spectroscopy.
Current Employer: Sandia National Laboratories