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Leadership Team

Associate Director for FEL Division

George Neil is Associate Director of the Free-Electron Laser Division and a Principal Scientist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab), a Department of Energy particle accelerator facility run for nuclear physics research. Neil is responsible for developing the Free-Electron Laser (FEL) systems that convert electron-beam energy into light and apply that light for materials processing. His past responsibilities include managing the development and maintenance of roughly 350 radio-frequency sources at 1500 MHz for the linear accelerator, the development and operation of the world’s largest 2K helium refrigeration plant, the management of the electron-beam injector development, and technical development of the Free-Electron Laser program.

Neil received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering Science at the University of Virginia in 1970. Following service in the U.S. Army, he attended the University of Wisconsin where he received a Master's of Science in Nuclear Engineering in 1975, followed by a Ph.D. in the same field in 1977.

Neil’s professional career has spanned many areas of technology development including plasma physics, nuclear engineering, lasers and accelerator technology development in the aerospace industry, universities and at national laboratories. He spent 10 years at TRW Defense and Space Systems Group in Los Angeles with responsibility for Isotope Separation Sources and Free-Electron Laser Development, including management of the $20-million High Power Components Program. That was followed by three years as FEL Chief Scientist for TRW at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Neil holds 12 patents and has lectured and published extensively internationally. He was Editor of the Journal of Infrared Physics and Technology for five years. He is a Life Member of Sigma Xi, a Fellow of the American Physics Society, a Fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society, and co-winner of the Year 2000 International FEL Prize and a co-winner in 2005 of an R&D 100 Award for his work in developing high- power FELs and their application. He is a member of the FEL International Executive Committee and the International Advisory Board of the IEEE IR and Millimeter Wave Conference.