David Hammer

J.C. Ward Jr. Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering
Cornell University


Areas of Expertise:

DAVID A. HAMMER is the J. Carleton Ward Professor of Nuclear Energy Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. His current research interests are in the dynamics and radiative properties of high energy density plasmas produced by pulsed power machines. He presently serves as the Director of Cornell’s Center for Pulsed-Power-Driven High-Energy-Density Plasma Studies.

Professor Hammer received the B.S. degree in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1964 and the Ph.D. degree in applied physics from Cornell University in 1969. He then spent seven years at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., where he carried out theoretical research on streaming instabilities in plasmas and initiated experimental research on intense relativistic electron beam interaction with gases and plasmas. He was also a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Maryland from 1973-1976, where he studied non-neutral plasmas. Immediately before returning to Cornell as a faculty member in 1977, Dr. Hammer was an Associate Professor of Electrical Sciences and Engineering at UCLA. He spent the summer of 1977, the academic year 1983-84, the Spring semester 1991 and the Spring semester of 2005 in the Physics Department at Imperial College, London, as a Senior Visiting Fellow
studying z-pinch plasmas, the Spring of 1998 at Applied Materials, Inc., working with a plasma-processing group, and January – July, 2011 studying plasma jets for application to laboratory plasma astrophysics with colleagues at the Paris Observatory and at the CEA laboratory in Gramat, France.

Professor Hammer’s teaching in recent years has concentrated on plasma physics, controlled fusion and a seminar course on energy issues.

Hammer was elected to serve as Vice Chair and then Chair of DPP in 2003 and 2004, respectively. He represented DPP on the APS Council from 2006 until 2010 and has been a member of the APS Executive Board, the Budget Committee, the Committee on Committees and the Committee on Meetings. Currently, he serves on the APS nominating committee. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

Dr. Hammer is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), of IEEE and of the AAAS. In 2004, he was the winner of the IEEE Plasma Science and Applications Committee Award. He served as the Chair-Elect of the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2003, and as the Chair of the division in 2004. Dr. Hammer was elected Division Councillor of the DPP in 2006 and is serving a 4-year term on the APS Council as a result (2007-2010). He is serving as a member of the APS Executive Board during 2009 and 2010.

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