WVU physics professor tapped to lead 10-year strategic planning exercise for U.S. Dept. of Energy Fusion Energy Sciences office

wvuCongress wants a fusion strategy and it wants it in six months. Demanding a 10-year Strategic Plan for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fusion Energy Sciences in the FY 2014 Appropriations bill, Congress has appointed Mark Koepke, Robert C. Byrd Professor of physics and astronomy at West Virginia University, to lead the strategic planning exercise.

Koepke will present the subcommittee’s report to the public on Sep. 22 in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

His subcommittee of 18 experts from various fields is in the process of ranking several dozen priorities and four budget scenarios.

These scenarios will focus on continuing and potential new program investments to ensure the U.S. is in a position to exert long-term leadership roles in specific sectors of plasma and energy science.

Koepke was appointed chair of the U.S. Department of Energy Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee in 2013.

In April, Koepke was appointed chair of the subcommittee, where he organized six days of talks in June and July by speakers from across the nation and world to discuss initiatives with the plasma science and fusion communities.

Motivated by the need to establish the scientific basis for advancing fusion nuclear science, the strategic planning report will also include the subcommittee’s views on new facilities, new research initiatives and facility closures.

The committee provides independent advice to the director of the Office of Science on complex scientific and technological issues that arise in the planning, implementation and management of the fusion energy sciences program.

The committee, whose members are drawn from universities, national laboratories, and industrial companies, conducts its business in public meetings and submits reports containing its advice and recommendations to the director of the Office of Science.

Notices of upcoming committee meetings are published in the Federal Register at least two weeks before the scheduled date of the meeting.

This information describing the strategic planning subcommittee’s process is available at www.BurningPlasma.org/activities.

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