Buenaventura IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology

Rocket Science, Cancer and the Movies: Pulsed Power at USC
Dr. Martin Gundersen

Wednesday, September 26, 2007 7 PM
CLU - Richter Hall, Ahmanson Science Building

This talk will describe promising and sometimes surprising applications of pulsed power research that is being conducted at USC. These include:

  1. Aerospace and ground-based engine applications of pulsed power to flame ignition of fuels, and ignition of pulse detonation engines (PDE). Advanced pulsed power enables plasma in a formative, or transient, phase to be used for ignition of fuel. This allows volume ignition with low energy cost and considerably reduced delay to ignition – resulting, for PDE, in the enabling of higher thrust (in testing at Navy and Air Force laboratories and several universities). Extensions of this work to internal combustion engines will be discussed.
  1. Biomedical engineering applications including studies of nanosecond pulsed electric fields applied to cancer cells in vitro and tumors in vivo. This work, in collaboration with the Alfred Mann Institute, includes biophotonic studies of the effects of intense nanosecond electric fields on various cancer cell lines. Animal studies conducted with catheter-based pulsed power delivery systems are showing promise for therapies for potential cancer therapies.
  1. Finally, a project (tenuously connected to pulsed power) to foster and encourage improved portrayals of science in film will be discussed. Goals include stimulating interest in science and engineering in children, and improving perceptions of science in society. Innovations include workshops at the American Film Institute for teaching scriptwriting and other aspects of the film industry to scientists and engineers.

Dr. Martin Gundersen
USC Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Gundersen's research activities are in applied plasma science with applications to combustion, pollution control, and pulsed power; quantum electronics, semiconductor devices and physics, and biophysics. Current interests include applications of pulsed power to biological cells, and investigation of cellular responses to pulsed electrical fields.

Dr. Gundersen was technical advisor to Tristar Pictures during production of the motion picture Real Genius, playing the Math Professor. He has worked with the American Film Institute on workshops for science fiction writers for television and motion pictures.

Dr. Gundersen holds a Ph.D in Physics from USC. He has held visiting academic and professional positions at Caltech, C.E.R.N., UCLA, and MIT. Dr. Gundersen is an IEEE and an OSA Fellow and received the 2000 Germeshausen Award of the IEEE Power Modulator Symposium.


Meeting Site: California Lutheran University Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center,
Second Floor, rooms 253/254, 130 Overton Court, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Meetings are free, and open to the public
Dinner: Available at 6 p.m. for $12 payable at the door, no RSVP needed.
Parking: Parking is free outside of the Gilbert Sports Center
Contact: Steve Johnson, sfjohnso@ieee.org
Our Sponsors: California Lutheran UniversityIEEE EMB SocietyThe Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern CaliforniaIEEE Buenaventura SectionAmgen FoundationAmeriprise Financial Services, Inc., D. F. Rick Speidel, Financial AdvisorMicroJoining SolutionsWabash Power