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Thomas Scott standing in front of a building at the University of California with two women and a photograph of a man

Student Spotlight: Thomas Scott

Mechanical engineering major Thomas Scott completed an internship with Lawrence Livermore National Lab during the summer 2023 semester.

I am Thomas Scott, an undergraduate senior pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. During my time at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), with the generous support of the Livermore Lab Foundation (LLF), I engaged in a computational engineering project relevant to national defense. This project centered on the validation of models for the novel Direct Laser Impulse (DLI) chamber within the lab’s National Ignition Facility (NIF).

I began by improving the simulated responses of individual cases, identifying relevant physics to prioritize and feasible ranges for the associated parameters. I then developed parallelized parameter exploration and calibration tools, employing Bayesian optimization techniques. Additionally, I created a graphical user interface, facilitating real-time manipulation of input parameters and visualization of study outcomes. The primary objective of these tools was to provide calibration of unspecified parameters and to ascertain uncertainty, incorporating a blend of machine learning algorithms and user-driven inputs, ultimately facilitating efficient while still well-informed conclusions.

In addition to the opportunity to gain real world experience, LLNL and LLF provided many talks regarding lab-related projects, theory, and history. The experience overall was challenging and interesting, while facilitating my early exploration into the field of computational engineering. Stop by the Engineering Professional Practice Office for more information on their coop and internship programs.

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