David Larbalestier

Chief Materials Scientist

In addition to his role as chief materials scientist, David Larbalestier is the Krafft Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

Larbalestier has been active in superconductivity ever since his Ph.D., when his thesis work gained the Matthey Prize of Imperial College London. At the Superconducting Magnet Research Group of the Rutherford Laboratory, he worked for four years on the development of multifilamentary Nb3Sn conductors and magnets. This work culminated in the first filamentary Nb3Sn magnets, one outcome of which was the first filamentary Nb3Sn NMR magnet (470 MHz), for which he shared a 1978 IR-100 award with an Oxford Instrument Company team.

In 1976 Larbalestier joined the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he taught in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Department of Physics, and held both the L. V. Shubnikov Chair and the David Grainger Chair of Superconductivity. His group has had a large influence on the understanding and application of both low- and high-temperature superconductors, and made the definitive studies of the materials science and processing of the most widely used superconductor, niobium titanium.

Larbalestier has been active in promoting collaborations uniting industry, national laboratory and other university groups. His leadership in both the low-temperature and high-temperature materials superconductor communities has led to prizes from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Council for Chemical Research for his work and that of his collaborators on (Bi,Pb)2Sr2Ca2Cu3O10-x.

He has served on many review panels of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE), was a member of the 1987 National Academy of Sciences Panel on High Temperature Superconductivity, and led the 1996 World Technology Evaluation Center Panel on Energy Applications of Superconductors sponsored by DOE and NSF.

In 2000 he was a visiting professor at the University of Geneva and a visiting fellow at Imperial College London. In 2007 he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award of the International Cryogenic Materials Conference, and in 2009-2010 was the Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Council on Superconductivity. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Physics (UK), the National Academy of Inventors, the IEEE, the Materials Research Society and the AAAS.

Larbalestier is presently a member of U.S. Department of Energy’s High Energy Physics Advisory Panel and the National Materials and Manufacturing Board of the National Research Council. His work has been supported by several arms of the DOE, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, ITER, CERN and numerous U.S. national laboratories. His 490 publications have received more than 17,000 citations.

See publications.

Email: David Larbalestier

Photo credit: Stephen Bilenky

Last modified on 15 September 2020