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Brian Nelson

Affiliate Research Professor
Data Science
134 AERL
Campus Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195
Phone: 206-543-7143
Research Web Page: Flow Z-Pinch


Brian A. Nelson is a research professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He has participated in plasma physics research for over 35 years, at the UW, the Australian National University and the Universities of Wisconsin-Madison and Iowa. Nelson’s research areas include fusion energy research, EUV light production and plasma processing. These research areas involve the development of high-voltage pulsed-power, high-power IGBT switching power amplifiers, feedback control systems, data acquisition, embedded Linux systems and computational physics simulations. He has also been actively participating in the non-inductive startup of the National Spherical Torus Experiment Upgrade (NSTX-U) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Research Projects

Recent Publications

  • Nelson, B.A.; Jarboe, T.R.; Mueller, D.; Raman, R.; Bell, M.; Menard, J.; Ono, M.; Roquemore, A.L.; Soukhanovskii, V.; Yuh, H., “Demonstration of 300 kA CHI-startup current, coupling to transformer drive and flux savings on NSTX”, Nuclear Fusion, v 51, n 6, June 2011
  • Victor, B.S.; Akcay, C.; Hansen, C.J.; Jarboe, T.R.; Nelson, B.A.; Morgan, K.D., “Development of validation metrics using biorthogonal decomposition for the comparison of magnetic field measurements”, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, v 57, n 4, p 045010, April 2015
  • Hansen, C.; Victor, B.; Morgan, K.; Jarboe, T.; Hossack, A.; Marklin, G.; Nelson, B.A.; and Sutherland, D., “Numerical studies and metric development for validation of magnetohydrodynamic models on the HIT-SI experiment” Physics of Plasmas, v 22, n 5, p 056105, May 2015
  • T. R. Jarboe, B. A. Nelson, and D. A. Sutherland, “A mechanism for the dynamo terms to sustain closed-flux current, including helicity balance, by driving current which crosses the magnetic field”, Physics of Plasmas, v 22, n 7, p 072503, July 2015
  • Knecht, S.D.; Golingo, R.P.; Nelson, B.A.; and Shumlak, U., “Calculation of the equilibrium evolution of the ZaP flow Z-pinch using a four-chord interferometer”, IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, v 43, n 8, pt.2, p 2469-79, Aug. 2015
  • R Raman, T Brown, LA El-Guebaly, TR Jarboe, BA Nelson, JE Menard, “Design Description for a Coaxial Helicity Injection Plasma Start-Up System for a ST-FNSF”, Fusion Science and Technology, v 68, 3, October 2015