Graduate Students

Molly Aslin

Molly Aslin is a PhD student in the NEEP Department. She is originally from Memphis, TN and studied physics at Mount Holyoke College before coming to Wisconsin. Outside of work she enjoys baking, knitting sweaters, and listening to Taylor Swift.


Louise Ferris

Louise Ferris is a Ph.D. student in the NEEP department. She grew up near Philadelphia, PA, and remains a raging fan of the Philadelphia Eagles (go birds). Louise studied physics and Spanish at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh before joining Pegasus. In her free time, she enjoys birding and drinking boba tea.



Jill Peery

Jill Peery is a Ph.D. student in the Physics department, working on simulations related to RF-EBW heating and current drive. She’s originally from Washington state and went to undergrad at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon before coming to Madison. Outside of work, she enjoys swimming, creative writing and playing with her cat.


Chris Pierren

Chris Pierren came to Wisconsin to pursue a PhD in plasma physics in theNEEP department after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Electrical Engineering. His engineering background has been put to use in upgrades to the Pegasus control systems. These upgrades enabled experiments exploring the sustainment of tokamak-like plasmas initiated with local helicity injection current drive; the topic of his PhD research. When not staring at computer screens he enjoys getting outside and giving Temo a hard time.

Anupama Rajendra

Anupama is a Masters student in the NEEP Department studying the impact of plasma-material interactions during local helicity injection on Pegasus.


Sophie Redd




Cuauhtemoc Rodriguez Sanchez

Temo is a Ph.D. student in NEEP who studies the impurity content of LHI plasmas on Pegasus. He is originally from Durango, Mexico, and he attended the University of Texas at Austin where he majored in Physics before moving to Madison to pursue his passion for fusion energy. Outside of work, Temo enjoys playing fútbol, weightlifting, running, and cross-training. He hates taking rest days. More recently he has rekindled a childhood passion for martial arts, earning an orange belt in Kung Fu. Fun fact: His post-grad school aspiration is to be Harvey Specter and/or Cristiano Ronaldo.

R. Sassella

Sassella is a Ph.D. student in the Physics Department studying magnetic turbulence and current drive on Pegasus. She grew up in rural Oklahoma and majored in engineering at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. When not in the lab, she is often to be found dancing, hiking, enthusing about housing cooperatives, or swimming in Lake Mendota.



Carolyn Schaefer

Carolyn Schaefer is a Ph.D. student in the NEEP Department who has worked on characterizing the magnetic structure of LHI plasmas on Pegasus. She grew up in a small town north of New York City called Cold Spring and studied Nuclear Engineering at MIT prior to starting graduate studies at UW-Madison. Outside of work, Carolyn enjoys crafty baking, weightlifting, hiking, skiing, and boogie-ing to fun music with her friends. Fun fact: she hopes to have learned how to wink by the time she graduates.

Tim Tierney

Tim Tierney is a Ph.D. student in the NEEP Department. Tim is investigating the electron heating and confinement in CHI plasmas on Pegasus-III. He is also responsible for the updating, maintaining, and operating the multi-point Thomson scattering (MPTS) diagnostic, which is used to measure electron temperature and density. Tim grew up in St. Louis, MO, and majored in physics and mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. In his free time, Tim enjoys taking his two dogs for walks, reading science fiction, and cheering on St. Louis sports teams.


Justin Weberski

Justin Weberski is a Ph.D. student in the NEEP Department who has worked on validating predictive modeling capabilities of LHI plasmas on Pegasus. More recently, Justin has been working on equilibrium modeling for scenarios on Pegasus-III to help inform the design of the new divertor coil set, CHI electrode design, and internal magnetic diagnostic suite. He grew up in a western suburb of Chicago called St.Charles, IL and studied Nuclear Engineering at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana prior to starting his graduate studies at UW-Madison. Outside of work, Justin likes to spend his time following his favorite Chicago sports teams (Cubs, Bears, and Bulls), weightlifting, playing softball, snowboarding, listening to country music, and finding his next TV show to binge-watch.

Undergraduate Students

Maddie Oswald