Ramon (Ray) J. Leeper received a S.B. in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1970) and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University (1975) in High Energy Nuclear Physics on the topic of meson spectroscopy.
Ray was a Research Associate at Iowa State’s Ames Laboratory from 1975-1976 conducting particle physics research at Argonne National Laboratory. He joined the Inertial Fusion Program at Sandia National Laboratories in March 1976 as an experimental staff physicist. In 1986, Ray was made department manager of Sandia’s Diagnostics and Target Physics Department managing the department’s efforts in the area of plasma diagnostics and inertial fusion target physics.
Ray is the author of approximately 190 publications and some 225 presentations in the areas of areas of inertial confinement fusion, plasma physics, plasma and nuclear diagnostics, intense ion beam physics, and elementary particle physics. The publications include two book chapters on nuclear and particle diagnostic techniques.
Ray has presented over 15 invited and plenary presentations at national and international physics conferences including lecturing at the NATO Advanced Study Institute, Castelvecchio Pascoli, Italy, and at the International School of Plasma Physics, Varenna, Italy. He holds a U. S. patent entitled Magnetically Insulated Diode For Generating Pulsed Neutron and Gamma Ray Emissions.
Ray has served on numerous national committees including the National Committee of the High Temperature Plasma Diagnostics Conference since 1990, the National Laser User Facility Steering Committee (NLUF) for two terms, the NIF Project Advisory Committee on the NIF Target Area (1994-1996), and on several APS Division of Plasma Physics and IEEE Plasma Science conference program committees. Currently Ray is serving on the selection committee for the DOE NNSA Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship program and is a member of the DOE Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC).
Ray has been chairman of the 9th and 17th Topical High Temperature Plasma Diagnostics Conferences and an IEEE Mini-Course on High Energy Density Plasma Diagnostics Techniques in 1997. Ray’s professional awards include a U.S. Department of Energy Award of Excellence in 1999 and Lockheed Martin Corporation’s NOVA Award for the production of the first thermonuclear neutrons on Sandia’s Z facility in 2003.