Flash Center Members

Faculty & Administration

Petros Tzeferacos (He/Him/His)
Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and Senior Scientist at the LLE
Director, Flash Center for Computational Science
Bausch and Lomb 370,   T: 585.275.4382


Petros earned his Ph.D. in Physics and Astrophysics from the Physics Department of the University of Turin, Italy, where he worked on accretion disk dynamics, numerical methods for computational astrophysics, and the development of the astrophysics code PLUTO. In 2012 he joined the Flash Center for Computational Science at the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics of the University of Chicago. Petros became the code group leader of FLASH and associate director of the Flash Center in 2013 and its director in 2018. In 2020, Petros and the Flash Center moved to the University of Rochester. He studies fundamental astrophysical plasma processes with a focus on magnetized turbulence and dynamo.

Adam Reyes (He/Him/His)
Research Scientist
Code Group Leader, Flash Center for Computational Science
Bausch and Lomb 369

Adam is a research scientist and the code group leader. He received his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California Santa Cruz while doing work for the Flash Center. He is currently working on the Milton project, dealing with airfoils in wind tunnels and lasers. While the science itself is gratifying, he most enjoys working with students, and has received an award for excellence in teaching and mentorship. Adam likes boulder rock climbing and cooking, but only when he isn’t pursuing the perfect of coffee.

Eddie Hansen (He/Him/His)
Research Scientist
Applications Group Leader, Flash Center for Computational Science
Bausch and Lomb 369

Eddie is a research scientist at the Flash Center working on simulations for alternative fusion concepts. He earned his Ph.D. in physics and astronomy from the University of Rochester, and in the past has worked on projects for a particle accelerator group in Colorado. He works with computational and laboratory astrophysics, and inertial confinement and magneto-inertial fusion. He greatly enjoys math and physics and is enthusiastic about the work he does.

Jenni Oliver (She/Her/Hers)
Business Administrator, Flash Center for Computational Science
Bausch and Lomb 206A


Jenni is the business administrator for the Flash Center. She received her Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Rochester. Jenni maintains the finances for the Flash Center and is the grant administrator for the Physics and Astronomy Department, which includes looking for and applying to grant opportunities that are beneficial to the Flash Center. Jenni enjoys spending time with her family and her constant companion, her Siberian Husky Stormy.

Computational Scientists & Software Engineers

Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback (He/Him/His)
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Computational Scientist with CIRC
Bausch and Lomb 455A

Jonathan Carroll-Nellenback is a computational and research scientist who received his Bachelors in Applied Mathematics with a Physics minor from Asbury University and his Ph.D. in Physics & Astronomy from the University of Rochester. His research interests include star formation, molecular clouds, and the interaction between stellar winds and planetary bodies. He enjoys soccer, ping pong, the piano, and spending time with his three kids.

Rich Sarkis (He/Him/His)
Software Engineer & IT Specialist
Bausch and Lomb 470

Baowei Liu
Computational Scientist
Bausch and Lomb 455A

Baowei Liu is a Computational Scientist at the University of Rochester. He received his bachelors in material science from Nanjing University and his master and Ph.D. in computational physics from the University of South Carolina. He offers technical support to the FLASH Center as well as the Center for Integrated Research Computing(CIRC) where he assists the university research community with various aspects of computation, data analysis, simulation, and software installation and maintenance using CIRC clusters and cloud resources. He serves as the University of Rochester’s XSEDE Campus Champion.

Vipul Vaidya (He/Him/His)
Software Engineer
Bausch and Lomb 373

Postdoctoral Scholars

David Michta (He/Him/His)
Postdoctoral Associate
Bausch and Lomb 371

David is completing his postdoctoral studies with the Flash Center, and is currently running simulations for advanced fusion concepts and adding aspects of quantum mechanics to the FLASH Code. He received his Ph.D. in plasma physics from Princeton University while working at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. David has done work with creating mathematical models in quantum hydrodynamics, and was excited to see results match up with experimental data. Some day he wishes to return to California and conduct his own research and coding. He also plays guitar and has performed with bands.

Victor Tranchant (He/Him/His)
Postdoctoral Associate
Bausch and Lomb 371

Victor is a french Postdoctoral Associate who obtained his Ph.D. in Physics and Astrophysics from the Sorbonne University in Paris, France, where he worked on radiation waves and mathematical modeling of new classes of laboratory astrophysics experiments. He is now working on high energy density physics between these two scales of astrophysics and the laboratory, with a recent focus on Staged Z pinches and radiation-matter coupling in those systems. He hopes to be able to pursue a career in this field of research in the future. Outside of sciences, he is a fan of any kind of sports, especially football (or soccer as people call it here) and enjoys playing guitar and saxophone.

Visiting Scientists

Josh Sauppe (He/Him/His)
Visiting Scientist

Josh Sauppe is a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory working in the Plasma Theory and Applications group. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, focusing on extended magnetohydrodynamic modeling of the reversed field pinch device. He is currently investigating hydrodynamic instability growth in convergent systems in the high-energy-density physics regime using laser-driven cylindrical implosion experiments. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and a good cup of coffee.

Graduate Students

Abigail Armstrong (She/They)
Graduate Research Asst., Horton Fellow
Bausch and Lomb 373

Abbey is a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. She works with tdyno and is working to add a Braginskii viscosity to the FLASH Code in order to increase FLASH’s fidelity in HEDP regimes. She enjoys having the ability to approach a problem from multiple different angles and is working to introduce herself to the field. She is interested in laboratory plasma and astrophysics, computational magnetohydrodynamics, and turbulent dynamo. Abbey is also very passionate about teaching and outreach. Outside of her work, she enjoys watching European soccer, rock climbing, guitar, and being outdoors.

Kassie Moczulski (She/They)
Graduate Research Asst., Horton Fellow
Bausch and Lomb 373

Kassie is a fourth year Ph.D. student at the University of Rochester from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and is especially interested in plasma physics. She is currently working on FLASH simulations for turbulent dynamo, particle acceleration, and other plasma physics experiments. She has developed a circuit model in FLASH. When not working on physics you can find Kassie walking their dog, rock climbing, hiking, or driving cross country.

Periklis Farmakis (He/Him/His)
Graduate Research Asst., Horton Fellow
Bausch and Lomb 373

Pericles is a Ph.D. student at the University of Rochester working with the Flash Center from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is currently working to improve the FLASH Code to be able to create more accurate HEDP simulations by implementing a new EOS table reader into the FLASH Code. He is also part of the LLE's Theory Division, and his work there will help create valuable tools for designing ICF implosions. He is interested in high energy density and nuclear physics, and astronomy. He enjoys his travels around Europe, especially to Italy.

Ananya Mohapatra (She/Her/Hers)
Graduate Research Asst.
Bausch and Lomb 373

Ananya Mohapatra received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the National Institute for Science Education and Research (NISER) in Bhubaneswar, India. She is working on simulations of high energy density physics and plans to work more with magnetized turbulence. She is proud to have pursued Physics and hopes to contribute to the development of science in her country one day. In her free time she enjoys painting, playing ping pong and badminton, and she loves beaches.

Yangyuxin 'Amy' Zou (She/Her/Hers)
Graduate Research Asst.
Bausch and Lomb 373

Amy is a PhD student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. She has been working on astrophysics related simulations and is interested in the common envelope phase of binary stars. She joined the FLASH center in 2023 and will soon be assisting with turbulent dynamo experiment analysis. Amy is an active member of PASSAGE and coordinates outreach events for graduate students in the department. She enjoys art, reading, and singing with local choral groups.

Mary McMullan (She/Her/Hers)
Graduate Research Asst., NSF GRFP Fellow
Bausch and Lomb 373

Mary is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. She originally joined the Flash Center for Computational Science as an REU student in 2021, where she contributed to the native SESAME EOS reader released in FLASH 4.7. Mary enjoys computational physics and astrophysics. She is motivated by education and outreach, and hopes to become a tenure-track professor in the future. In her free time she enjoys swimming, playing video games with her friends, and painting.

Tristan Bachmann (He/They)
Graduate Research Asst.
Bausch and Lomb 373

Tristan is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. They are new to the Flash Center, having worked with the Dark Energy Survey's Gravitational Waves group for the last three years, and are interested in computational astrophysics, especially exploring compact objects, accretion, jets, and other high energy astrophysical phenomena. They are currently beginning work with the CMEC collaboration to expand the capabilities of FLASH in the laboratory astrophysics regime, which includes introducing FPEOS into FLASH for research on giant impacts. They are also invested in education and outreach, and hope to eventually become a professor. In their free time they enjoy hiking, playing guitar and singing, and playing both tabletop and video games.

Undergraduate Students

Shenghao (Kevin) Hong (He/Him/His)
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Kevin studies Physics and Economics at the University of Rochester. His interest in nuclear fusion and aerodynamics in motorsports led him to explore computational physics. At FLASH, he works on validating the implementation of the split-cell method in wind tunnel simulations of airfoils. Specifically, he studies the extent of split-cells' capability to inhibit the appearance of Prandtl-Meyer fans during supersonic and hypersonic simulations. Outside of physics, Kevin is also interested in quantitative finance and economics. In his spare time, he plays basketball and skis when winter comes. He also has way too many keyboards.

REU Students

Lars Pedersen (He/Him/His)
Undergraduate Student Researcher, Summer 2024

Lars is a senior majoring in Physics and Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His project for the Flash Center is finding a way for FLASH to have custom CAD input through STL files. He enjoys theoretical and computational physics and aims to pursue a Ph.D. after graduating. With his free time, he likes to play and create video games, play music, craft with yarn, and explore.

Reid Pfaltzgraff-Carlson (He/Him/His)
Undergraduate Student Researcher, Summer 2024

Reid is working as an REU student, and is a rising junior at Kenyon College majoring in physics. He is studying the applications of foams in nuclear fusion ignition using FLASH. He is interested in computational physics and plasma physics, and plans to pursue further work related to fusion energy. Outside of physics, Reid enjoys exploring nature, reading manga, and fixing cars.

Ellie McGhee (She/Her/Hers)
Undergraduate Student Researcher, Summer 2023

Ellie McGhee is a junior majoring in Physics and Mathematics with a minor in computer science at Saint Louis University. She is currently working on a project to implement new models of ion electron heat exchange within the FLASH code. She is interested in computational astrophysics and plasma physics, and hopes to pursue a Ph.D. after undergraduate. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, working at the St. Louis Renaissance Faire, and playing various string instruments.

Nahalia Samules (She/Her/Hers)
Undergraduate Student Researcher, Summer 2023

Nahalia is a non-traditional undergraduate at a Liberal Arts College in Southern California. She's working towards her associate in engineering & plans to transfer for her B.S. in Astrophysics using FLASH. Her introduction to Python through CRANE Computational Research Access Network connected her to a summer internship at the University of Rochester's Flash Center. Her research was to verify that FLASH could capture the stabilization effect for the Rayleigh-Taylor Instability in the presence of magnetic fields. At home, Nahalia is a peer mentor/tutor who enjoys teaching & outreach; she’s also the Event Planner for Astronomy Club. Her non-academic activities include: night sky observation, surfing, flamenco, her guitar & napping with her two little dogs Madison & Oliver.

Nathan Mangus
Undergraduate Student Researcher, Summer 2023

Nathan Mangus is working as an REU student, and is a rising senior at West Virginia University studying Physics and Applied Mathematics. He is developing and analyzing a simulation that models an experiment to study the Rayleigh Taylor Instability caused by a laser driven shock. He enjoys learning about partial differential equations and numerical methods to solve problems. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in a field related to computational physics. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with friends, listening to music, and playing video games.

Niels Vanderloo (He/Him/His)
Undergraduate Student Researcher, Summer 2022

Niels Vanderloo is a first-year graduate student working in the HEDP group at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He previously worked with the FLASH center as an REU student in 2022 while attending Oberlin College. With FLASH, Niels wrote unit tests for extended magnetohydrodynamics, including the Hall Drift and Whistler waves as well as the Biermann Battery effect. At MIT, he is beginning work on a mix of computational and experimental projects. Outside of science, he runs cross country and track and loves every second of it!

Former Members

Research Scientists

Fernando Garcia Rubio
Assistant Scientist
Laboratory for Laser Energetics

Fernando Garcia-Rubio received a degree in aerospace engineering through a dual program with Universidad Politécnica Madrid and ISAE-Supaero Toulouse in France. He received his Ph.D. from Universidad Politécnica Madrid. He mostly enjoys working with hydrodynamic instability in HEDP and ICF. He also studied self-similar processes in ICF involving thermal and Nernst waves. He would like to provide simulation support via the FLASH Code to experimental campaigns at UR-LLE and perform simulations of hydrodynamic instabilities. Outside of science, Fernando enjoys the difficult art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, snowboarding, wakeboarding, climbing, occasionally playing guitar, and spending time with his small dog Lea.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Yingchao Lu (He/Him/His)
Postdoctoral Associate
Bausch and Lomb 371

Yingchao Lu is a postdoctoral scholar at the Flash Center for Computational Science. Yingchao received a B.S. in physics from University of Science and Technology of China in 2015, and a Ph.D. in physics from Rice University in 2020. From 2018 to 2020, he was a graduate research assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His Ph.D. thesis was on modeling and analysis for magnetized high-energy-density laser driven plasma flows. In his research, Yingchao performs numerical simulations using FLASH to design and analyze experiments for laboratory astrophysics. He enjoys walking long distances and reading history books.

Graduate Students

Marissa Adams (She/Her/Hers)
Graduate Research Asst.

Marissa received her Ph.D. from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester in 2022. She spearheads Solid Liner and Gas Puff Z-pinch developments in the FLASH Code and has contributed to several magnetized plasma experimental campaigns through validated numerical modeling. Community and culture motivate her desire to do research. Her research interests revolve around magnetohydrodynamics, turbulence, and how plasma properties impact the overall dynamics of systems. She has a pet bearded dragon named Aphrodite, enjoys Greek dance, and sustainable crafting projects.

Undergraduate Students

Victor Chang (He/Him/His)
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Victor Chang is a rising senior and REU student for the University of Rochester. He enjoys computational physics and quantum computing and is currently working on eliminating carbuncle instabilities from Riemann solvers and implementing new solvers into the FLASH Code. Outside of work he loves to play ultimate frisbee and this past season, his club team made it to Nationals. He enjoys traveling and has lived in four different countries. He plays lots of video games in his spare time, his current favorite is Inscryption. He has a dog, but admits to preferring cats.

Kyra Ulreich
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Kyra Ulreich is a rising college freshman at the University of Tennessee, and an aspiring astrophysicist and opera singer. She works on creating things to be put on the website and occasionally runs simpler unit tests. She is interested in many fields of physics including astrophysics and nuclear physics, and enjoys learning about the life cycles of stars. She is an enthusiastic vocalist, having been classically trained since she was nine years old, and she participated in the Tennessee All State 2022 Treble Chorus.

Mokin Lee
Undergraduate Student Researcher

Mokin Lee is working as an REU student, and is a rising senior studying mechanical engineering at the University of Rochester. He works on developing analytical methods for opacity models within the Flash Center. He would like to follow his interest in scientific programming by exploring it within the FLASH Code. Outside of his scientific endeavors, Mokin enjoys drawing and spending time with his beloved dog.