(Sacramento) – Today, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda) announced her Woman of The Year for the 16th Assembly District, Dr. Tammy Ma. Dr. Ma is an experimental plasma physicist at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). She graduated from Caltech with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering (2005), then received her M.S. (2008) and Ph.D. (2010), both from the University of California, San Diego. Tammy completed a postdoctoral fellowship at LLNL before becoming a staff scientist at LLNL in 2012. She leads a number of the fusion experiments at the NIF, the world’s largest, most energetic laser, and heads the X-Ray Analysis Group for the Inertial Confinement Fusion program.
“I am extremely pleased to announce Dr. Tammy Ma as my Woman of the Year for Assembly District 16. A Pleasanton resident and first generation American, Dr. Ma is strongly committed to education, and to mentoring and encouraging young students who share her passion for science. I congratulate her on this much-deserved award” said Assemblywoman Bauer-Kahan. “I am proud to highlight her accomplishments and lift up a woman in science” finished Bauer-Kahan.
Dr. Ma chairs the LLNL Lab-Wide Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program, an internal R&D funding program enabling highly innovative, high-risk, high-payoff projects at the forefront of science and technology. In this role, she manages and directs a $7.5 million portfolio of fundamental and applied research activities, with an emphasis on recruiting, training, and mentoring top talent in new and emerging fields.
Tammy is strongly committed to education and scientific outreach. She volunteers regularly for Expanding Your Horizons (local science festivals for young girls) and the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair. She frequently gives STEM lectures to youth (for a recent “Science on Saturday” presentation, e.g.), and teaches at the summer LLNL Teacher Research Academies. Tammy often gives public tours of NIF and appears regularly on podcasts, videos, and other media to share her passion for science. During her career at the Lab, she has mentored many postdocs, graduate, and undergraduate students.
Dr. Ma has authored or co-authored over 150 refereed journal publications and given over 75 presentations at international conferences. Tammy received a Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering in 2016, the 2016 Stix Award for Outstanding Early Career Contributions to Plasma Research from the American Physical Society for her work in quantifying hydrodynamic instability mix in ICF implosions, and a DOE Early Career Research Award in 2018. She is one of 40 early career scientists worldwide appointed to a 2-year term as a Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum. She is a member of the Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee, advising the Department of Energy’s Office of Science on complex scientific and technological issues related to fusion energy and plasma research.