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Stephanie Diem
February 1, 2024

Diem selected for 2024-26 NASEM New Voices program cohort

Written By: Staff


Steffi Diem, an assistant professor in the UW-Madison Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, has been named as a member of the 2024-26 New Voices cohort at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

A total of 26 outstanding early- and mid-career scientists, engineers and medical professionals were selected for the 2024 cohort. The members will engage in the advisory and convening work of the National Academies, develop their own interdisciplinary projects, and add to the building of a robust network of emerging STEM leaders across the United States and around the world. New Voices aims to expand the diversity of expertise engaged in the work of the National Academies while developing a network of U.S. leaders to address national and global challenges.

Diem was a member of the previous cohort will extend her service by one year to join the new cohort.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Diem’s experimental plasma physics research focuses on using microwaves to heat and drive current in magnetically confined, high-temperature plasmas for fusion energy development. Diem is the principal investigator of UW-Madison’s Pegasus-III experiment, a new magnetic confinement fusion experiment funded by the U.S. Department of Energy studying innovative plasma startup techniques in an effort to reduce the cost and complexity of future fusion reactors. She was an invited speaker at the 2022 White House Summit: Developing a Bold Decadal Vision for Commercial Fusion Energy. She is taking part in a new collaboration built on open-science principles that will use machine learning to advance our knowledge of promising sources of magnetic fusion energy. The multi-institutional team of researchers is working to create a platform to publicly share data they glean from several unique fusion devices, including the Pegasus-III experiment, and optimize that data for analysis using artificial intelligence tools.

Diem’s New Voices activities have included: co-author JEE article engineering education, New Voices One Health Webinar Series and she has worked on several projects through the NAS Science & Entertainment Exchange. Prior to New Voices, she was one of the organizers of the Early Career Fusion Scientists (ECFS) forum, a grassroots organization which initiated discussions and polling among the early career community to provide input to the National Academies’ Committee on a Strategic Plan for U.S. Burning Plasma Research.