Upon entering college at UC Berkeley, the technical aspects and cultural benefits of improving the energy industry led Theresa to choose mechanical engineering as her focus. As she became more familiar with the wide range of energy options which are being explored as alternatives to coal and oil, she became fascinated with nuclear energy, choosing to also pursue nuclear science and engineering. Theresa worked as a mechanical engineer during summers at various companies like the American Bridge Company and the Chevron Richmond Refinery. She later pursued research in nuclear science at UC Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. At LBNL, she was introduced to plasma physics in heavy ion beams, which sparked her interest in plasma physics for fusion technology. Post baccalaureate, she moved to Atlanta to study nuclear fusion at Georgia Tech, where she is currently a PhD student researching edge pedestal physics in tokamak plasmas.
Theresa currently researches the physics of the tokamak edge pedestal with respect to the radial electric field and its impact on rotation and transport. Masters research included analysis of toroidal phasing of resonant magnetic perturbations on edge transport physics on the DIII-D tokamak.
MS Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology 2013
BS Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, 2011