Ron Gilgenbach


Contact Information:

EMAIL: [email protected]
PHONE: (734) 657-9007
MAILING ADDRESS: 9717 Royal Shores Drive, Englewood, FL 3422
Biographical Information:

Ronald M. Gilgenbach is the Chihiro Kikuchi Collegiate Professor Emeritus and Professor Emeritus in the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department at the University of Michigan. He served as NERS Department Chair from 2010-2018, during which time he conceived and built the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory Building. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University in 1978. His B.S. (1972) and M.S. (1973) degrees were received at the University of Wisconsin. In the early 1970’s he spent several years as a Member of the Technical Staff at Bell Labs. From 1978-1980, he performed gyrotron research at the Naval Research Lab (NRL) and performed the first electron cyclotron heating experiments on a tokamak plasma in the USA at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Gilgenbach joined the faculty of the University of Michigan in 1980 and became Director of the Plasma, Pulsed Power and Microwave Laboratory.

At UM, Dr. Gilgenbach has supervised or co-supervised 54 graduated Ph.D. students, has published over 200 articles in refereed journals and has 5 patents granted. He originated a new course on particle accelerators and updated the plasma curriculum. His research at Michigan has concentrated on advanced particle accelerators, electron beams, plasma physics, high power microwave generation, as well as biological interactions of radio-frequency and ultrawideband radiation, particularly for killing cancer cells. He has collaborated in research with scientists at Air Force Research Lab, Sandia National Labs, Los Alamos National Lab, NASA Glenn, Northrop-Grumman, L-3 Communications, General Motors Research Labs, Fermilab, Naval Research Lab and the Institute of High Current Electronics (Russia). He received the UM College of Engineering Research Award in 1993, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award (1984) and the 1997 Plasma Sciences and Applications Committee (PSAC) Award from the IEEE, served as PSAC Chair in 2007-2008 and received an Outstanding Young Engineer Award from the American Nuclear Society.  He is the 2017 recipient of the Peter Haas Pulsed Power Award from the IEEE Pulsed Power Science and Technology Committee.  He is a Life Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics and Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He is a past Associate Editor of the journal, Physics of Plasmas. In 2017-18 he served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine panel: “Strategic Plan for Burning Plasma Research in the U.S.” His travels have taken him to some 40 countries.


  • R. M. Gilgenbach, “Electron Beam, Ion Beam, or Neutral Particle Beam – Induced Modification or Enhancement of Combustion Reactions,” US Patent # 4,855,065, Issued 1989.
  • Ya. S. Derbenev, Y. Y. Lau, R. M. Gilgenbach, “Two-Beam Particle Acceleration Method and Apparatus,” US Patent #5483122, Issued Jan. 9, 1996.
  • V. B. Neculaes, R. M. Gilgenbach, and Y. Y. Lau, “Low Noise Cross-Field Devices Such as Microwave Magnetron Having an Azimuthally-Varying Axial Magnetic Field and Microwave Oven Utilizing Same”, US Patent #6,872,929, Issued March 29, 2005 and US Patent #6,921,890, Issued July 26, 2005.
  • R. M. Gilgenbach, Y. Y. Lau, B. W. Hoff, D. M. French and J. W. Luginsland, “Crossed Field Device”, US Patent #8,841,867 B2, Issued Sept. 23, 2014.

Advisor to more than 50 Ph.D. graduates


Books and Refereed Journal Publications