October 27, 2015
Mark Chilenski is a PhD student in Nuclear Science and Engineering working on Alcator C-Mod. He came to MIT in 2010 after having completed a BS in aeronautical and astronautical engineering at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. While at UW, Mark worked extensively on diagnostics for the HIT-SI (Helicity Injected Torus with Steady Inductive Helicity Injection) experiment.
On C-Mod, Chilenski's primary research interests are impurity transport and the development and deployment of advanced data analysis procedures to help answer questions related to the validation of simulations of turbulent transport. He is responsible for C-Mod's laser blow-off impurity injector and a pair of extreme ultraviolet spectrometers. As part of his thesis research, Mark has developed multiple pieces of general-purpose analysis software which have been open-sourced and have been used in multiple fields including astrophysics and biophysics. Mark is currently developing a new approach to analyzing x-ray spectroscopy data from laser blow-off impurity injections in order to infer profiles of impurity transport coefficients in a statistically-rigorous way.
Chilenski also has a passion for electronics, and was a TA for 22.071 "Electronics, Signals, and Measurement" for three years. During this time, he designed an entirely analog Geiger counter kit for undergrads to build. Several hundred of these kits have been built by undergrads interested in NSE and an exhibit built around one of the counters has been installed in the MIT Museum. In 2014 Chilenski was the winner of the Outstanding TA Award which recognized his exceptional contributions as a teaching assistant in Nuclear Science & Engineering.
In addition to electronics, Chilenski 's hobbies include playing and building drums and other percussion instruments. He has played percussion in the MIT Wind Ensemble for the past three years and has constructed several of his own instruments during that time, in addition to helping to maintain and expand MIT's collection of percussion equipment.