Eric Lepowsky is a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University. Prior to joining the Program on Science and Global Security, he graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. Eric previously researched biotechnology, including microfluidics and point-of-care diagnostics, before interning at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, which sparked his interest in physics, emerging technologies, and security. He is now a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow.
Eric is interested in combining radiation detection techniques with autonomous robotic systems. His research entails the modeling and control of autonomous “inspector bots” for managed-access inspections to support nuclear safeguards, arms-control verification, and/or homeland security. With directionally and spectrally sensitive neutron detectors, these bots are designed with the goal of detecting small quantities of special nuclear material, such as for confirming the composition of the feedstock of a uranium enrichment facility. The bots may also find application in nuclear arms control for monitoring the storage of declared warheads or for use in verification regimes which require confirming the absence of warheads. Eric’s ongoing and planned research involves neutronics calculations and simulations, nuclear fuel-cycle modeling, and the development and application of search and detection algorithms for autonomous systems.