Scott Backhaus

Scott Backhaus received his Ph.D. in Physics in 1997 from the University of California at Berkeley in the area of macroscopic quantum behavior of superfluid 3He and 4He. He came to Los Alamos in 1998 and was Director’s Funded Postdoc from 1998 to 2000, a Reines Postdoctoral Fellow from 2001 to 2003, and a Technical Staff Member from 2003 to the present. During his time at Los Alamos, Backhaus has performed both experimental and theoretical research in the area of thermoacoustic energy conversion including fundamental topics such as several thermoacoustic streaming instabilities, streaming assisted heat transfer, and acoustic power manipulation. In addition, he has completed several projects with practical applications such as a thermoacoustic-based electric generator for spacecraft and a large-scale thermoacoustic engine for a natural gas liquefaction pilot plant. His work has been recognized with several awards including an R&D 100 award in 1999 and Technology Review’s “Top 100 Innovators Under 35” award in 2003. Recently his attention has shifted to other energy-related topics including the fundamental science of geologic carbon sequestration and grid-integration of renewable generation. He has collaborated with colleagues at LANL to design and analyze new algorithms for distributed control of several forms of distributed energy resources including dispatch of reactive power from photovoltaic inverters and charging of plug-in electric vehicles.