Dr. Robert J. Burke is the principal author of the concepts for the heavy ion driver and chamber in FPC's fusion power system. After PhD work in plasma physics related to magnetic confinement fusion at the Lawrence Livermore Radiation Laboratory (now LLNL), he established the lithium wall to protect inertial fusion chambers from neutron damage in 1973 at the Argonne National Laboratory, and led ANL's heavy ion fusion team from 1976-80. Dr. Burke also has contributed to development of technologies for long-range environmental monitoring, efficient space propulsion, materials and medical research, green transportation, and national security as a manager, physicist and engineer at Rockwell International, Westinghouse, and National Laboratories operated for the U.S. Department of Energy.
The Hertz Foundation supported his graduate work in the field of plasma physics for fusion energy at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1964-1972. At the Argonne National Laboratory, he conceived and developed the concept of the low-radiation and long-lived fusion chambers for the World Energy system in 1973, and led ANL's Heavy Ion Fusion Team from 1976-80, drawing upon results of his studies of the total resource requirements and potential costs of a world energy system based on various fusion reactor configurations, 1972-1976 also at ANL.
After the heavy ion fusion program in the USA was diverted in 1979 away from the mainstream accelerator technology on which it had been founded, he worked on the Fusion Materials Irradiation Testing Facility (FMIT) at the Hanford nuclear complex 1980-1985, adding specific experience in management of large projects with responsibilities including the safety analysis report, neutron irradiation test cell, lithium target system, and the accelerator. After the FMIT was rescinded, he proposed design improvements to increase its capabilities for advanced neutron scattering research and explored collaboration with the Julich Laboratory near Aachen, Germany in 1984-85.
At the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International, he led teams and consortia developing applications of accelerator and laser technology to SDI, space propulsion, and environmental research from 1986 to 1996. He conceived the Integrated Transportation System concept in 1987, the IBus vehicle in 1992, founded ITS Bus Incorporated in 2000, and built collaborations to develop and sell IBus vehicles with well-known automotive experts in China from 2001-2008.
He holds a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Villanova and an MS and a Ph.D. in Applied Science from the University of California at Davis/Livermore.