The group

The Enge Crew



Professor Richard Longland
Assistant Professor

Richard is the experimental nuclear astrophysics group leader at NC State University. He's an expert in γ-ray spectroscopy, particle transfer measurements, and nucleosynthesis modelling.

Fun fact: Richard used to be sponsored as a mountainboarder, and competed worldwide.


Professor John Kelley

Research Associate Professor

John's familiarity with various electronics configurations and data-acquisition systems contributes to experimental activities and data analysis procedures in the group. His past experience with rare isotope beams and involvement in evaluating the nuclear structure of light nuclei, in association with the US Nuclear Data Program, creates a strong interest in the nuclear astrophysical studies that are carried out at TUNL.

Fun fact: John is the parent of twin boys.

Current Students


Federico Portillo

Ph.D. Student

Federico is interested in low energy nuclear reactions and their applications to astrophysics. Over the last few months, he's become the group's silicon detector and low-noise measurement expert.

Fun fact: Federico is a former semi-pro futsal goalkeeper (Futsal is similar to, but not the same as indoor soccer).


Will Fox

Ph.D. Student

Will was drawn to the connection between astrophysics and experimental nuclear physics early on in his graduate career. He has been working on the development of our group's new data acquisition (DAQ) system that is designed to be used alongside our digitizer, a replacement for our old detector electronics. Additionally, he has worked on the development of our new graphical user interface (GUI), EngeSpec, and has tested both the DAQ and the GUI with gamma-ray signals from NaI detectors.

Fun Fact: Loves watching classic films and enjoys game development.

Former Group Members


Caleb Marshall

Ph.D. Student

From the beginning Caleb has worked to maintain and repair the Enge's focal plane detector and its accompanying electronics. In addition he has worked to update the Enge's stepper motor system using EPICS, developed python software to aid in the use of the reaction code FRESCO, and actively participated in mentoring undergraduate students.

Fun Fact: Caleb has a strong interest in music and has played guitar since he was 12.


Dr. Kiana Setoodehnia


Kiana's research interests lie in investigating stellar and explosive nucleosynthesis. In particular, she is interested in performing particle and gamma-ray spectroscopy measurements to study various properties of key nuclear resonances.

Fun fact: She likes parachuting and paragliding.


Keilah Davis

NCSU Undergraduate

Keilah is working on novel statistical techniques to analyze some data that she took at TUNL over the summer (2017). Her results will impact our understanding of sodium production in Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars.

Fun fact: Keilah sings in the a cappella group Acapology.


Jake Geiser

NCSU Undergraduate

Jake is behind the Tandem laboratory's new 3D model that is now in use lab-wide for presentations and design planning. But aside from that, his research project involved developing techniques for splitting single cross section measurements into multiple ray-traced cross sections in software. This technique will allow us to more precisely constrain the optical model potentials used to analyze our data.

Fun fact: Jake has been to the largest blowhole in the world (Kiama, AU)..


Daniel Underwood

NCSU Undergraduate

Daniel is currently a senior in physics. He has developed software for the network transfer of events for live viewing without impacting the performance of the data acquisition system. Now he is working on simulations to improve detection capabilities for the Enge by coincidence measurements.

Fun fact: Daniel is a lover of animals and his family has 6 dogs and 3 cats.


James Runge

NCSU Undergraduate

Jay is currently a junior in physics. He is developing a complex set of commissioning procedures for our digital data acquisition hardware. So far, his work has involved working with the MIDAS data acquisition software and developing custom c++ and R code for analyzing simulated detector signals. This will be coupled with Daniel's work in the near future.

Fun fact: Jay enjoys gold prospecting as a hobby.


Caitlin Seed

REU Student

Caitlin started a new beam tuning philosophy in the tandem lab by developing a feedback-assisted tuning system. The system is built on EPICS and was developed to help us transport beam between the high-energy end of the tandem accelerator and the entrance to the high-resolution 90-90 beamline where multiple optical elements make tuning a challenge.

Fun fact: Caitlin has visited 19 states


Katie Kowel

REU Student

Katie was tasked with commissioning the Enge focalplane detector in the summer of 2015. She successfully re-built the detector and read signals from the detector. She also built and characterised the accompanying electronics that we'll use in our experiments.

Fun fact: Katie loves pesto


Robert Leonard

REU Student

Robert worked on repairing and re-building the Enge focalplane detector in the summer of 2014. He also developed DAQ software in Tcl for reading and calibrating signals from position sensitive detectors. Robert is now in Eugene, Oregon, working towards a master’s degree in Applied physics with a focus in semiconductors and photovoltaics

Fun fact: He can do 20 cartwheels in a row


Alisha Teresko

NCSU Undergraduate

Alisha worked with us for a semester under the NCSU physics department's FyPhy program. She's now famous for building the sketchup model you'll find on the facilities page.!