David J. Nagel


David J. Nagel received a BS degree in Engineering Science (Magna Cum Laude) from the University of Notre Dame (1960), and an MS degree in Physics (1969) and a PhD in Materials Engineering (1977), both from the University of Maryland at College Park.  During more than six decades of supporting, performing and leading Research and Development projects, Dave has had multiple successful careers:

Officer in the U.S. Navy. After graduating first in his Naval ROTC class at Notre Dame, he served four years on active duty, starting as Navigator on an Antarctic supply ship.  He then had 26 years of reserve service, including three tours as a Commanding Officer.  He retired in 1990 with the rank of Captain in the U. S. Naval Reserve.

Federal Research Scientist.  After his active duty, Dave joined the civilian staff of the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) as an experimental physicist.  He measured the x-ray emissions from nuclear weapons at the Nevada Test Site, other multi-million degree terawatt plasmas, and energetic atomic collisions in which core energy levels formed transient molecular orbitals.  He co-invented and patented plasma x-ray lithography.  During those 20 years, Dave published in top journals, such as Physical Review Letters.

Federal Research Leader.  Still at the NRL, he served as a head of a materials physics group for 13 years.  He then became a member of the Senior Executive Service (ES-4), and was the leader of a nuclear and solid-state physics division for another 13 years.  As a Division Superintendent, Dave managed the global experimental and theoretical efforts of 150 government, contractor and other personnel, including 80 PhDs ($30M/year).  He was responsible for a cyclotron facility and two accelerators, an electron LINAC and a Tandem Van de Graaff ion system configured for Trace Element Accelerator Mass Spectrometry.  The division performed research and development on satellite, terrestrial and oceanic programs, on time scales from picoseconds to decades, temperature scales from a few degrees to multi-million degrees, and pressures from high vacuum to many atmospheres.  He led work on “cold fusion” (now Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, that is, LENR) from the start of the field in March of 1989.

University Teacher and Researcher.  For the last 22 years, Dave has been a Research Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of The George Washington University (GWU).  He taught courses on MEMS and NanoTechnology (2000-2006), mentored undergraduates on their senior projects (2007-2015), taught Physical Electronics (2015), and taught Sensors, Networks and Applications (2018-9).  Dave has mentored about one hundred undergraduate and graduate students on diverse topics.  His research now centers on LENR, especially spectroscopy of electrochemical LENR experiments.  He leads work in the GWU LENR Energy and Spectroscopy Laboratory.  Recently, he managed a team of senior GWU scientists, which developed advanced solar cells at the NRL.

Business Developer.  In 2011, Dave founded two companies.  The first, NUCAT Energy LLC, provides consulting, instruction and educational materials on LENR (nucat-energy.com).  The second is OptoBioSense LLC, a spin-off from the GWU.  It sought to develop inventions, which were made with a Computer Engineering PhD student, into a commercial point-of-care analyzer for uric acid in clinical samples.  In 2015, a successful businessman from Los Angeles and Dave formed LENRIA, an Industrial Association for LENR (lenria.org).  It provides information on LENR, and promotes interest in the field.  LENRIA has sponsored conferences and a multi-laboratory experiment.

Lecturer.  In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, Dave has given hundreds of technical presentations at conferences, in seminars and for senior management. He has presented over 100 talks on LENR in six countries on three continents to more than 4500 people.  Effective communication of technical topics to broad audiences is one of his major interests.

Writer.  During his careers, Dave has written or co-authored many refereed papers, conference proceedings, sponsor reports, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and magazine articles.  He has a few patents.  Dave has written extensively on LENR, both for the open literature and consulting reports.  He is writing a book on LENR science and business.

Traveler.  For business and personal reasons, Dave has been in over fifty countries on all continents.  He has had four round-the-world trips, one on a Navy ship (westbound in 1962) and three in the air: eastbound to Japan (1978), eastbound to Russia and Japan (1992), and westbound to Malaysia and Singapore (2008).

Malaysian Addendum: Research Professor David J. Nagel, Visits to Malaysia in the Years 2004 through 2011.

After working for the U. S. Navy for 38 years, I became a Research Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of The George Washington University in 1998. My initial specialty was MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS). A student from Malaysia, Faisal Mohd Yasin, asked me to help him with some measurements of a MEMS accelerometer. That work resulted in a publication. When he completed his M. S. degrees, Faisal returned to Malaysia to become a Ph. D. student at the MultiMedia University (MMU). I was appointed as his adviser, which required that I visit MMU annually. Given those yearly visits, I was also asked to serve as an External Examiner for the M. Eng. in Microelectronics Program. In that role, I interviewed Faculty and Students both on the main campus in Cyberjaya and also at the satellite campus in Penang, reviewed examinations, and provided reports on what I learned.

During those years, I interacted repeatedly with the Institute of Microengineering and Nanoelectronics in the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), headed by Prof. Dato’ Dr. Burhanuddin Yeop Majlis. I mentored one of his Ph. D. students, Fatima Lina Ayatollahi. I also visited the campuses of University Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

While in Malaysia, I gave lectures on MEMS at MMU and UKM, and on Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) at the Malaysian Institute for Nuclear Technology Research (MINT). I participated in a MEMS conference in Johor Bahru in 2008 and the 2nd International Conference on Energy and Environment in Malacca in 2009.

My recollections of the eight trips to Malaysia are very pleasant. I met many capable and interesting people at the excellent universities and elsewhere, and enjoyed the pleasant weather and good food.