B.S. ​UCLA, 1979Ph.D. ​UCLA, 1984

"My research uses plasmas and lasers to miniaturize particle accelerators, the world’s largest engineered devices, for applications from discovering new forms of matter and energy to beam therapy for tumors and novel imaging tools."

Thomas C. Katsouleas, Robert C. Taylor Professor

As executive vice president and provost of the University of Virginia, Thomas C. Katsouleas oversees the University’s teaching and research activities. He directs the academic administration of the eleven schools, the library, art museums, public service activities, numerous University centers, and foreign study programs.

Provost Katsouleas served as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Duke University from 2008–2015. He earned a B.S. in 1979 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1984, both from UCLA. He joined the University of Southern California faculty as an associate professor of electrical engineering in 1991, becoming full professor in 1997. There he also served as an associate dean of engineering and vice provost of information technology services.

Provost Katsouleas is a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Mr. Katsouleas co-created the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenge Scholars Program in 2009, and organized and co-chaired the first NAE Grand Challenges national summit. He currently serves as co-chair of the Advisory Committee on The Grand Challenges, and highlighted several of the successes produced by the Challenges in his keynote address at the NAE annual meeting in 2015 (slides available here).

Provost Katsouleas is a recognized inventor and a leading scholar of plasma science, originating a number of concepts in plasma-based particle accelerators and light sources. His work has been highlighted on the covers of Physical Review Letters, the CERN Courier and Nature. He has authored or co-authored more than 200 publications and given more than 50 major invited talks.


  • Plasma Science Achievement Award, IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society 2011
  • Fellow, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • Fellow, American Physical Society
  • USC Mortar Board Faculty of the Month 1995
  • USC HKN Electrical Engineering Society Outstanding Faculty Member
  • Outstanding Teaching Award, UCLA Physics Department 1990 and 1991
  • IBM Project Advance Recognition Award (for development of teaching software) 1988

Research Interests

  • Materials and Advanced Manufacturing for Biological Applications
  • Grid/Cloud/High-performance Computing
  • Millimeter-Wave and Terahertz Electronics
  • High Temperature Materials Science and Oxides
  • Laser-materials interactions

Selected Publications

  • Unlimited Electron Acceleration in Laser-Driven Plasma Waves T. Katsouleas and J. M. Dawson, Phys. Rev. Lett. 51, 392 (1983).
  • Physical mechanisms in the plasma wake-field accelerator T. Katsouleas, Phys. Rev. A 33, 2056 (1986).
  • Acceleration of Electrons by the Interaction of a Bunched Electron Beam with a Plasma P. Chen, J. M. Dawson, R. W. Huff, and T. Katsouleas. Phys. Rev. Lett. 54, 6931985 (1985).
  • X-Ray Emission from Betatron Motion in a Plasma Wiggler Shuoqin Wang, C. E. Clayton, B. E. Blue, E. S. Dodd, K. A. Marsh, W. B. Mori, C. Joshi, S. Lee, P. Muggli, T. Katsouleas, F. J. Decker, M. J. Hogan, R. H. Iverson, P. Raimondi, D. Walz, R. Siemann, and R. Assmann Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 135004 (2002)
  • Photon accelerator S. C. Wilks, J. M. Dawson, W. B. Mori, T. Katsouleas, and M. E. Jones. Phys. Rev. Lett. 62, 2600 (1989).

Courses Taught

  • ECE 2660, ECE Fundamentals II, co-taught with L.R. Harriott