Daniel Merthe

R&D Scientist

"I was drawn to Avalanche initially from a physics perspective. The physics problems involved in solving fusion fascinated me, and Avalanche’s unique approach in particular caught my eye after many years of watching the fusion industry from afar. On top of that, everything at the company feels super interconnected - everybody is invested in working on solving the challenges from all possible angles."

Daniel brings a multidisciplinary physics background to the Avalanche team. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of San Francisco, after which he used laser spectroscopy to study the chemical kinetics of combustion at Sandia National Laboratories.

He continued on to develop metrology tools and methods for x-ray optics at the Advanced Light Source in Berkeley, California. Daniel completed a PhD in physics at the University of Southern California, where his thesis described studies of doped superfluid helium nanodroplets and a new method of manipulating them to interrogate cold molecular structures.

He then spent 5 years working for Modern Electron, helping to bring the dormant concept of thermionic energy conversion back to life, including personally designing, building and executing a lab demonstration of a prototype converter with record high power output.

Daniel leads the ion confinement project at Avalanche as a Research Scientist, working to figure out how to efficiently and effectively confine fuel ions within the fusion reactor. His work has included adapting a technique from high resolution mass spectrometry to accurately measure ion lifetimes and trajectories.

Originally from California, Daniel was drawn to the Puget Sound by the access to the outdoors and the advanced technical industries that have created a community in the region.

Join our Team

Join our team of elite physicists, scientists, and engineers and help make fusion microreactors a reality.

  • Competitive salaries
  • Flexible schedules
  • Paid time off
  • Team off-sites
  • Excellent health benefits
  • Stock options