Carolyn Kuranz

Associate Professor


2911 Cooley


Additional Titles

  • Director, Center for Laboratory Astrophysics
  • Associate Professor, U-M Climate and Space Sciences Engineering Department
  • Vice Chair, Division of Plasma Physics Executive Committee
  • NERS DEI Co-Lead
  • Co-Chair, Engineering Physics Program

Professor Kuranz is an experimental plasma physicist with research interests in high-energy-density plasmas, hydrodynamic instabilities, radiation hydrodynamics, and magnetized plasmas. She performs her research on high-power laser facilities around the world, including the National Ignition Facility and the Omega Laser Facility. Professor Kuranz received her PhD in Applied Physics from the University of Michigan in 2009 and her Bachelors in Physics from Bryn Mawr College in 2002. Recently she was named a Fellow of the American Physical Society and has been awarded the Ted Kennedy Family Faculty Team Excellence Award and the American Astronomical Society Laboratory Astrophysics Division Early Career Award. Professor Kuranz also serves as Director for the Center for Laboratory Astrophysics, a National Nuclear Security Administration Center of Excellence, and has a joint appointment in the U-M Climate and Space Sciences Engineering Department.


  • A.B. 2002, Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA, Majors: Physics (with Honors)
  • M.S. 2004, Applied Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Ph.D, April 2009, Applied Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Research Interests

Kuranz is known for her research in the field of high-energy-density plasma physics. She studies the behavior of matter at extreme temperatures and pressures, often replicating conditions found in astrophysical phenomena such as supernovae, the interiors of giant planets, and nuclear fusion. Her work involves using high-power lasers to create and analyze high-energy-density plasmas.

Research area:

Honors and Awards

  • 2024 NERS Departmental Faculty Award from Michigan Engineering
  • 2023 Rackham Graduate School Faculty Achievement Award