Physical Chemist | Nuclear Engineer | Rocket Scientist | Skiing Enthusiast | Climbing Novice | Arduino Tinkerer
Gabrielle Anne Laguisma
What I'm Up To
Lab Scientist & Engineer at

Positron Dynamics


Antimatter is the most energy-dense material known. Positrons are the easiest form of antimatter to produce. We are putting antimatter to work by increasing the efficiency of producing useful positrons (anti-electrons).


We conduct R&D on novel cold positron production techniques and positron based propulsion systems. With physics that is understood today, any hopes of traveling beyond the edge of the Solar System can only be realized with antimatter.


Mass Spectroscopy
Class IV laser systems
Vacuum systems (UHV)
Ion Detectors
Radioactive Materials Training & Handling
Analog signal processing
Matlab, Python, CAD
CNC Milling


The unique interactions of positrons with materials and ultimately, the high energy realized by annihilation with electrons, leads to applications that can fundamentally alter how materials are designed, how off-grid power is generated and spacecraft engines that take us beyond the edge of the Solar System.

Centralized Interim Storage for Used Nuclear Fuel

University of California, Berkeley
Capstone Advisors: Dr. Joonhong Ahn & Dr. Massimiliano Fratoni

Engineering Focus

We designed a safe and effective privatized centralized interim storage facility (CISF) to responsibly manage the used nuclear fuel inventory.

Business Aspect

We provided an analysis on the policy, economics, and technological issues to ensure long-term implementation and financial stability of the facility.

Computational Methods

Matlab - developed a mathematical program capable of estimating dose values to the general public from released radionuclides of an accident scenario.


A Capstone Report in partial fulfillment of the Masters of Engineering degree requirements.

Starting Arrangement

We began by considering the industry standard of a row and column formation for storing the dry storage canisters in horizontal storage modules.

Proposed & Preferred Design

We proposed a circular arrangement that was safer in terms of radiation doses to the workers and thermal venting of excess heat.

My Undergrad Works

University of San Francisco
Research Advisor: Dr. Giovanni Meloni

Research Focus

My research was centered around biofuel alternatives and the combustion of novel biofuels for advanced compression engines.

Molecule of Interest

I intensively studied the molecule furan-2-carbaldehyde (furfural), which has been proposed as a promising platform for lignocellulosic biofuels.


Swiss Light Source, Paul Scherrer Institut.
Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Dissociative Dynamics of Furfural

University of San Francisco
In collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institut


To know and understand the photoionization behavior of furfural to easily detect combustion species from furanic biofuels.

Experimental Apparatus

The imaging photoelectron photoion coincidence (iPEPICO) instrument at the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) X04DB bending magnet beamline.

Computational Methods

Gaussian computational suite - employed geometry optimizations, transition state calculations, & potential energy surface scans.

Notable Professional Conference

Oral Presentation, 26th Annual Northern California Undergraduate Research Symposium, May 3, 2014.


Undergraduate Award for Spring 2014 Scientific Poster, University of San Francisco's Creative Activity and Research Day.


Poster presented at several professional conferences.

Synchrotron Radiation

Experiments were conducted at the imaging photoelectron photoion coincidence (iPEPICO) endstation at the vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) X04DB bending magnet beamline of the Swiss Light Source (SLS).


Photoelectrons are velocity map imaged onto a position sensitive delay line anode. Their detection begins the time window measurement of cationic species. The distribution of electrons detected in coincidence with a particular cation creates a mass-resolved photoelectron spectrum.

Room Temperature Cl-Initiated Oxidation of Furfural

University of San Francisco
In collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


To study the oxidation behavior of furfural to understand the combustion process and identify products and potential reactants.

Experimental Apparatus

The multiplex photoionization mass spectrometer of the 9.0.2 Chemical Dynamics beamline.

Computational Methods

Igor Pro - characterizing reaction species photoionization spectra and kinetic traces

Notable Professional Conference

Poster Presentation, 248th American Chemical Society National Meeting, San Francisco, CA, Aug 10-14, 2014.


Poster presented at the 248th ACS National Meeting.

Freeze-Pump-Thaw Method

This is the most effective method for degassing solvents. Gaseous impurities (i.e. carbon dioxide) are vacuumed out to an experimental pressure level, leaving the purified compound in the bubbler.

Multiplex Mass Spectrometer

Chlorine radicals react with compounds forming products. Products are then hit with a controlled ionizing beam. The beam is slowly increased to see where they begin to ionize and are pulled by vacuum to the detector.

Synchrotron Radiation

The photolytically initiated oxidation reaction of furfural was carried out at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) located in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

About Me

A little something about an INTJ
A blurbtastic introduction

I studied physics and chemistry at the University of San Francisco. By the nature of my undergraduate research, I fostered an interest in alterantive energy. As a result, I headed to UC Berkeley where I received my M.Eng. in nuclear engineering.

In my free time, I enjoy exquisite wine tastings, runs on paths with minimal gradients, and doodling the fantastical landscapes that live in my imagination.

Autocorrect still teaches me how to spell 'weird/wierd '.
I find myself compelled to sort Fruit Loops by color before eating them.
When I was five, I wanted to be an astronaut because of Michael Bay's Armageddon.
I was a member of the Rubik's Cube Club in middle school; I could solve the puzzle in 32.8 seconds.

My life on a piece of paper

Updated: July 2016

Updated: July 2016

I Can Be Somewhat Social

Let's stay in touch!