Adam Stooke

Hertz Fellow: Adam Stooke

University of California, Berkeley

Area of Study


Fellowship Years

2008 - present

Adam grew up in O’Fallon, Illinois, a small town, surrounded by corn fields, in the shadow of the St. Louis Arch. As for so many others, his positive high school experience learning from an excellent physics teacher led him to pursue science and engineering. Following in his father’s footsteps, Adam entered the U.S. Air Force Academy in 2004. He studied physics and math, and he developed an Air Force history curriculum for freshman cadets.

The Hertz Fellowship enabled Adam to study physics at University of California, Berkeley for his first assignment as a commissioned officer, starting in 2008. There he joined an experimental research group at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab studying ultrafast physics/chemistry using high harmonic generation. In 2010, Adam left Berkeley for his next assignment at the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Adam joined the Space Communication Group within AFRL. His main responsibility was experiment planning, execution, and analysis for a $20 million experimental communication device launched into orbit. His extensive modeling and simulation of the system also contributed to planning potential future uses on other space platforms. In addition, he managed a small portfolio of other communication technology development programs.

Additionally, Adam served as the first military liaison at the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) in Washington, D.C. This was a one-year assignment, intermediate to his term in AFRL, and was born of a Hertz connection. He explored and promoted potential areas of collaboration with the Department of Defense, including government-to-government consulting and data sharing, initiation of complementary research and development programs, testing and evaluation of prototypes, and even military acquisitions using ARPAE technologies.

After concluding his Air Force service in Albuquerque, Adam returned to the Berkeley physics department, where he is currently pursuing PhD studies.