About Us

Xelera Research LLC was founded in 2013 to support the growing worldwide market for expertise in advanced accelerator development. Bringing the latest techniques from research to market is at the heart of what we do. The five founding members of Xelera bring over 100 years of combined accelerator development and the know-how to bring your project to fruition.

Prof. Val Kostroun

Professor Kostroun is Professor Emeritus in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University and Chief Executive Partner of Xelera Research LLC. For over 40 years he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in low-energy nuclear physics, nuclear engineering, electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and the advanced physics laboratory at Cornell. His research interests have included electron beam ion sources, radiative and non-radiative processes in atoms, and synchrotron radiation studies. In the 1980's Prof. Kostroun's research group concentrated on the construction of Electron Beam Ion Sources (EBIS) and their use in experimental atomic physics. After his retirement from the Cornell faculty in 2008, he joined the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator-Based Sciences and Education (CLASSE) as Director of Safety for two years, and stayed on to carry out radiation shielding calculations using the Los Alamos many-particle Monte Carlo code MCNPX for a number of accelerator-related projects at CLASSE.

Dr. Ralf Eichhorn

Dr. Ralf Eichhorn is a cofounder of Xelera Research LLC and has worked in the field of particle accelerators for more than 25 years. Beyond his broad expertise he was focussing on radio frequency (RF) systems, superconducting RF systems, higher-order mode damping and cryogenics. Before he returned to Germany he was the technical director at the Cornell Laboratory for Accelerator Science and Education and a visiting professor at the department of physics. Dr. Eichhorn is an instrument rated pilot and works now for the German air traffic control agency assessing radio navigation, radar and GPS/ WAAS facilities. In addition to his Ph.D. in Physics, he holds a Master's degree in business administration.

Dr. Christopher Mayes

Dr. Christopher Mayes is a physicist and Founding Partner of Xelera Research LLC. He specializes in beam dynamics, design, simulation, and software development for particle accelerators. He has designed the complete lattice for the large-scale Cornell Energy Recovery Linac (ERL), novel upgrades to the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, the Cornell-BNL ERL Test Accelerator (CBETA), and several smaller scale ERL machines. Dr. Mayes is an active developer of the Bmad simulation library. He is also experienced in numerical optimization, machine learning, and graphical user interface design.

Karl Smolenski

Karl Smolenski is a senior mechanical engineer at Cornell University and Founding Partner of Xelera Research LLC. He has spent the last 10 years working on accelerators and electron beam systems for high energy physics and material science.  In the previous 10 years he was the lead engineer for all Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source beamlines developing specialized cooled x-ray optics.  His area of specialization is high power density thermal engineering, particularly with high-power x-ray and electron beams, including photoemission electron guns, particle beam dumps, x-ray beamline front ends, and high power optics, mainly for advanced light sources and energy recovery linac machines.  He designed, built, and tested the highest average current, highest-brightness electron photoinjector in the world.  Recently he earned a master’s degree in management.