Lawrence Woolf is a materials physicist and technical fellow at General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc in San Diego. He received a PhD in low temperature condensed matter physics from the University of California, San Diego in 1980 and a BA in physics from Rutgers College in 1975. After a post-doctoral appointment at the Exxon Corporate Research Science Laboratory, Woolf joined General Atomics (GA) in 1982. At GA, he has been involved in the design, development, and production of thin film coatings, advanced materials, and energy conversion systems, and has been project manager or lead scientist for over 50 programs. Since 2007, Woolf has also been President and Chairman of the Board of the General Atomics Sciences Education Foundation. In 2010, he initiated the GASSSS program to involve more employees in education outreach; more than 685 have participated.
Woolf served as chair of the APS Forum on Education and was on the APS Committee on Education (COE). He was a member of the organizing committee of the Second Graduate Education in Physics Conference and on the Joint Task Force on Undergraduate Physics Programs (J-TUPP) that produced the Phys21 report. He was on the APS Development Advisory Committee from 2015-2018 and served on the APS Excellence in Physics Education Award selection committee for 2020 and 2021. He is currently on the Effective Practices for Physics Programs (EP3) task force and is again on COE. He is also the US member of the IUPAP Working Group 16 on Physics and Industry.
Woolf has been a member of 25 National Science Foundation review panels and 5 Department of Energy review panels.
Woolf has developed numerous educational modules, materials, and posters and has been a curriculum advisor/technical reviewer for numerous NSF-funded curriculum development projects for middle and high school.
He is the author or co-author of 73 scientific publications and holds 24 patents. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, and received the 2004 San Diego Science Alliance Partner of the Year Award.