Ken Ferguson
Ken R. Ferguson, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Vehicle Engineering

Dr. Ken R. Ferguson is a Senior Scientist at Exponent’s Test and Engineering Center in the Vehicle practice. He has diverse scientific experience with expertise in abuse and performance testing of energy storage systems. Dr. Ferguson is an ISO 26262 functional safety engineer with certification covering the second edition of the automotive functional safety standard which includes heavy road cars, trucks, busses, and motorcycles.

Dr. Ferguson has expertise in characterizing and mitigating hazards associated with thermal runaway events in lithium-ion batteries and packs. Dr. Ferguson has consulted on abuse testing of large-format Li-Ion batteries, modules, and packs utilized in electric vehicle systems. He has conducted in-situ and ex-situ testing of battery packs in various shared-used micro-mobilities and e-mobilities, such as electric bikes, scooters, and drones. Dr. Ferguson has worked with a variety of lithium-ion chemistries and form factors, including pouch cells, cylindrical 18650s, and prismatic cells.

Dr. Ferguson has led testing and analysis of hazardous and explosive gas release from lithium-ion cell venting. He is familiar with a range of Li-Ion test standards, including UN/DOT 38.3, SAE J2464, UL 1642, and more. Dr. Ferguson has also led battery performance and reliability testing of Li-Ion operated outdoor power tools and equipment.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Ferguson was a member of the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Sciences group at the Linac Coherent Light Source at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. While there, he worked on a wide variety of projects pertaining to x-ray science. Dr. Ferguson has scientific expertise in serial femtosecond x-ray crystallography, x-ray coherent diffractive imaging, and ion/electron spectroscopy. At SLAC he was an integral part in the development and commissioning of many experimental technologies, including pump—probe temporal delay measurements, x-ray split-and-delay components, velocity map imaging, and coherent diffractive imaging capabilities.

Dr. Ferguson received his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University in 2016. His dissertation work focused on the ultra-fast interaction of atoms, molecules, and complex nanoparticles with high-intensity, femtosecond x-ray pulses from a free electron laser.


  • Ph.D., Applied Physics, Stanford University, 2016
  • B.S., Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2011, magna cum laude, with honors
  • Tau Beta Pi


ISO 26262 Functional Safety Engineer (ID: TX19011309)


K.R. Ferguson, et al. The Atomic Molecular, and Optical Science Instrument at the Linac Coherent Light Source. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 2015, doi: 10.1107/S1600577515004646.

K.R. Ferguson, et al. Transient Lattice Contraction in the Solid-to-Plasma Transition. Science Advances 2016, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500837.

N. Berrah, et al. Two Mirror X-ray Pulse Split and Delay Instrument for Femtosecond Time Resolved Investigations at the LCLS Free Electron Laser Facility. Optics Express 2016, doi: 10.1364/OE.24.011768.

E.J. Gamboa, et al. Dual Crystal X-ray Spectrometer at 1.8 keV for High Repetition-Rate Single-Photon Counting Spectroscopy Experiments. Journal of Instrumentation 2016, doi: 10.1088/1748-0221/11/08/P08015.

M.J. MacDonald, et al. Measurement of High-Dynamic Range X-ray Thomson Scattering Spectra for the Characterization of Nano-Plasmas at LCLS. Review of Scientific Instruments 2016, doi: 10.1063/1.4960502.

C.S. Lehmann, et al. Ultrafast X-ray-Induced Nuclear Dynamics in Diatomic Molecules Using Femtosecond X-ray-Pump—X-ray-Probe Spectroscopy. Physical Review A 2016, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevA.94.013426.

C. Jones, et al. Coupled Motion of Xe Clusters and Quantum Vortices in He Nanodroplets. Physical Review B 2016, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.180510.

A. Picon, et al. Hetero-Site-Specific X-ray Pump-Probe Spectroscopy for Femtosecond Intramolecular Dynamics. Nature Communications 2016, doi: 10.1038/ncomms11652.

R. Boll, et al. Charge Transfer in Dissociated Iodomethane and Fluoromethane Molecules Ionized by Intense Femtosecond X-ray Pulses. Structural Dynamics 2016, doi: 10.1063/1.4944344.

M.F. Hantke, et al. A Data Set from Flash X-ray Imaging of Carboxysomes. Scientific Data 2016, doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.61.

G. van der Schot, et al. Open Data Set of Live Cyanobacterial Cells Imaged Using an X-ray Laser. Scientific Data 2016, doi: 10.1038/sdata.2016.58.

R.M. Tanyag, et al. X-ray Coherent Diffractive Imaging by Immersion in Nanodroplets. Structural Dynamics 2015, doi: 10.1063/1.4933297.

C.E. Liekhus-Schmaltz, et al. Ultrafast Isomerization Initiated by X-Ray Core Ionization. Nature Communcations 2015, doi: 10.1038/ncomms9199.

N. Berrah, et al. Femtosecond X-ray Induced Fragmentation of Fullerenes. Journal of Modern Optics 2015, doi: 10.1080/09500340.2015.1064175.

T. Ekeberg, et al. Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of the Giant Mimivirus Particle with an X-ray Laser. Nature Photonics 2015, doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.098102.

L. Gomez, et al. Shapes and Vortices of Superfluid Helium Nanodroplets. Science 2014, doi: 10.1126/science.1252395.

B. Erk, et al. Imaging Charge Transfer in Iodomethane Upon X-ray Photoabsorption. Science 2014, doi: 10.1126/science.1253607.

N. Hartmann, et al. Sub-femtosecond Precision Measurement of Relative X-ray Arrival Time for Free-Electron Lasers. Nature Photonics 2014, doi: 10.1038/nphoton.2014.164.

Invited Talks

Nanocrystallography and Ultrafast Contraction in Xenon Nanoclusters. AMO Seminar Series, Argonne National Laboratory, 2015.

Experience with Advanced Beam Modes at the LCLS. 2015 Users’ Meeting, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, 2015.

Transient Lattice Compression in the Solid-to-Plasma Transition. X-ray Science Gordon Research Conference, Stonehill College, 2015.

Ultrafast X-ray Induced Dynamics in Xenon Nanoclusters. 2nd Ringberg Workshop on Science with FELs, Ringberg Castle, Bavaria Germany, 2015.

Ultrafast Imaging of Quantum Vorticies. SLAC Scientific Policy Committee Meeting, Stanford University, 2014.

Prior Experience

X-ray Science Seminar Chair, Gordon Research Seminar, 2015

Science Is Elementary Instructor, Mountain View, CA, 2012-2016

News & Events


  • Ph.D., Applied Physics, Stanford University, 2016
  • B.S., Engineering Physics, Cornell University, 2011, magna cum laude, with honors
  • Tau Beta Pi


ISO 26262 Functional Safety Engineer (ID: TX19011309)