My name is Ivan Stepanov, I am a simulation engineer and the developer of The Nuclear War Simulator. I was born in the city Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan which is known for the fact that the Soviet Union was testing most of their nuclear weapons on a test site just 150 km away. Everybody in my family, including me, have experienced atmospheric or underground nuclear weapons tests. One of my family members was constructing the tunnels for underground testing for several years and another one was evacuated during one of the early atmospheric tests. I have no formal education in the area of nuclear weapons, however, I was collecting and reading resources on this topic since I was a child. I was collecting books, newspaper articles about the victims of the test site, and spending a lot of time in the library which had a whole section dedicated to the nuclear weapons test site.
I now live in Germany, I did a Ph.D. in experimental physics at the RWTH Aachen University working with lasers, semiconductors and high-frequency electronics. At the moment I am working as a simulation engineer modeling laser sensors and generating synthetic sensor data for self-driving cars’ AI and in my free time, I am working on this project.