Fusion science and engineering
International doctorate in collaboration with the Instituto Superior Técnico - Universidade de Lisboa
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Background and aims of the Ph.D. course
Europe has a strong need to attract and educate young people in fusion science and engineering. With the start of ITER construction the field of magnetically confined fusion is undergoing an impressive acceleration. ITER will be the largest magnetic fusion device ever built ITER is a 17 meters high, 1000 cubic meter plasma volume device, which is under construction in France as a result of a joint project between China, India, Korea, Japan, European Union, Russia and USA. Its goal is to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion by producing 500 MW of fusion power.
Due also to the growing energy demand, and to the consequent big environmental, ethical and political issues, there is a strong and growing expectation on fusion as a sustainable energy source. Fusion needs therefore to be a success, and Europe has a key role in this challenge. Europe has in fact the largest share (40%) in the ITER project, and therefore the main responsibility to make it a success and to develop in parallel credible plans for proto-reactors (the so called DEMO devices).
As the start of the ITER operation is approaching, and fusion is expected to be a growing field, an increasing number of fusion scientists will be needed, both physicists and engineers.
For this reason we have set up a Doctoral Network, among a group of European Universities. They are all already actively and officially linked with their respective national EURATOM Fusion Laboratories and have a solid scientific and research background in the field of fusion science and engineering. In this way we exploit both the best scientific competences and skills from the university side and the best and more effective support from EURATOM Institutions, in particular as far as the availability of state-of-the-art experimental tools and devices is concerned.
The main goal of this doctoral project is to improve the present educational system in the area of fusion. The present education system does not seem adequate to provide the necessary number of graduates nor to provide them with the proper preparation. With this doctoral course we aim at providing the European community with new young scientists, capable to cope with the activities on physics and engineering necessary to realize ITER, the subsequent demonstrative reactor(s), DEMO(S), and, at the end, the commercial thermonuclear reactors. This scientist should also have a background broad enough to be able to interact with companies and energy utility sector. High-tech companies will be in fact deeply involved in ITER construction and in subsequent fusion development. It is therefore extremely important that young researcher are trained on technological and industrial matters.
In this context the programme aims at preparing doctoral graduates, able to give an original contribution to the development of thermonuclear fusion research in a highly interdisciplinary context, where the needed engineering and physics competences complement each other. The availability of the Fusion Laboratories in the network, which offer a wide range of specializations, will allow the candidates, together with the Academic Council, to tailor their own educational path and research activity, balancing competences both in engineering and in physics.
On the basis of this deep culture in the subject, of the proactive environment and of the daily research work in interdisciplinary teams, the graduates should be able to plan new experiments and design and implement the corresponding hardware. Moreover they should be prepared to interact with industry to design and realize key ITER and DEMO components. In this context particular attention will be paid to the problems connected to the design of the thermonuclear reactor.
Main topics of the training and of the research experience
The PhD course addresses the subject of controlled thermonuclear fusion in magnetically confined plasmas. Both fusion science and technology topics are taught. The goal of controlled thermonuclear fusion is to bring on Earth the energy, which powers the Sun: an inexhaustible and environmentally sustainable source, to contribute to the solution of the world energy issue.
To reach this goal a number of problems need to be solved, both theoretically and experimentally. This course aim at giving its students the scientific and technological basis to became key players in this important research task. The course covers 3 main areas: Physics of Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion, Engineering of a Magnetically Confined Fusion Reactor, Experimental tools for diagnosing and controlling in real-time fusion relevant plasmas.
Students will be guided from the basics to state-of-the-art problems and solutions. Strong links with the European Fusion program and the ITER project are in place.
ITER will be the largest magnetic fusion device ever built. ITER is a 17 meters high, 1000 cubic meter plasma volume device, which is under construction in France as a result of a joint project between China, India, Korea, Japan, European Union, Russia and USA. Its goal is to demonstrate the scientific and technological feasibility of fusion by producing 500 MW of fusion power. ITER will start its operation in 2019. To be a success and a key step in the achievement of fusion, ITER need a strong support from the scientific community and a large basis of scientists, who could build it and later exploit it. ITER will need a broad range of expertise, in physics and engineering, also on developing areas like material science and plasma control. This PhD course works in tight contact with ITER and aims at educating new generations of future ITER scientists. To this extent, the topics of the classes are selected among those mostly relevant.
The PhD course is supported by experimental activity in three important European devices: the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak in Garching by Muenchen, the RFX-mod reversed field pinch in Padova and the ISSTOK tokamak in Lisbon. The course will use experiments and tools of these three devices for a modern, experiment based, education. The PhD course at University of Padova will in particular benefit from direct training experience in RFX-mod, which is one of the leading experiments in the world in the field of active feedback control of plasma stability.
Download Call for application: Fusion Science and Engineering 2012-13
Download Final pass list: Fusion Science and Engineering 2012-13