York Plasma Institute News & Events

Frontiers of Fusion Workshop 2018

This years Frontiers of Fusion workshop will take place from the 30th April until the 2nd May, this will be followed by the CDT's Student led conference. To view the agenda for the Frontiers of Fusion workshop, please click here: Agenda (PDF  , 69kb)

For abstracts please click here: Abstracts (PDF  , 291kb)‌. Please note that not all abstracts have been forwarded, we will continue to update as they are received.

45th IOP Plasma Physics Conference

We are pleased to announce that a number of Academic staff, Postdocs and PhD students from the York Plasma Inst presented talks and posters at the 45th IOP Plasma Physics Conference. The event was held at Queens University Belfast, from the 9- 12 April 2018, the conference covered all aspects of plasma physics.

Dr David Dickinson, Dr Kate Lancaster and Dr Deborah O'Connell were all invited speakers this year. Dr Deborah O'Connell also gave a Public Outreach Lecture alongside Prof Norman Maitland (York) on 'It's a matter of life and death for human cancers: When Plasma Physics meets Systems Biology' which discussed how researchers are approaching the matter of major health issues. 

Frederik Riedel, Stephen Biggs, Scott Doyle, Benjamin Woods and David Shaw all presented their research at the event and David Meehan, Sarah Wilson, Laszlo Horvath, Dr Andrew Gibson and Dr Kari Niemi presented posters.

Dr Ben Dudson and Dr Andrew gibson were also on the organising committee for the event.

To view the abstracts please following this link: Abstract booklet.

Congratulations Matt!

We would like to congratulate Matt Thomas who successfully defended his Thesis on Friday 2 March 2018. Matt' Thesis focused on "3D full wave modelling of microwave interactions with plasma density fluctuations". If you would like to read about Matt's thesis, please click here.

Spark! Nuclear energy essay competition

“The Energy Transition”

What is the role of nuclear technology in a world of growing alternative power and digital innovation?


Making friends and cross-channel connections

Following the approval of their essay abstract for the Spark! Competition, York PhD students Philip Bradford, Andrew Malcolm-Neale and William Trickey were invited to an essay workshop and networking event in March 2018. The workshop was held at the Residence of the British Ambassador in Paris and boasted an impressive array of guests holding senior positions in the French and British nuclear fission sector. It was a hugely valuable opportunity to meet engineers and project managers from all aspects of the nuclear field and many were interested to hear about developments in fusion technology and the work being done at the York CDT.

Spark logo

There was a talk by Kirsty Gogan from Energy For Humanity about the current performance of European countries in reducing their carbon emissions, highlighting the vital role nuclear energy will play in de-carbonising the global energy mix. The workshop ended with a tour of the Challenger Building, which is both the headquarters of Bouyges Construction and a towering example of how to combine architecture, urban planning and engineering to create buildings with a positive net energy output. As they move into the final stages of writing their essay, Philip, Andrew and William will be mentored by Xavier Perette of INSTN and Melanie Sachart (EDF project manager at Hinckley Point C). Spark! is funded and run with the help EDF, Framatome, INSTN, EY, Rolls Royce and Assystem.

KSTAR Collaboration

Group photo

13 Fusion CDT students and 6 supervisors travelled to South Korea in February 2018 to attend a collaboration kick-off meeting on research relating to KSTAR (Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research).

Laszlo Horvath, a 3rd year York Fusion CDT student reported back after the trip:

“The Fusion CDT has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the South Korean fusion programme to collaborate on research related to the KSTAR tokamak. KSTAR is a superconducting device which is an important step in the development of continuous, high performance modes of tokamak operation. As KSTAR is extremely well diagnosed, it also has a strong physics programme. The collaboration kick-off meeting was held at the National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI) in Daejon, South Korea. Due to the large number of very impressive talks we had a tight schedule but we managed to fit in a guided tour of the KSTAR torus hall. After the workshop, the UK delegation of 19 people participated the KSTAR Conference where I had a chance to present my poster titled "Analysis of the pedestal structure and stability in H and D plasmas on JET-ILW". The poster session brought many fruitful discussions and in my opinion the trip was absolutely successful. It serves as a good basis for further discussion between UK and KSTAR physicists to start a strong collaboration and bring the realisation of fusion a bit closer”.


Kieran and Tom Body Thomas Body receiving the MSc Outstanding Project and Outstanding Academic Acheivement Prizes 2016/17

We would like to congratulate the MSc Cohort of 2017, Sandra Schröter (PhD), David Blackman (PhD) and David Ryan (PhD), on their graduation which took place on Saturday 20th January.

A reception was hosted by the Physics Department to celebrate their achievements, in the company of friends, family and staff. Professor Kieran Gibson presented prizes and congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Physics Department and wished them every success for the future.

To view photographs, please Click here (PDF  , 5,261kb)

 DDFIW 2018

The 14th Direct Drive and Fast Ignition Workshop is to be held in York, UK 20th-22nd March 2018.  The website is available here. This event will be an exciting opportunity to discuss the latest research in this vibrant area.  Please feel free to forward this invitation to any colleagues who are interested and please consider registering  for the event (registration is free). 

‌On Saturday 3 February, Phil BradfordMatt KhanLeo Doehl and Dr Luca Antonelli will all be traveling to the National Ignition Facility in California. They will be attending the NIF/JLF user conference and contributing to discussions about how the lasers at Livermore National Laboratory should be used and to see what sort of science they are conducting currently. They will also be using the opportunity to look at potential avenues for future collaborations.

Mark Christie Scholarship in Low Temperature Plasma Physics

We are very happy to acknowledge the generous donation from Mark Christie. This donation funds a 3 year PhD scholarship open to UK and EU students providing a great opportunity for a talented young researcher. The most recent donation is helping support a PhD student working on plasma propulsion. If you are interested in applying for a Low Temperature Plasma studentship, please take a look at the relevant webpages for more information. 

Prof. Greg Tallents book is published

Cambridge University Press has published Greg Tallents’ book ‘An introduction to the Atomic and Radiation Physics of Plasmas’. The book develops the physics of emission, absorption and interaction of light in astrophysics and in laboratory plasmas from first principles, using the physics of various fields of study, including quantum mechanics, electricity and magnetism, and statistical physics. The books links undergraduate-level atomic and radiation physics courses with the advanced material required for postgraduate study and research. Much of the content has been developed for courses taught at the University of York, particularly material developed for MSc in Fusion Energy courses in the York Plasma Institute.

Copies of the book are  available from: Cambridge University Press

Team Building 'Away Days'


On Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th December the 1st year CDT cohort travelled to Hathersage in the Hope Valley, for a two day team building activity. It was a fantastic opportunity to improve the group cohesion, bringing together students from the partner universities and the different strands. They were encouraged to do group activities which included - treking, board games, group meals and to complete a collaborative activity linked to their research. All of the students agreed that they had a fantastic time.


We would like to extend our congratulations to Erasmus Du Toit who successfully defended his thesis at viva on Wednesday 15th November. His thesis is entitled 'Kinetic Study of Microwave Start-up in Tokamak Plasmas'. His supervisor is Prof. Roddy Vann.

Published Paper

We are pleased to announce that Scott Doyle ( 3rd Year, LTP Phd) has had a paper published in Plasma Sources Science and Technology, Volume 26. The paper is titled Ehanced control of the ionization rate in radio-frequency plasmas with structured electrodes via tailored voltage waveforms. If you woul dlike to read the paper, please click here.


We would like to congratulate David Blackman on successfully defending his thesis on Friday 20th October. David is leaving YPI to work for CELIA at the University of Bordeaux, we wish David all the best.

Post-graduate Opportunities

If you are thinking of a PhD or MSc degree, have you thought about fusion energy research?


Plasma seminars

YPI hosts regular seminars from international experts in all areas of plasma physics

Next Seminar : Monday 16 April, 13:00

Venue : Debye Lecture Theatre

Guest Speaker : Dr Juliusz Kruszelnicki, University of Michigan 

Seminar Title : Controlling Plasma Reactivity Transfer to Gases, Solids and Liquids

Host : Andrew Gibson

Abstract : Abstract (PDF  , 196kb)


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We are pleased to announce that David Ryan successfully defended his thesis at viva on Thursday 7 September 2017.


The thesis focuses on using simulations of the plasma response to applied RMPs, to further develop current working theories of ELM mitigation and suppression. Simulation results are combined with experimental data to optimise the RMP configuration, this optimisation is tested rigorously on ASDEX Upgrade, and extended to the ITER RMP set.

'We live an interesting age. Prosperity, security and progress are not fate, but we may hope that by our best efforts and new technologies we may accomplish and safeguard them.'

David will continue his research at Culham as a Post-Doctoral Researcher, he will be researching Plasma response and ELM modelling.

Binding Blocks Presentation

Take a look the presentation given by Hannah Willett (York CDT), using the Binding Blocks outreach project to explain fusion energy.




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Congratulations to Sandra Schröter who successfully defended her thesis at viva on the 15th August 2017. The thesis, entitled "Reactive oxygen & hydrogen species generation in RF atmospheric pressure plasmas", deals with the quantification of reactive species produced in atmospheric pressure plasmas from water vapour, using optical diagnostics and simulations. These species are known to play an important role in plasma interaction with biological material such as bacteria or cells. Her supervisor is Dr Deborah O'Connell. Sandra is continuing her work at the York plasma Institute as a post-doctoral researcher.

IoP - Computational Plasma Physics Conference

We are pleased to announce that the Physics Department will be hosting, with the support of EPSRC and AWE, an IoP Computational Plasma Physics Conference. The conference will take place from the 20 - 22 November 2017 and will be based at Kings Manor in the city centre. It is intended for graduate students and researchers, including new PhD starters, relevant mainly for laboratory plasma physics applications. Talks and posters will cover a wide range of numerical tools, techniques, as well as current physics research. 

This is an opportunity for us to highlight the work we do at York, and for PhD students to find out more about the wider community, and receive some training in using advanced numerical tools.

To register, please click here.


Fellowship Awarded to YPI PostDoc

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 We are pleased to announce that Dr Andrew Gibson has been awarded an interdisciplinary University of York Centre for Future Health fellowship! This fellowship is for two years and is intended to provide Andrew with a platform of independence from which he can apply for externally funded fellowships. Andrew’s topic is: "Accelerating low temperature plasmas towards clinical prostate cancer therapy through computer aided design”, mentored by Deborah O’Connell. Congratulations to Andrew - we look forward to watching him build towards the next stage of his career with us.

Invited Talks

In June, Sandra Schröter gave invited talks at this year’s “International workshop on Microplasmas” (9th IWM) and “EPS Conference on Plasma Physics” (44th EPS Conference), taking place in Garmisch-Partenkirchen  (Germany) and Belfast (United Kingdom), respectively. At those conferences, Sandra presented her work on the quantification of reactive species in atmospheric pressure plasmas for biomedical applications.

Click here to read Sandra's abstract for the 44th EPS Conference talk

Graduation Celebrations!








A reception was hosted by the Physics department on Thursday 13th July 2017, to celebrate the graduation of the undergraduate and postgraduate Physics students. The event was attended by graduates, their family and friends as well as staff. Students graduating on the day included three of our YPI PhD students, Arka Bokshi, Chris Bowman and Amelia Lunniss. Professor Sarah Thompson congratulated the graduates on behalf of the Physics Department and wished them well for the future.  

4th Year CDT Student presents at ICF meeting

In June,Jonathan Brodrick a 4th Year CDT Student was given the opportunity to present at the 47th Annual Anomalous Absorption Conference in Oregon, USA. Jonathan received support from the IOP Plasma Physics group and the Research Student Conference Fund to enable him to participate. Please click here to read Jonathan's report on the conference and his experience.

Nuclear Physics Masterclass

On Thursday 22 June 17, the Physics department hosted a 'Nuclear Masterclass' workshop day for 130 year 12 students. 

For further detail about the event: click here.

Nuclear Fusion Highlight of 2016

We would like to congratulate David Thomas whose Nuclear Fusion paper on DBS using Synthetic Aperture Microwave Imaging, has been selected as one of the NF Highlights of 2016. We would also like to extend congratulations to Roddy Vann (York) and co-authors Kai Brunner, Simon Freethy & Billy Huang, all past CDT students.

Recent Press Release

Take a look at a recent press release from the American Institute of Physics on our Plasma Propulsion Research.

Fusion Frontiers Workshop 2017

Poster picture

This year’s Fusion Frontiers and Interfaces workshop took place at the York Plasma Institute from 8th to 10th May 2017. This is an annual postgraduate workshop exploring the frontiers of fusion research and the interfaces with related disciplines through presentations and discussion. For more information about the event, please click here.


24th ITPA meeting on SOL/ Divertor  Physics

ITPA DivSOL meeting

On the 30th May, Alasdair Wynn (4th year CDT student) was invited to speak at the 24th ITPA meeting on SOL/Divertor Physics.To read the abstract for his presentation, please click here.

Novel targets for new laser plasma experiments

A collaboration (led by Dr Kate Lancaster) between York Plasma Institute, Scitech Precision Ltd, and STFC has resulted in the production of a set of novel targets for new laser plasma experiments