York Plasma Institute - Staff, Postdocs and Postgraduate Students

People pages

Academic Staff

Istvan Cziegler photo

Dr Istvan Cziegler


Magnetic Confinement Fusion
James Dedrick

Dr James Dedrick

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Lecturer Low Temperature Plasmas
 Dr David Dickinson Dr David Dickinson

CDT Deputy Programme Director & Senior Admissions Tutor

Magnetic Confinement Fusion
Ben Dudson Dr Ben Dudson

Coordinator of MCF research,

Magnetic Confinement Fusion
Timo Gans

Professor Timo Gans

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Deputy Head of Department of Physics (Research),

Low Temperature Plasmas
Kieran Gibson Professor Kieran Gibson Head of Department of Physics,
Magnetic Confinement Fusion
Andrew Higginbotham

Dr Andrew Higginbotham


Laser Plasmas & Fusion
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Dr Kate Lancaster

YPI Research Fellow for Innovation and Impact,
MSc Course Director, Lecturer

 Laser Plasmas & Fusion
Professor Bruce Lipschultz Professor Magnetic Confinement Fusion
Chris Murphy Dr Chris Murphy


Laser Plasmas & Fusion
Deborah O'Connell

Dr Deborah O'Connell

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Coordinator of LTP research, 
Director of YPI Laboratories,
Low Temperature Plasmas
John Pasley Dr John Pasley Senior Lecturer Laser Plasmas & Fusion
Geoff Pert Professor Geoff Pert Emeritus Professor Laser Plasmas & Fusion
Chris Ridgers Dr Christopher Ridgers


Laser Plasmas & Fusion
Greg Tallents Professor Greg Tallents Acting YPI Dircetor, Coordinator of LPI research,
Laser Plasmas & Fusion
Roddy Vann Professor Roddy Vann

CDT Programme Director

Magnetic Confinement Fusion
Erik Wagenaars

Dr Erik Wagenaars

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Senior Lecturer Low Temperature Plasmas
Howard Wilson Professor Howard Wilson
CDT Principal Investigator,
Magnetic Confinement Fusion
Nigel Woolsey Professor Nigel Woolsey Chair of Board of Studies,
Laser Plasmas & Fusion

Support Staff

 Profile picture Mrs Donna Cook
EU Research & Fusion CDT Project Manager
Photo of Hillary Marshall Mrs Hillary Marshall Finance Administrator
 Staff photo

Mrs Kathryn Harvey

YPI and CDT Administrative Coordinator
Profile picture  Dr Peter Hill
Associate Research Software Engineer
 ‌Ruth Lowman, YPI & CDT Admin Assistant Mrs Ruth Lowman
YPI and CDT Administrative Coordinator
Kari Niemi Dr Kari Niemi
Research Officer
Staff Photo

Jenni Priestley


YPI and CDT Administrative Assistant

PhD Students


Layla Alelyani

I am a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Deborah O’Connell and Dr James Dedrick working in the field of low temperature atmospheric pressure plasmas. These plasmas have been attractive due to their operation under ambient pressure and temperature and also the production of chemically reactive species which are used for biomedical applications. My work focuses on studying electron dynamics in the plasma by applying tailored voltage waveforms, which provides additional control over the plasma characteristics. This in turn controls chemistry and consequently determines the biological mechanisms.

CDT Phd Student Joe Allen

‌I am a PhD student in the SAMI research group, supervised by Dr Roddy Vann.

My research project title is “Microwave imaging of the tokamak plasma edge”, specifically focusing on the SAMI (Synthetic Aperture Microwave Imaging) diagnostic device, currently installed on NSTX-U in Princeton. With its 8 antennae, affording a wide field of view, SAMI can measure plasma microwave emissions actively or passively at a sampling rate of 250 MHz. I will analyse plasma microwave activity in order to measure the elusive edge current density, along with extending innovative pitch angle measurements from SAMI data and looking at consequences of turbulence in the outer plasma. 

Edge localised mode (ELM) control is vital for the longevity of next generation tokamaks, necessitating collection of detailed edge pressure gradient and current density data. Edge pressure gradients can be attained with existing methods, however edge current density remains difficult to measure directly, making values determined from SAMI data important for the future of ELM mitigation.

Michail Anastopoulis Tzanis Michail-Savvas Anastopoulos-Tzanis

I am a FCDT student at the University of York and my supervisors are Prof. Howard Wilson (University of York) and Dr. Christofer Ham (CCFE).

H-mode tokamak plasmas are characterised by steep pressure and current density gradients. Consequently, they are vulnerable to edge localised modes (ELMs), which are eruptions that seriously damage plasma facing components of the tokamak as well as relaxing the temperature profile of the plasma. As a result, understanding and controlling these instabilities is important for future tokamak devices like ITER, in order to increase the efficiency and lifetime of the device. A promising way refers to the application of resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) that destroy the axisymmetry of the magnetic field at the plasma edge. Complete suppression of ELMs has been observed in DIII-D, AUG and KSTAR, while mitigation occurred in MAST and JET. This project will employ a combination of high performance computing using the BOUT++ code and development of reduced analytic models to probe the physics of RMPs in tokamak plasmas. This new knowledge will then be employed to understand the impact of the plasma perturbations on peeling-ballooning stability in an attempt to understand ELM mitigation or suppression.


CDT Phd Student Steve Biggs

I completed an MSci in Physics at the University of Nottingham in 2008. I then worked for an engineering consultancy in the nuclear industry for 6 years, followed by 1 year with a software company in the energy sector.

After that, I studied for an MSc in Fusion Energy before beginning my Fusion CDT position. 

My PhD project will use the gyrokinetics code GS2 to investigate plasma microinstabilities in tokamaks. Microinstabilities drive plasma turbulence, which degrades confinement through increased particle and energy transport. This project aims to quantify the properties of various microinstabilities and include simulated diagnostics in GS2 to facilitate comparison with experiment.

In my spare time, I enjoy heavy metal music, hacking my phone and laptop with open source software, and spending time with my partner and our two year old son.

student profile Martin Blake

I joined the low temperature plasma (LTP) group in September of 2012, where I began studying for a master of research degree.The project focused on the plasma liquid interface for biological applications of low temperature plasmas. It looked at varying the initial plasma conditions and monitoring the species measured at the liquid surface via a variety of techniques (EPR, colourimetry), once the plasma had interacted with it. Deborah O’Connell (Physics) and Victor Chechik (Chemistry) were my joint supervisors for this project.

I then continued my studies in the LTP group by starting a PhD in April of 2014 under the supervision of Timo Gans and Deborah O’Connell, my current project focuses on a variety of diagnostics developed for use in semiconductor manufacturing processes. We are looking to develop optical techniques to enable more process control inside large scale manufacturing plasmas. These experiments are done on a gaseous electronics conference (GEC) cell, to simulate this environment.

Joshua Boothroyd Joshua Boothroyd

‌After graduating from the University of York with an MPhys in 2016, I am now a PhD student under the joint supervision of Timo Gans (York Plasma Institute, Department of Physics) and Terry Dillon (Wolfson Atmospheric Chemistry Laboratories, Department of ‌Chemistry). My work is centred around quantifying the role of short-lived reactive species in atmospheric chemistry.

Short-lived radicals such as atomic chlorine and hydroxyl are important in many chemical and biomedical applications as they are highly reactive. Quantifying the reactivity of these species is difficult as there is not an efficient source of these radicals at atmospheric pressure and temperature. My project is to design and develop an atmospheric pressure plasma source for producing these short-lived species. By using laser spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and the comparative reactivity method, it is possible to measure the radical’s reactivity.

CDT Phd Student Philip Bradford

My PhD project is entitled An All Optical Platform for Magnetised Inertial Fusion and HEDP Research and is supervised by Prof Nigel Woolsey. I will be studying how external magnetic fields can be applied in Inertial Confinement Fusion to help ignite fuel capsules and improve their yields. The addition of a magnetic field is thought to suppress adverse hydrodynamic instabilities and electron heat conduction within the capsules, as well as help with the confinement of thermonuclear alpha particles. Through computation and experiment, I will analyse how strong magnetic fields can be generated using miniature laser-driven electromagnets (an all-optical platform for magnetised HEDP); this will then be combined with high energy density physics research to address a wide variety of problems in the fields of ICF and astrophysical plasmas. 

null Joe Branson

I am studying for a PhD under the supervision of Erik Wagenaars.  

The divertor region of tokamak plasmas is of critical importance for a fusion power plant since it is the region where the hot plasma from the core comes in contact with the walls of the vessel. To limit the heat and particle loads on the walls to an acceptable level, the plasma from the core needs to be cooled down.

This means that the plasma conditions in the divertor are very different from the hot core plasma; not only is the plasma temperature significantly lower, also the plasma is no longer fully ionised. Neutral hydrogen atoms and even molecules exist in these divertor plasmas making their behaviour more complex. These divertor plasma conditions are similar to the low-temperature plasmas that are routinely used in semiconductor industry for manufacturing of computer chips.

This experimental project intends to create a synergy between these plasma physics fields. I will develop and use a laser Thomson scattering diagnostic for measuring electron properties in partially-ionised, molecular plasmas. In this way we can enhance our understanding of the plasma physics and chemistry of these plasmas which is essential for the development of better divertors for future fusion devices.



Student profile Robert Davies

I completed an integrated Masters degree at Durham University and, after a brief foray into software engineering, a one-year MSc in Fusion Energy at the University of York. I am now looking forward to starting my PhD, entitled “Exploring the Physics of the Kinetic Ballooning Mode”, supervised by Dr. David Dickinson.

The premise of my research is as follows: magnetically confined fusion, in which high-temperature plasmas are controlled using magnetic fields, have the potential to revolutionise the energy industry. Currently, the “best bet” for making these devices work is to have a torus-shaped plasma (i.e. the plasma looks like a ring donut). The temperature and density at the core of the plasma are increased by the creation of a so-called “pedestal region” near the edge of the plasma; in this region, temperature and density rise extremely sharply due to the suppression of turbulence. However, the combination of the extreme gradients and high magnetic fields make this region unstable to certain phenomena, such as Edge-Localised Modes (ELMs) and Kinetic Ballooning Modes (KBMs), which cause particles and energy to escape the plasma. This limits the performance of the device, as well as causing damage to the inside of the vessel. I will be using gyro-kinetic and gyro-fluid codes to simulate this edge region and investigate the physics of KBMs; by understanding and controlling the edge instabilities, we become closer to making fusion energy a reality.

null Alexandra Dudkovskaia

My PhD project title is “Modelling Neoclassical Tearing Mode in Tokamak Plasmas”. I am working under the supervision of Prof Howard Wilson.

 The fusion power in future tokamaks like ITER will be proportional to the square of the plasma beta parameter. Instabilities limit this pressure and define the operational limits of the system. Hence understanding and controlling plasma instabilities is important.

One instability of particular concern is called a neoclassical tearing mode (NTM), which arises because of a filamentation of current density in the plasma. This filamentation changes the topology of the magnetic field lines, forming magnetic islands. The pressure is flattened across the islands and, as a result, the core plasma pressure is reduced; this, in turn, reduces the fusion power. This is why NTMs are a concern for ITER. Furthermore, NTMs can lock to the vessel wall and, as a result, terminate the plasma discharge – an event called a disruption. Disruptions impart large thermal and electromagnetic loads that can destroy the first wall of the reactor.

NTMs only grow to large amplitude if a “seed perturbation” exceeds a certain threshold amplitude of about 1cm (in a tokamak plasma about 1m across). Understanding the physics of this threshold, which is complicated because of its small size, is important for avoiding or controlling NTMs on future tokamak-reactors. My research will advance the theory of the threshold physics, and explore the seeding mechanism, providing input to the design and operation of ITER’s NTM control system.

Leo Doehl Leo Doehl 

I am a Fusion CDT student working on “radiation dominated physics in relativistic laser-plasma interactions” at the University of York and supervised by Prof Nigel Woolsey.

Within a few optical cycles a focussed optical laser beam can reach intensities exceeding 10^20 W/cm^2. When incident on a solid this laser creates a high energy density plasma – a short-lived state characterised by extremely high energy densities or pressures. A powerful method for studying these plasmas in situ is X-ray spectroscopy. This has led to the observations of hollow atoms which are atomic states where the atoms or ions have been ionised from inside first. This is an example of a system far from equilibrium. The most plausible cause for forming these hollow atoms, and in the quantities observed, is by photo-pumping the atoms with a very high flux X-ray source. Atomic models suggest this intense X-ray source is polychromatic. The question remains whether it is possible to observe this X-ray source using the hollow atoms as a diagnostic of the laser-solid interaction itself.

The polychromatic X-ray radiation field is thought to originate from nonlinear electron interactions with the laser and relativistic electron transport in the solid. Understanding this could suggest a method for the creation of powerful X-ray sources which may also be useful for other future applications. The radiation field is of such intensity that the generation of it may change nature of the laser absorption processes and an early indication that additional physics will come into play as with increasing laser intensities.

In this project I intent to link experimental studies of ultra-intense laser-solid interactions and hollow atom spectral measurements to computational plasma and atomic physics modelling and theory. With this approach I aim to understand the generation mechanism and spectral properties of the radiation field. The project is part of a large collaboration with colleagues in UK, Germany, USA, Russia and Japan. This project is funded by the Central Laser Facility at the Science Technology Facility Council (STFC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centre for Doctoral Training.

Student Profile Emmeline Douglas Mann

I completed my Bachelors in Physics at Bryn Mawr College in the US and I am now a PhD student based at York in the Fusion CDT program.  My supervisor is Dr. Andy Higginbotham. 

I will be studying dynamic compression of solids, warm dense matter and plasma using the European X-Ray Free Electron Laser's High Energy Density instrument and DiPOLE-X, an optical laser system contributed by the UK. These experiments will generate conditions similar to those in planetary cores and inertial confinement fusion implosions and will reveal the behaviour of matter in these extreme pressures and temperatures.

Experimental work will be complemented by large scale molecular dynamics simulations which allow for a microscopic understanding of material undergoing rapid deformation.

Scott Doyle profile pic Scott Doyle

In September 2014 I graduated from York with an Msc in fusion energy and immediately started on my PhD under the supervision of Dr James Dedrick. My research focuses on low temperature plasma applications for spacecraft propulsion, specifically miniaturizing plasma thrusters for use on modern satellites. Radio-frequency plasmas typically employ a 13.56MHz sinusoidal waveform, which is applied to the plasma through either capacitive or inductive means. However, this method of power deposition introduces an unavoidable dependency between particle energy distributions and plasma density. In order to increase ion energy (and therefore thrust) one must also increase plasma density, creating a large energy loss pathway for plasma propulsion devices through extraneous ionization. By employing non-sinusoidal voltage waveforms we are able to decouple desired plasma properties and more effectively produce energetic ion species for propulsion or industrial applications. Work in this area is being achieved through experimental work on our own lab microthruster here at York and 2D fluid/Monte-Carlo simulations. 

Student Profile Harry Dudding

Having completed an MSci degree in Physics at Imperial College, I am now undertaking a PhD project based at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), partnered with the University of York. My research looks at the scaling of particle and energy confinement in tokamaks with different fuel isotopes, using various computational models of plasma transport. It is supervised by Dr. David Dickinson (York) and Dr. Francis Casson (CCFE).

While tokamaks to date have used mainly deuterium plasmas, ITER and future reactors will operate using a mix of deuterium and tritium. In preparation for these devices, a strong understanding of the relation between different fuel isotopes and how they affect plasma transport processes must be established, as current theory predicts the opposite trend of that observed experimentally.

For this project, different computational models will be used to investigate this relation, from non-linear gyrokinetic codes to simpler gyrofluid codes, validating their predictions with data from JET. This includes JET’s upcoming deuterium-tritium campaign, which will take place over the course of this PhD. These improved models can then be used in integrated plasma simulators for future works.

Profile Picture Matthew Dunn

I graduated with an MPhys from the University of York in 2017, and am now a fusion CDT student under the supervision of Professor Kieran Gibson (York Plasma Institute) and Dr Andrew Thornton (Culham Centre for Fusion Energy). My project title is Investigation of the power balance in advanced divertor configurations on MAST-U.

The divertor is the regulator valve and exhaust of the tokamak. The diverted particles hit an armoured plate and are absorbed, so the energy they carry is wasted rather than used for generating electricity. The MAST Upgrade has seen it fitted with a novel Super-X divertor, which is expected to distribute the power more efficiently. This project will measure the power balance experimentally and analytically, and will compare these results with theory and modelling to assess the Super-X divertor configuration.


Fusion CDT Student James Ellis James Ellis

I am studying for a PhD under the joint supervisor of Timo Gans and Deborah O'Connell at the University of York.

The majority of conventional magnetic confinement fusion plasmas require the use of neutral beam injectors (NBI) – in tangent with other mechanisms – in order to heat the plasma to fusion relevant temperatures. Conventionally positive ions are sourced from a low temperature plasma, these are then accelerated through an electric field and neutralised prior to being deposited into the core fusion plasma. An alternative method for the generation of neutral particles is to use negatively charged ions. My project is to develop a highly sensitive optical diagnostic technique based on
Cavity Ring Down Spectroscopy (CRDS) in order to accurately measure the concentration of these electronegative ions.


Damon Farley Damon Farley

My project title is ‘Experimental investigations of relativistic laser-plasma interaction physics’.

Fast Ignition (FI) is one approach being pursued in order to achieve nuclear fusion through inertial confinement. This regime distinguishes itself from the conventional approach to ignition by the insertion of a gold cone into the centre of the target; this allows secondary lasers to be directed close to the core of the deuterium-tritium fuel to develop the spark that initiates nuclear fusion.

Under the supervision of Drs K Lancaster and J Pasley, the physics of primary relevance to the project outlined here is the understanding of the generation and transport of relativistic electrons generated during ultra-intense laser-plasma interactions. Through investigation of the production, divergence and transport of these energetic electrons at the cone apex, further understanding of target heating can be obtained; allowing the required temperatures to initiate nuclear fusion to be within closer reach.

Collaborations are to be undertaken with facilities such as the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, with work being linked to recent investigations into reducing electron divergence through structured guiding targets and the hydrodynamics generated by the laser pre-pulse carried out at the respective facilities.

All work is directly relevant to the EPSRC Plasma and lasersresearch area and the Emergence and Physics Far From Equilibriumgrand challenge set out by the research council. In order for a viable inertial fusion energy source to be realised, a number of technical challenges need to be overcome. Understanding the physics of relativistic electrons in laser plasma interactions is a fundamental part of the development of a route to high gain laser driven fusion.

Profile Picture Fabio Federici

I am a Fusion CDT student working under the supervision of Prof. Bruce Lipschultz of University of York and Dr. Matthew Reinke of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

In the pathway of developing reliable fusion energy, plasma exhaust management is becoming of increasing importance, to preserve wall components and to prolong a fusion reactor's operational life. To maximise reactor lifetime it is important to achieve a deep understanding of power fluxes and losses and improved diagnostics are needed. My work will focus on radiated power in the divertor and x-point regions of the tokamak. Given a large amount of power loss is in wavelength ranges where reflective and refractive optics cannot be used, I will utilise specialized sensors which must be placed in vacuum with a direct view of the high-temperature plasma. A promising diagnostic technique is that of an InfraRed Video Bolometer (IRVB), where the radiation from the plasma is imaged onto an absorbing surface and the resulting temperature change of the thermal absorber is interpreted from the change in black-body radiation using a sensitive, high resolution infrared camera, which is viewing the absorber.

My research project title is "Development of Infrared Video Bolometers (IRVB) for Divertor Radiated Power Measurements". Its target is to design, build and operate a IRVB diagnostic device to be installed on MAST-U tokamak at CCFE, Culham, UK. In order to understand the device characteristics and improve its design, complementary work will be done on an existing IRVB diagnostic device currently under development at ORNL to be installed in the NSTX-U tokamak at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, USA. With the knowledge from those tests an improved version will be designed for MAST-U and installed there. Following that I will operate and use the IRVB to study the role of radiation in the divertor and in the region of the x-point.


PHD Student 2016 Chen Geng

I am a PhD student working on micro-tearing modes in tokamak plasmas under the supervision of Prof Howard Wilson. Micro-tearing modes are small scale tearing modes driven by electron temperature gradient. They provide a source of magnetic fluctuations which could enhance thermal transports in tokamaks. These resistive instabilities are also a particularly important issue for magnetic configurations with a strong bootstrap current, as this can amplify the instability, further degrading confinement and possibly leading to a disruption. My work would focus on understanding the physics of the micro-tearing modes, especially the role of collisions. Prof Wilson and I plan to build a new model for it in a toroidal plasma geometry and extend to identify drives for the instability that could occur in future, hotter less collisional plasmas.


Student Profile Lucy Holland

I completed my undergraduate degree in Physics at the University of Warwick and am now undertaking a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Roddy Vann. The title of my project is "Supercomputer simulations of microwave-plasma interactions".

Microwaves are of great importance in tokamak plasmas. They are produced from the plasma electrons' cyclotron emissions, the measurement of which can be used to provide spatially-localised temperature information. Microwave beams are also used in plasma heating and to drive currents. Due to the strong fluctuations of the tokamak plasma, some of which are of a comparable length scale to microwave wavelengths, the full interaction between microwaves and the plasma are not fully understood, so a full-wave code is needed to solve the problem numerically. 

I will be using code developed at York, called EMIT-3D, to answer unsolved problems in microwave interactions with tokamak plasmas. Potential areas of interest are whether the heating beams on ITER will be scattered by turbulence in the plasma edge, and whether there are circumstances under which microwave heating beams can decay into other modes before they reach their intended absorption region.

CDT Student Laszlo Horvath Laszlo Horvath 

The title of my project is ‘Isotope effects of the edge transport barrier of JET-ILW H-modes’. The JET tokamak is preparing to enter a phase of D-T experimental campaigns with both full tritium and deuterium-tritium operation. Together with the ITER-like combination of plasma facing components this phase will address key aspects of operation with different hydrogen isotopes and will demonstrate ITER regimes in D-T. The project will focus on the analysis of JET-ILW H-mode pedestal data collected during the 2015/16 D-D campaigns and during the later campaigns in full tritium and D-T mixtures. JET will be in an excellent position for creating a high quality confinement and profile database suitable for studying core and pedestal contributions to the global confinement, to study the isotope scaling of the pedestal structure, to investigate the inter-ELM transport and the micro turbulence limiting the pedestal gradients.

Profile Lena Howlett

I graduated with an MPhys degree from the University of Manchester in 2017 and came straight to York to complete the MSc in Fusion Energy at the York Plasma Institute. Now I am starting on the Fusion CDT with a project titled "Turbulence in confinement transitions in novel divertor configurations" supervised by Dr Istvan Cziegler at York and Dr Simon Freethy at CCFE.

The high-confinement regime or H-mode describes a state of greatly increased performance, with increases in plasma density and temperature leading to a significant gain in fusion power. Since the dominant source of transport of mass and heat between the magnetic flux surfaces is due to turbulence, the increase in confinement for the transition from low-confinement L-mode to H-mode can be thought of as a suppression of turbulence.

The confinement regimes are influenced by macroscopic parameters such as the geometry of the divertor (the exhaust of the tokamak), and the recent upgrade of the Mega-Ampere Spherical Tokamak (MAST-U) will allow a detailed study of the effect of different divertor configurations on the L-H transition, including advanced concepts such as the super-X divertor which have not previously been explored. In my project I will be analysing data from imaging diagnostics at MAST-U with the aim to examining the nonlinear dynamics of phase transitions.

Student Profile Emma Hume

Profile coming soon


Profile Picture Matthew Khan

Having completed the MSc in Fusion energy here at York, I will be working towards my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Nigel Woolsey. The focus of my work will be on shock ignition; an advanced drive variant of inertial fusion experiments, with the title “Plasma kinetics, pre-heat, and the emergence of strong shocks in laser fusion”.

Conventional inertial confinement fusion or ICF experiments aim to compress a deuterium-tritium filled capsule to high densities and then to high temperatures in order to induce fusion reactions. With correct timing, an intense spike in laser power can drive a strong shock wave into the the compressed deuterium-tritium fuel to coincide with the peak compression and initiate fusion. The physics that underpins the plasma kinetics associated with launching the intense shock, and the effect of energetic or ‘hot’ electrons on the capsule performance, are poorly understood. This project will address questions associated with the laser-plasma-instabilities and capsule preheat due to energy deposition by these hot electrons.


Profile Picture James Lolley

My PhD, supervised by Dr Erik Wagenaars and Prof Greg Tallents, focuses on the interactions between high-power lasers and solids, specifically ablation – the conversion of solid material to plasma. Experimental investigations will use several state-of-the-art laser systems in the YPI laboratories that vary from the infrared to extreme ultra-violet (EUV) regime. The aim is to produce a more complete picture of the wavelength dependence of this process, with an emphasis on absorption mechanisms. Ablation already has a range of applications at optical wavelengths but only more recently have short-wavelength sources become available in the laboratory, allowing us to investigate behaviour applicable to indirect-drive ICF.

CDT Phd Student Caroline Lumsden

I am a PhD student based at the York Plasma Institute, supervised by Dr. Andrew Higginbotham. My project focusses on x-ray scattering from high pressure liquids, and in particular using isentropic relaxation after shock compression as a method for determining the melt curve of materials at high pressures. These conditions are found in Inertial Confinement Fusion experiments and in planetary cores.


CDT Phd Student Andrew Malcolm-Neale

Fusion CDT PhD candidate supervised by Istvan Cziegler (YPI) and Anthony Field (CCFE) having read Bsc(Hons) Logic and Philosophy of Science & Physics at Uo St Andrews and then MSc Fusion Energy at Uo York.

Sustaining core energy confinement in tokamaks continues to be bedevilled by so-called 'anomalous' particle and energy transport, which is driven by relatively poorly understood plasma turbulence. Existing designs to overcome this problem rely on engineering costly increases in scale to give more time for fusion before loss. This project is looking to inform a more physical approach by using the Beam Emission Spectrosccopy (BES) diagnostic on MAST-U to study transport and transfer in turbulence. BES looks at the formation and interaction of turbulent structures that need to be understood in order to reliably predict the performance and plasma phase of fusion machines.

We will perform experiments that can both inform and test reduced models of the complex turbulence-flow interactions at various depths of the tokamak. Detailed observations of turbulence in both the plasma core and near the edge are still lacking and so robust data will also be invaluable in validating large simulations.

Profile Picture Michael Mo

I am an aeronautical engineering graduate from the University of Bristol, and my research will be on 'Metrology for in-situ industrial plasma processing'. I will be based at the University of York with Dr. Deborah O'Connell and Prof. Timo Gans as my supervisors.

Low-temperature plasmas already enable diverse technologies ranging from nano-electronics for electronic computer and mobile phone chips, spacecraft propulsion to surgical devices. ‘Cold’ plasmas are weakly ionised and far from thermodynamic equilibrium; the electrons are hot (i.e. ~ 10,000°C), while the heavier ions and neutrals (dominant component) are close to room temperature. These plasmas efficiently produce reactive species, particularly free radicals e.g. atoms, that play a crucial role in surface interactions. In order to better control and design the plasma surface interaction knowledge of the dynamics of these species is important. These processes also mimic those in the divertor region of fusion reactors. Sensors that probe the plasma-surface interface are critical to feed into design strategies for both processing applications and boundaries in fusion reactors.

The project will build on a developing sensor design concept, with proof-of-principle already demonstrated, to probe the plasma-surface interface. In addition, the metrology concept will be suitably adapted and implemented as a real-time sensor for process control. Moreover, plasma operating conditions common to processing applications and divertor regions will be investigated, namely molecular electro-negative gases e.g. hydrogen and oxygen.


Student Profile Stuart Morris

I graduated from the University of Manchester with a MPhys in 2017, and then went on to start a PhD course under the joint supervision of Dr. Christopher Ridgers (York Plasma Institute), and Dr. Martin Ramsay (Atomic Weapons Establishment).
My research focuses on high intensity laser-plasma interactions, combining the plasma simulation toolkit Epoch, and the high energy physics toolkit Geant4. I have also been tasked with extending the Epoch libraries to include Bremsstrahlung radiation.

student profile Hasan Muhammed

I am an Imperial College London physics graduate who is moving onto the CDT after finishing the wonderful Fusion MSc at York. My motivation lies in the prospect of creating a tokamak plasma capable of generating clean and near limitless power. To this end, I will be working on simulations of ‘Turbulence and Instabilities in the Super-X Divertor’ under the supervision of Dr. Ben Dudson.

The divertor is used to extract heat and ash produced by the fusion reaction, minimise plasma contamination, and protect the surrounding walls from thermal and neutronic loads. It is a vital component in any modern tokamak design, but improved control and understanding of the divertor plasma is still required before a viable fusion power plant can be created. Optimisation of the divertor requires enhancement of cross-field transport (through turbulence), as well as to the removal of energy and momentum from the plasma using atoms, molecules and impurity ions.

My work aims to generate a better understanding of the toll that turbulence and instabilities have on the removal of energy and momentum from divertor plasmas. I will use state of the art simulation tools built on the BOUT++ framework and aim to make improvements to the underlying mathematical and physical models, and the implementation of numerical algorithms. I will then look to using these models to understand experimental data and make predictions which can be tested experimentally on the upcoming UK flagship tokamak experiment, MAST-Upgrade. One of the key features of this tokamak is the Super-X Divertor that implements a long-legged divertor configuration with a more complex magnetic topology

CDT Phd Student Omkar Myatra

An important challenge that must be addressed in order to make MCF commercially viable is that of power handling. Future high power fusion devices will need to have very good energy confinement to be efficient, but good energy confinement also leads to extremely high heat loads on heat exhaust surfaces called the 'divertor targets'. A crucial though incompletely understood process is that of 'detachment', in which radiative losses and transport across the magnetic field cause the plasma to cool so strongly that ions and electrons recombine into neutrals near the divertor target. This dramatically reduces the heat loads on the surface, but needs to be better understood and controlled if it is to be used in future devices.

My project title is 'Taming the flame - Understanding how plasma transport, turbulence and atomic physics will lead to a viable heat exhaust process'. I will be based in York for the most part of this project, where Dr Ben Dudson will be my primary supervisor and Prof Bruce Lipschultz will be my secondary supervisor. I will spend at least a year at CCFE, where I will be supervised by Dr James Harrison and Dr David Moulton.

In this project I will be using high performance plasma simulation codes to study the effect of divertor geometry on divertor conditions, in particular detachment. The simulations will be used to better understand the underlying processes and to make hypotheses which can be tested experimentally, with the aim of improving our understanding of detachment.


CDT Phd Student Thomas Nicholas

One of the biggest obstacles to achieving commercial fusion energy is the excessive heat and particle fluxes that the divertor (exhaust system) of future magnetic-confinement fusion reactors will be subject to. The fluxes on this critical component are primarily determined by the transport of heat and particles in the Scrape Off Layer (SOL). This behaviour is in turn largely determined by the motions of coherent plasma structures called filaments, which are significantly more dense and hot than the surrounding plasma, and highly elongated along the magnetic field. This project involves using computer simulations to advance current understanding of the dynamics of these filaments, to gain insight into SOL turbulence and transport, and to better predict the heat fluxes on the divertor.

I will be concentrating on simulating the newly-upgraded super-X divertor configuration of MAST-U, a UK experiment at CCFE, before it begins plasma operations in 2017. I am studying under the supervision of Ben Dudson (York) and Fulvio Militello (CCFE), while primarily based at CCFE.  Funding is provided by an EPSRC iCASE award and the EPSRC Fusion CDT.


Student Profile Michel Osca Engelbrecht

Since graduating in 2016 in Aerospace Engineering at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain), I started developing my career in the area of plasma physics. As part of my bachelor final project I explored magnetized targets for inertial confinement fusion, which led me to work as a research collaborator at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Afterwards, I worked as an intern at Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching (Germany). 
These experiences encouraged me to undertake the MSc in Fusion Energies at University of York. During my Masters I have been involved in a research project that studies ultra-relativistic high-intensity laser-plasma interactions,  part of which is included in my Masters Dissertation. 
My PhD subject is “Cross-field Transport in Magnetized Plasmas”. I use kinetic simulations to investigate high frequency modes and turbulence in plasmas containing strong magnetic fields and the consequences for magnetic confinement fusion.  I am based primarily at the University of York, but work in collaboration with experimental groups at Imperial College London and the University of Liverpool to explore the relevance of my simulations to plasma thrusters and magnetron sputtering devices.

CDT Phd Student Simon Orchard

I am working on the project, ‘Using advanced camera image and data analysis to address an important hurdle for magnetic fusion energy’, supervised by Prof Bruce Lipschultz and Dr James Harrison(CCFE).

For magnetic fusion reactors to function effectively, it is important to minimize the heat flux and erosion of divertor surfaces. Existing methods for lowering the heat flux combine plasma and atomic physics with improvements in surface geometry. However further reductions are needed along with a better understanding of the physics.

In my project, I will analyse CCD images of the MAST-U Super-X divertor using ray tracing and tomography techniques. These will then be integrated with atomic physics models and other diagnostics to derive the properties and evolution of the plasma. This will help advance our basic physics understanding of what processes are at work in the divertor region and the data will serve as a basis for testing (or benchmarking) our numerical models of the divertor region.

Picture Profile Joseph Owen

I completed my undergraduate degree at Keele University, studying Physics with Mathematics. Upon completion I enrolled on the MSc in Fusion Energy at York, which I thoroughly enjoyed! It gave me the opportunity to work at the Central Laser Facility over the summer looking at fast electron transport simulations.

I look forward to being back in York and starting work again at the YPI.

Currently I am studying for a PhD as part of the CDT looking at target design in inertial confinement fusion. This type of approach involves the compression of a spherical fuel assembly (usually a Deuterium/Tritium mix) to high densities via laser irradiation.  Compression is due to ablation of the laser heated material in the outer shell.  Capsule implosion dynamics and hotspot generation can be tailored and optimized via changes to the initial target composition, addition of new material layers and other methods such as modification of the power profile of the laser.


CDT Phd Student Bhavin Patel

My project is title 'In Search of Compact Routes to Fusion', which is being supervised by Dr David Dickinson and Prof. Howard Wilson.

The size of a fusion device is determined to a large extent by how effectively the deuterium-tritium mix fuel can be confined by the magnetic field. Plasma turbulence driven by small scale micro-instabilities is the main transport process that degrades confinement, and is a major driver for the size of a fusion device. In this project I will explore the impact of different magnetic topologies on the micro-instabilities, their associated turbulence and the resulting transport. We know that these are influenced by plasma flows and by a parameter called beta, which is the ratio of the thermal energy stored in the plasma to the energy in the magnetic field confining that plasma. Spherical tokamaks have a magnetic geometry that provides access to high flows and high beta, so my attention will be focused on these. Although this is largely a theoretical and computational project, that will exploit some of the largest supercomputers in the world, I will work closely with experimentalists working on the MAST-U spherical tokamak at Culham Science Centre. This will provide valuable tests of our models and predictions, and enhance the impact of our research.

‌ Ashley Poole

I am a PhD student based at the York Plasma Institute, University of York. I study temperature diagnosis of dynamically compressed systems as part of Dr. Andrew Higginbotham’s research group.

Dynamically compressed systems can be created by driving an ablator-coated material with a high power laser, such as the Vulcan laser at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, or the National Ignition Facility in the US. These high pressure systems occur naturally in the cores of massive planets and also in inertial confinement fusion experiments. Currently there is no reliable way to measure the temperature of these systems, a problem that has burdened the community for some time. We plan to devise a method of measuring their temperature by the novel application of well understood x-ray diffraction techniques.


Student Profile Frederik Riedel

Profile coming soon


Profile Picture Matthew Selwood

PhD student within the Fusion CDT, based in the York Plasma Institute supervised by Dr. Chris Murphy. Previously read MSci in Chemical Physics with Industrial Experience at the University of Bristol, spending a year with the Central Laser Facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories in Didcot as a Target Area Scientist.

X-ray imaging with a CCD is most commonly performed with a pinhole aperture. However, high power laser-solid interactions do not always produce a sufficient intensity of radiation to be adequately imaged. This project will explore advancements of aperture design to allow for a higher throughput of radiation, whilst conserving or bettering the image resolution of the current pinhole aperture at the micron level.

D.Shaw Dave Shaw

I am working within the low-temperature-plasma group at York and my supervisor is Dr Erik Wagenaars.

Erosion and re-deposition of (divertor) wall materials like carbon, beryllium, and tungsten is an increasing issue for tokamak devices, impacting reliable operation and performance. For example, eroded carbon materials, together with hydrogen/deuterium/tritium fuel, will form hydrocarbon (a-C:H) films which retain fusion fuel and, when deposited on in-vessel optical components of diagnostic systems, lead to a distortion of data obtained. Understanding of how these a-C:H, Be, and W films form in the low-temperature plasma conditions close to the walls and, more importantly, strategies of avoiding or removing these films in a controlled way is the topic of the project.  A specific topic of interest is cleaning of optics in the divertor region of a tokamak using low-temperature reactive plasmas. For these cleaning methods, low electron temperature and ionisation fraction are essential, and non-equilibrium plasmas are ideally suited to produce ions with controllable energy and large quantities of very reactive, neutral radical species, which interact with the a-C:H, Be, or W films on the optics, removing the deposits. The project is a combination of experiments and numerical modelling and aims at understanding the mechanisms at play in forming and removing relevant Be-, C-, and W-containing films leading to implementation of cleaning techniques in tokamaks.

C.Slade-Lowther Cody Slade-Lowther

Typical plasmas are treated as (semi-)classical, with relativistic effects playing a fairly minor role. However, the use of ultra-high-intensity lasers in laser-matter interactions can result in the formation of ultra-relativistic plasmas. Here, relativistic effects strongly alter the plasma behaviour and quantum electrodynamical (QED) effects begin to become important. Under the supervision of Dr C Ridgers, the intended aim of my research is to investigate these so-called QED-plasmas and the physics of relativistic laser-plasma interactions through analytical calculations supported by computational analysis.

Student Profile Gregory Smith

I completed a Master of Physics undergraduate degree at the University of York in 2016. Now I am part of the fusion CDT programme based in York.

My work, as part of the CDT programme, is researching and developing new ways of extracting ions from a plasma for use in many applications; including next generation magnetic confinement fusion reactors, space craft propulsion, and manufacturing processes which require focused ion beams. Current methods can create high density ion sources using low temperature plasmas, but the challenge is to improve the efficiency of the extraction process. So the aim of my work is to develop innovative ways to improve the efficiency of ion extraction.

Siobhan Smith Siobhan Smith 

I am a PhD student supervised by Professor Howard Wilson and Dr Ben Dudson at York and Dr Stanislas Pamela at CCFE. My project title is “Influence of kinetic effects & magnetic fields on energy transport in high energy density plasmas”

Edge localised modes (ELMs) occur in tokamaks during the high confinement mode (H-mode) of the plasma. In H-mode there are sharp gradients in pressure and current density at the plasma edge causing instabilities. These magneto hydrodynamic instabilities trigger eruptions of filamentary structures from the plasma edge – ELMs. Whilst ELMs decrease the energy confinement within a tokamak they are beneficial in that they can remove impurities from within the plasma and control the density. ELMs release particles/energy when triggered which are transported to the divertor region within a tokamak and then to material surfaces. It is important to understand and control ELMs especially in ITER- sized tokamaks where large amounts of energy will reach the divertor plates. The large heat loads they deliver are a concern because they exceed the limits that known materials can handle. It is therefore crucial to improve our understanding of ELMs and learn how to mitigate or suppress them if ITER is to achieve its full objectives. The initial focus of my project will be to simulate ELMs in the JET tokamak, which has the same geometry as ITER, and compare with experiment to gain confidence in the results. 

Beyond ITER, there is a concern over the steady heat loads experienced by the exhaust components in designs for a demonstration reactor, DEMO. A solution to this issue could be to change the geometry of the divertor in order to reduce the heat load reaching the plates. Altering the configuration of the divertor could also have an effect on the ELMs. High performance computing provides a mechanism to explore this. The MAST tokamak is currently having a new divertor region upgrade to the Super-X configuration. This new magnetic geometry is expected to have a beneficial impact on the steady heat loads to material surfaces, but the impact on ELMs is not known. Simulations of edge localised modes in this new configuration will be conducted using BOUT ++ and the 3D nonlinear MHD code JOREK to show how the configuration will affect the ELMs. Benchmarking of the two codes will be done as well as comparisons with experiment when MAST upgrade resumes operation in 2017. 

This project will be a collaboration with Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), supervised by Professor Howard Wilson and Dr Ben Dudson at York and Dr Stanislas Pamela at CCFE. Funding is provided by an EPSRC ICASE award and the EPSRC Fusion CDT

Profile Picture Eduardo Solis Meza

I am a PhD student on the Fusion CDT programme, based at the University of York. I completed my undergraduate degree at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (The National Autonomous University of Mexico). My supervisors are Dr Erik Wagenaars and Prof Greg Tallents and my research is about the study of extreme ultraviolet laser ablation for fusion applications.

Fusion reactions combine lighter atoms, such as hydrogen, together to form larger ones and release significant amounts of energy. Fusion energy aims to use such reactions for the production of renewable energy. Inertial Confinement Fusion is one of the approaches to achieve fusion energy and this project sits in this area. The main concept is to achieve fusion by heating and compressing a fuel target using high-power lasers. Laser ablation, i.e. a high-power laser interacts with a target, turning it into a plasma, is one of the key processes in Inertial Confinement Fusion. This project aims to study the fundamental physics behind laser ablation of solid materials, in particular focusing on the differences as a function of wavelength, from IR to EUV. It will involve both experimental as well as computational modelling investigations. Plasma diagnostics such as optical emission spectroscopy, time-resolved imaging, shadowgraphy and interferometry will be used the study the properties of the ablation process.


F.Thomas Fred Thomas

I've just begun studying for a PhD in fusion reactor neutronics under the supervision of Dr. Lee Morgan (CCFE) and Dr. John Pasley (York). I am working with the Applied Radiation Physics group at CCFE. Future fusion power plants such as DEMO will produce extremely intense 14 MeV neutron fluxes, with components having to survive large lifetime fluences (time integrated flux). Work is already being conducted on modelling materials under 14 MeV neutron bombardment to discern their changing material properties. However, very limited work has been conducted on coupling neutron transport codes such as MCNP or Serpent with engineering analysis codes such as OpenFOAM or ANSYS to see what effect the neutron fluxes will have at a macroscopic or component level. This coupling of neutronics to, say, thermal hydraulics or other phenomena will constitute the start of my research.

Profile Picture Steven Thomas

I graduated with a BSc in physics from the University of Manchester in 2011. I spent the next few years working mainly as a maths and physics tutor for GCSE and A level students before taking a break to travel in 2014. Upon my return I continued working as a tutor as well as branching out into teaching in schools. I decided to change careers and joined the fusion energy MSc at the University of York in 2016/17. I am now starting a PhD on the Fusion CDT under the supervision of Istvan Cziegler (YPI) and Anthony Field (CCFE).

As plasmas in magnetic confinement experiments can reach temperatures in excess of a keV, their interaction with vessel walls is of great importance and interest. It is at this edge, where magnetic field lines can pierce sollid surfaces, where the most turbulent area of the plasma lies. Since turbulence is widely regarded as the main mechanism responsible for the majority of heat and mass transport between magnetic flux surfaces, its analysis is central to the success of controlled fusion.

It is within this exciting area of physics that I shall be conducting my research.

CDT Phd Student William Trickey

I am studying for a PhD at York University. My work involves the extreme shockwave studies for inertial fusion. Previously I studied an MPhys degree at the University of Manchester

Inertial confinement fusion has been investigated for 50 years since the invention of the laser. Two new variants are the Fast and Shock approaches to fusion. Thanks to the high gain of these methods they have useful applications in producing fusion energy. The project will examine the hydrodynamics related to the interaction between high energy, short pulse lasers and dense plasma. Experiments will be carried out at facilities around the world.


CDT PHd Student Christopher Underwood

I am a Ph.D. student at the University of York under Dr Chris Murphy. I shall be investigating Laser Plasma interactions under new high powered laser sources. I am hoping to look at the new potential sources that this could create, and also looking into QED-Plasmas.


K.Verhaegh Kevin Verhaegh

In order to obtain net power from a tokamak, the tokamak has to be made bigger than current facilities – which is partly why ITER is much larger than current tokamaks. One challenging aspect which arises in this case is that the heat loads on the materials facing the plasma become so large that no materials exist which can handle such a heat load. Therefore researching techniques to lower the heat load at the plasma facing components (commonly referred to as the divertor - a separate region where the plasma is “diverted” to and touches the plasma facing components) while maintaining a high performance in the core is essential for future tokamaks.

After completing my MScs in Science and Technology of Nuclear fusion and Applied Physics - both at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands - I started my PhD at the University of York under supervision of Prof. Bruce Lipschultz (University of York) and Dr. Holger Remeirdes (EPFL – Lausanne). During my PhD I am based at TCV - a tokamak based at EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland. A unique feature of TCV is that there is a lot of freedom to “shape” the plasma, which can potentially lead to lower heat loads. My job at TCV is to look at the light radiated by the plasma near the plasma facing components with a spectrometer. By doing so, we can deduce the plasma parameters at the divertor. With these parameters we can work on a better understanding of how shaping the plasma can affect the heat load. 


CDT PHd Student Sam Ward

In case you're wondering, flicking the switch on a multi-billion pound experimental nuclear reactor may not be the best idea if you're not sure what will happen! What makes things trickier is there are tonnes of characteristics and physical behaviours associated with a confined plasma that are extremely hard to measure or predict. So one of the best ways to ensure you really understand what just happened - and what may be about to happen - inside a Tokamak is to try and simulate it. So after graduating from the University of Manchester, that's why I've come to study with York - to undertake a project titled "Modelling Energetic Particles in ITER".

This project involves developing a platform which combines real data with simulations to produce analytical tools for those running the ITER tokamak. More specifically, various software and hardware architectures - both old and cutting-edge - will be explored in addition to parallel computing to make everyone's lives at ITER a bit easier! 

Student profile David West

Prior to entering the CDT program, I obtained a BSc in Natural Sciences from the University of Leeds, and a MSc in Fusion Energy from the University of York. My project, supervised by Dr. John Pasley, focuses on Extreme Laser-Driven Hydrodynamics and Particle Production. High intensity, short-pulse lasers can create extreme conditions, such as temperatures in excess of 10 million Kelvin or gigabar pressure shock waves. The project will involve the design, performance, and analysis, of experiments which will investigate the hydrodynamic behaviour of materials, and the production of particles, due to the interaction between solid materials and extremely intense laser radiation.  

‌ Michael Wigram 

I graduated from the University of Manchester with an MPhys Physics degree, and am now studying for a PhD at York on the Fusion CDT programme. My PhD project is in computational modelling of magnetic confinement fusion, under the supervision of Dr Chris Ridgers and Dr Ben Dudson.

Energy transport plays a crucial role in the tokamak exhaust region - the 'Scrape-Off-Layer' where open magnetic field lines divert hot plasma leaving the tokamak core on to armour-plated regions of the wall called 'divertors'. There are technological limits to the power density which material surfaces can withstand for long times: In ITER the mitigated power load is predicted to be 10 MW/m2, comparable to the loads on jet engine turbine blades and rocket exhausts, reduced from an unmitigated surface heat flux of ~40MW/m2 which will be even greater on future demonstration fusion power plants. Predicting this heat flow is therefore crucial to the realisation of fusion energy, but energy transport parallel to the magnetic field lines in the SOL deviates strongly from 'classical' local theory. The transport becomes non-local, depending on conditions in distant regions of the plasma.

Accurately capturing non-locality is a major challenge for predictive modelling of the SOL. Ab-initio calculations of the transport testing the various heuristic non-local models currently used have rarely been performed. The aim of this project is to perform the first tests of these models with large-scale kinetic codes (BOUT++) which calculate the transport from first principles, with the intention of using the models to study the impact of non-local thermal transport on plasma detachment and other temperature dependent processes in the SOL.

S.Wilson Sarah Wilson

I am working on my PhD under the supervision of Prof Greg Tallents on the physics of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) laser interaction with materials.  Applications include the production of warm dense matter and the ablation of high aspect ratio features  in solids.  My work will include the investigation of appropriate optics for the focusing of a capillary discharge laser at wavelength 48.9 nm and the investigation of the spectra and ion products produced when an EUV laser ablates materials.   The effect of propagation through materials on EUV beam profiles will also be studied. 

Benjamin Woods Benjamin Woods

I am studying for a PhD under the supervision of Dr Roddy Vann at the University of York.

My project involves examining resonant instabilities from modal overlap of plasma waves with similar wavevector. These waves interact via certain non-linear processes leading to cascade destabilisation of tokamak plasmas.

I typically examine shear Alfvn eigenmodes (SAEs) existing in the mode gap. These eigenmodes enjoy non-linear interactions which lead to resonant coupling, whilst also being relatively free from continuum damping.

My end goal is to understand these instabilities better so as to improve stability of the overall tokamak plasma. This will allow for greater confinement time, less damage to the reactor, and greater efficiency, providing useful steps on the path to sustainable ignition of deuterium-tritium (D-T) fuel for tokamak fusion power.


nullXinliang Xu

In September 2011, I graduated from SICHUAN University, China, with a Masters degree in Plasma physics. My PhD at York is under the supervision of Prof Howard Wilson and Dr Benjamin Dudson. My project involves analytical theory and computational analysis on the effects how plasma rotations and other factors influence linear and non-linear processes of ELMs. By extending the code BOUT++, the result of this topic may help to mitigate the ELMs.