PhD position: Developing controllers for a physics-based model of the L-H transition in a tokamak

The PhD student will identify which processes are important and which measurements and actuators can be used to control them, thus addressing the research question: how can one control fusion plasma exhaust across the edge ...

ongeveer 2 maanden geleden


Van Vollenhovenlaan, Utrecht, Utrecht
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 2834 per maand


The PhD student will identify which processes are important and which measurements and actuators can be used to control them, thus addressing the research question: how can one control fusion plasma exhaust across the edge transport barrier in the vicinity of the L-H bifurcation? The project will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. H.J. (Hugo) de Blank (DIFFER and Eindhoven University of Technology) and Prof.dr. H.J. (Hans) Zwart (Eindhoven University of Technology and University of Twente).
Responsibilities and tasks:

  • to develop quantitative insight in the processes governing transitions between L-mode and H-mode confinement in tokamaks;
  • to simulate a model-based controller for the heat flow through the separatrix of a tokamak that allows operation in close proximity to the H-L confinement bifurcation (i.e. avoiding the H-L back-transition);
  • to extend the controller to the L-H transition in the tokamak ramp-up phase and the H-L transition in the ramp-down phase.


We seek enthusiastic and highly talented candidates that are willing to work in an international and interdisciplinary team of theoretical and experimental physicists and control scientists. The applicant should have a Master degree (or an equivalent diploma giving access to doctoral studies) in theoretical or technical physics, or a related field. Good verbal and written communication skills (in English) are mandatory. Knowledge of control and mathematical theory of non-linear models is strongly preferred.


When fulfilling a PhD position at NWO-I, you will get the status of junior scientist. You will have an employee status and can participate in all the employee benefits NWO-I offers. You will get a contract for four years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of 2,834 euro gross per month. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent. You are supposed to have a thesis finished at the end of your four year term with NWO-I. A training programme is part of the agreement. You and your supervisor will make up a plan for the additional education and supervising that you specifically need. This plan also defines which teaching activities you will be responsible (up to a maximum of ten percent of your time). The conditions of employment of NWO-I are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres (Cao-Onderzoekinstellingen), more exclusive information is available at this website under Personeelsinformatie (in Dutch) or under Personnel (in English). General information about working at NWO-I can be found in the English part of this website under Personnel. The 'Job interview code'applies to this position.

Additional information

Further information on the vacancy is available through the leader of the fusion energy department, Prof.dr. M.R. de Baar +31 40 333 49 52.


The PhD project will be carried out at DIFFER and at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands, and involves frequent contacts with our (inter)national collaborators.
DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) is one of the NWO institutes and focuses on a multidisciplinarily approach of the energy research combining physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science. The institute is based on two main strands, solar fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and fusion-energy as clean and unlimited source of energy. DIFFER is developing and supporting a national network on fundamental energy research and is closely collaborating with academic institutions, research institutes and industry.


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