Modeling Electron Cyclotron Heating plasmas with SOLPS-ITER
Position Details (PhD)
Last modification : Monday, November 21, 2022
Nuclear fusion has the potential to provide the world’s energy needs with safe, sustainable and virtually limitless energy. The experimental reactor ITER, currently being built in France, is the key experimental step between today’s fusion research machines and tomorrow’s fusion power plants. In this context, startup of the reactor and wall conditioning will be carried out through Electron Cyclotron Heating (ECH) plasmas. This project aims at providing accurate predictions of such plasmas for ITER, by developing new numerical modeling approaches. In particular, the project addresses important open issues for electron cyclotron wall conditioning such as wave absorption efficiency, the role of poloidal field maps on the achievable plasma parameters, and the particle fluxes to the plasma facing components.
To tackle these issues, the SOLPS-ITER code will be extended to model the ECH power deposition, and to accurately simulate the low-density, partially ionized plasmas envisaged, especially in regions close to the vessel walls. Experimental results from present tokamaks will allow model enhancements and benchmarking of SOLPS-ITER predictions. This work will not only unlock a new reliable simulation framework for ECH plasmas based on the SOLPS-ITER code, but indirectly also contribute substantially to the further development and testing of SOLPS-ITER itself and the supporting pre-and post-processing tools.
You are a highly motivated, enthusiastic and communicative researcher, and you are strongly interested in the development of numerical simulation methods. Moreover, you are a team player that enjoys collaborating with people within the research group, the project, and beyond, and have
- A master’s degree in Physics, Applied Mathematics, or in Engineering, with a background in mechanical or mathematical engineering, or related field, from a reputable institute, with at least distinction,
- A background in numerical modeling, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer,
- The qualities to carry out independent research, demonstrated e.g., by the grades obtained on your M. Sc. thesis,
- An excellent command of the English language, both in spoken and written form,
- A critical mindset.
Additional research/educational experience in any of the following topics is considered a strong advantage:
- Plasma physics, transport phenomena at continuum and kinetic level,
- Coding in languages such as Fortran and Matlab,
- Familiarity with SOLPS(-ITER).
- A doctoral scholarship of four years and, if successful, a PhD in Engineering Science
- Benefits such as health insurance, access to university sports facilities, etc.
- The opportunity to be active in an exciting and international research environment, engage in research collaborations and participate at international conferences, close collaboration with ITER International Organization
- A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year
- An excellent doctoral training at the Arenberg Doctoral School in an international environment at a top European university. This will allow you to gain the skills required to successfully complete your PhD, as well as develop yourself as an independent researcher. Moreover, opportunities are provided to acquire deeper knowledge in subjects related to the topic by participating in trainings, summer schools, or lecture series in- and outside of KU Leuven
- A flexible working culture with opportunity to up to 40% remote working
It is expected that the successful candidate will spend some part of the graduate study working with experts at the ITER site (Cadarache, France). The successful candidate is expected to start as early as possible (upon agreement with Prof. Baelmans and Dr. Wauters).
Applicants should express their interest by sending an email to prof. Martine Baelmans via the dedicated email address email@example.com. The email should *strictly* contain the following information in the text body, in bullets:
-Master degree (Master specification, University + Country, Year obtained, Promotor)
-Master thesis title
-A one paragraph (up to half an A4 page) statement explaining the motivation for applying for this vacancy at KU Leuven.
-Please also attach an academic CV to your email
Do not directly apply in the online system as referred to below. This will be only necessary for selected candidates in a second stage. Note that if you do not receive a response to your email within three weeks, this means you have not been selected for the second stage. Decision: as soon as a suitable candidate applies (so do not wait ’till the closing date to apply). For more information please contact prof. Martine Baelmans at firstname.lastname@example.org.