Throughout this summer school, I have come to learn a lot about the current state of nuclear fusion in research. The program has been quite extensive, dealing with magnetic confinement mostly but also treating alternative types of fusion. At first, I was mostly interested in inertial confinement fusion and could barely explain the difference between a tokamak and a stellarator. Since Greisfwald holds one of the most promising stellarator, Wendelstein 7-X, I came to learn a lot about this topic. The professors have been very helpful and would let us ask every question we had. This is one of the keypoints of such a summer school I reckon, the ability to interact with people from the field, working on these extremely sophisticated machines.
That being said, another great thing about this summer school was, along with the great teachers, the students. I have been able to meet people from many places around the world, all driven by a passion for nuclear fusion and all willing to learn about this topic, as well as the experience and culture of others. Even though this summer school has only lasted one week, I can say with confidence that the people I met are going to change my future life: I have learnt about their PhD or master thesis experience, where they went and what they thought about their labs and subject of studying. We also had a great time all together, between and after the lectures, all meeting for a couple of beers after classes for instance. It is after all what an event like this is all about, expanding our “network”. This word can be seen as pejorative, but it was all done very genuinely and will lead, I am sure, in future collaborations.
As mentioned earlier, the professors as well as the PhD students were very implicated in the program, asking us about feedback all the time, driven by a true will of improvement concerning the summer school itself. It is, I reckon, the reason why this week has been so enjoyed by every single one of us.
I would recommend this summer school to anyone that is interested in nuclear fusion, especially magnetic confinement fusion although it can be interesting from any perspective.