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  • Javier Gonzalez - Internship at the fusion group of the University of Sevilla

Internship at the Fusion Group of the University of Sevilla, Spain
Reported by Javier Gonzalez. Powered by FuseNet.

My name is Javier Gonzalez and I am a Spanish mechanical Engineer, graduated at the University of Sevilla. After my Bachelor degree, I started an exciting internship in the field of nuclear fusion, allowing me to apply my knowledge in a field where engineering and physics go hand in hand, while contributing in solving one of the greatest challenges in history: developping a sustainable, environment-friendly and virtually unlimited source of energy.

During my internship, I have been working with the fast-ion group of the university of Sevilla, led by professor Garcia-Munoz, in order to design a Fast-Ion Loss Detector (FILD). This device will be used to look at the loss of the most energetic particles in fusion plasmas, while investigating the underlying physics of  fast-ion transport in a plasma full of magnetohydrodynamic instabilities. The FuseNet grant has allowed me to visit the Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Garching and the ASDEX Upgrade (AUG) tokamak. During my visit there, I was able to get familiar with the FILD systems installed in the AUG tokamak and I was allowed to take a look inside the AUG vessel. This was a truly exciting experience for me!

Living abroad is always a great adventure. I have met new friends from all over the world, I started learning a new language and I got further in touch with science. I have learned how researchers in big institutes work together and I was impressed by the great working atmosphere.

Inside the ASDEX-Upgrade vessel.

Back at home, I could easily see the results of 5 months of work: I was able to develop a dynamic model for the magnetic drive of one of the AUG FILD systems. This model has been successfully implemented in the AUG FILD4 design and it is being used in the conceptual design for the ITER FILD. I had the chance to present the results of my simulations at the ITER FILD Technical Design Review Meeting and I contributed to presentations at the High Temperature Plasma Diagnostics conference (Madison, USA) and the Symposium On Fusion Technology (Prague, Czech Republic). Furthermore, I have been involved in the mechanical design of the AUG FILD4 and FILD5 systems and I learned how to produce CAD models and manufacturing drawings, while being supervised by the AUG engineers.

Soon, I will return to IPP to work with the AUG researchers during the installation of both detectors in the AUG vessel. However, this time I will be joining the AUG group as a PhD student instead of a Master student! During my PhD, I will finalize the installation of the new FILD4 and FILD5 systems in the AUG tokamak and will make use of entire FILD array to obtain a spatial distribution of MHD induced fast-ion losses.