Marco de Baar appointed new head of fusion research at DIFFER

May 13th 2014

13 May 2014
Professor Marco de Baar has been appointed as the new head of fusion research at DIFFER, the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research. As member of DIFFER's management team, the plasma physicist will also be the Dutch representative to the European fusion research consortium EUROfusion. De Baar succeeds Tony Donné, who was chosen as EUROfusion's first programme leader on May 2nd.

Prof.Dr. Marco de Baar - photo Pieter Crucq

Marco de Baar (1967) is part time professor at Eindhoven University in Technology and since 2007 heads DIFFER's research group on Tokamak Physics. From 2004 to 2007, Marco de Baar headed the operations department at JET, Europe's largest fusion experiment to date, where he was responsible for successfull operation and development of the reactor.

Marco de Baar's research focuses on understanding and control of the turbulent plasma in a fusion reactor or tokamak: hot, charged and magnetised gas. De Baar describes himself as "a physicist with a strong interest in control engineering, because these two fields allow you to combine very different viewpoints; physics allows one to dril down to the very essence of a singular phenomenon while control engineering enables one to understand and optimising the entire system. To take something as complex as a tokamak plasma to optimal performance, you really need both points of view."

Diagnostic and control systems in the future fusion reactor ITER

European collaboration

As the Netherlands' centre for fusion research, DIFFER is the national point of contact for the European Horizon2020-programme EUROfusion, which aims to realise sustainable energy production from fusion. In the EUROfusion context, Marco de Baar will serve as 'Head of Research Unit' for the Netherlands, succeeding the newly appointed first programme manager of EUROfusion Tony Donné.

"Dutch scientists can make a powerful contribution to fusion research", thinks De Baar. Via close collaboration DIFFER will help the various fusion-related initiatives to join forces and increase their chances to win European research grants.