21 July 2014
DIFFER PhD graduate Wouter Vijvers has received one of the Veni post-doc scholarships, awarded annually by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This 250 k€ grant allows Dr. Vijvers to develop a novel diagnostic to tackle one of the main challenges in fusion energy research. With the innovative diagnostic, Dr. Vijvers aims to determine the state of hot, dense plasma near the reactor exhaust (divertor) in real-time. This information will then be used to actively control advanced shapes of the divertor plasma. The long-term goal is to extend the lifetime of the reactor walls in future fusion energy plants.
The divertor (exhaust area, lower image) at the bottom of the future fusion reactor ITER (top) faces a conditions similar to those at the surface of the sun.
Wouter Vijvers completed his PhD on divertor plasma's at DIFFER in 2011 and worked as a post-doc researcher in the Swiss fusion institute at EPFL, Lausanne, where he operated the fusion reactor TCV, and performed experiments on advanced plasma configurations.
Via the Veni scholarships, NWO stimulates coriosity-driven, innovative research. This year, 152 of 1086 applications were granted, of which 65 to female researchers. Together with the Vidi and Vici scholarships, the Veni is aimed at stimulating excellent researchers in different phases of their careers.