Fusion offers the prospect of an effectively limitless supply of energy which is relatively clean and produces no greenhouse gases. Fusion research within the Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) is focused around the development of new diagnostic instrumentation for magnetically confined fusion plasmas (tokamaks), hardware-accelerated computer simulations and interpretation of fast ion diagnostics. The research includes both new optical instrumentation and methods for efficient handling of large volumes of real-time data. These areas exploit the synergies with astronomical spectroscopy and adaptive optics research within CfAI and currently involve collaborations with the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy and the University of York. The group is also linked to the fusion materials research activity in the Superconductivity Research Group in Durham and is affiliated to the Durham Energy Institute.
Durham University is also part of an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Fusion Science & Technology with the Universities of York, Liverpool, Manchester and Oxford. The CDT delivers integrated, coordinated postgraduate training in fusion science and technology at the doctoral level and provides access to world-leading expertise in a range of fusion-relevant disciplines: advanced instrumentation, plasma physics, nuclear physics, nuclear technology, technological plasmas, laser physics and materials science. Further details on the Fusion CDT and current PhD projects can be found at this webpage. If you want to apply for one of the Fusion CDT postgraduate research projects hosted at Durham, please follow this link selecting 'PhD - Physics' in the 'Choice of Programme' menu and specifying either 'Advanced Instrumentation (Fusion CDT)' for plasma strand projects or 'Condensed Matter Physics (Fusion CDT)' for materials strand projects, as the field of study in the text box. Funding source is normally 'Fusion CDT' but please make sure that you also meet the EPSRC eligiblity criteria. The five CfAI PhD students currently enrolled on the CDT are Joe Allcock, Charlie Vincent, Sam Gibson, Tiantian Sun and Andrew Jackson. There are also currently five CMP PhD students on the materials strand Alex Blair, Jack Greenwood, Andrew Smith, Simon Chislett-McDonald and Charles Gurnham.
EPSRC has recently announced the 75 CDTs that it will support over the next 5 years, and unfortunately the Fusion CDT is not amongst them. We are presently working with our partners to identify alternative funding mechanisms, which we are seeking to have in place by the end of February. However, if we cannot find a funding solution, we will not be able to take any new students onto the CDT programme this year (Oct 2019 start).