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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Mark John Raine

Research Fellow in the Department of Physics

(email at

Staff Profile

Manager of the Fusion Energy Reference Laboratory in the Superconductivity Group


Group: Superconductivity

Intergroup: Materials structure and form

Office: 144B

Tel: 0191 3343535


Fusion Energy Reference Laboratory

Since 2011, I have been a full-time core member of staff in the Physics Department. I am currently attached to the Superconductivity Group and was promoted to Research Fellow in 2015. Initially, I helped establish the Fusion Energy Reference Laboratory in the Department by helping to secure a substantial contract from Fusion for Energy (F4E). This contract required 10,000 characterisation measurements to be made on the Nb3Sn strands used in the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) toroidal field coils. We additionally won a contract to perform a similar set of measurements on the NbTi strands being used to wind poloidal field coil 6, as well as supply and measure Witness samples that were used to check the quality of the toroidal field coil heat-treatments. I am responsible for managing measurements, data analysis, project planning and the day-to-day running of the labs. Other duties include the promotion of the laboratory by speaking at national and international conferences. This has encouraged interest in our expertise and facilities and has helped to secure new contracts from a number of other laboratories and institutes from around the world.

Types of Measurement for ITER

There are seven types of measurement used to characterise the Nb3Sn and NbTi strands of the toroidal and poloidal field coils for the ITER magnets. These are depicted in the following diagram. The reference to heat-treatments specifically refers to the Nb3Sn strands, which undergo a react and wind process.


PhD Research Project - Nanocrystalline Niobium Carbonitride

I completed my PhD in 2015 and my doctoral thesis was embargoed until 2016. My work resulted in a doubling of the upper critical magnetic field and a fortyfold increase in the critical current density. It won the Harry Jones prize from the British Cryogenics Council in 2016.


Research Groups

Centre for Materials Physics

Department of Physics


Journal Article