PhD scholarship in Decay of Microwaves in Plasmas

DTU Physics
Sunday 15 Apr 18

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A 3-year PhD position is available at the Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy (PPFE) section, Department of Physics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) Physics. The section works with magnetically confined plasmas from a theoretical and experimental point of view with the focus on making fusion energy a commercially attractive energy source. The section is internationally recognized for its work with edge plasma turbulence and its work in the field of microwave scattering.

Wave non-linearity plays a significant role in describing virtually any physical medium where waves can propagate. In plasma physics, the non-linear interaction between waves is particularly important due to the large variety of waves which can propagate in plasmas. In the parametric decay instability (PDI) an incident wave excites a plasma wave which reacts back on the incident wave in a non-linear manner. PDI is known to take place in the ionosphere and in inertial confinement fusion. Additionally, recent observations indicate that PDI also occurs during microwave heating experiments in magnetically confinement fusion.

Responsibilities and tasks
The planned research deals with studying the PDI of microwaves in the magnetically confinement fusion device Wendelstein 7-X. The experimental part of the project will include detection of decay waves in the microwave range and evaluation of the potential drop in plasma heating levels. Analytical models will be developed and will, together with numerical simulation based on the particle-in-cell principle, serve as the main tools for data evaluation. These tools will ultimately form the base of a predictive model which will access the consequence for the plasma heating efficiency and thereby the fusion power gain in the ITER project and future fusion power plants.

The task include: 

  • Planning of experimental campaigns
  • Analysis of data sets from numerous plasma diagnostics
  • Execution of numerical simulations with the EPOCH code or similar
  • Development of predictive model for PDI at Wendelstein 7X
The main part of the work will be performed at DTU and missions to the Max Planck institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald are envisioned. Supervision of student projects and tutoring is expected.

Candidates should have a master's degree in physics or engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the master's degree in engineering.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and an academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Scientist Stefan Kragh Nielsen, tel.: +45 4677 4534

You can read more about the PPFE section on  

Please submit your online application no later than 1 May 2018 (Local time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 
  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.