Posted on: 12th August 2011

Morten Lennholm graduated from the Technical University of Denmark, specialising in Microwave and Control Engineering. He did his master thesis at CERN in Geneva. Having enjoyed the international environment at CERN, he applied for positions at various labs around Europe.

I intended to stay for two years until the end of the JET project. 24 years later I’m still here though I’ve been in Cadarache for nine of these years..

Morten says “Despite knowing nothing about either fusion or plasma physics, I was given a job at the JET joint undertaking in 1987. I intended to stay for two years until the end of the JET project. 24 years later I’m still here though I’ve been in Cadarache for nine of those years. I have, over this period, worked on many different aspects of tokamak engineering and operation. In the mid 90s I moved to the JET plasma control group and I eventually took over the leadership of this group. In 1999 at the end of the Joint Undertaking I moved to Cadarache to work at the French national fusion experiment Tore Supra.

In January 2009 I returned to JET, to a position in the Close Support Unit. Over the past two years, most of my time has been dedicated to the project management of the feasibility study for an electron cyclotron heating system for JET. I am also looking after the High Frequency Pellet injector and a project to improve the capabilities of the Plasma Control systems. In the late 80s, I gained my first control room experience and I was immediately hooked on control room work. Since then I have worked in a number of different roles in the JET control room. I still find the control room to be the heart of JET and I love to work there, trying to get the best out of the machine. Over the years I have tried my best to develop my knowledge of plasma physics; starting with radio frequency coupling issues at the plasma edge and working my way to the control of central plasma instabilities. I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming campaign. It is going to be exciting to learn how to take the machine to full performance with the new wall and the increased additional heating power. Though I love being allowed to play with one of the greatest toys on earth I also have plenty of other interests, such as running, orienteering, mountain marathons, mountain hiking and going to a good rock concert to do some head banging.”