Posted on: 2nd October 2013

On 26 September, the first group of twenty students were awarded their FuseNet European Fusion Master’s / Doctorate certificates in a ceremony at Europe’s leading fusion experiment JET at Culham in the UK. The certificates are a recognition of excellence in fusion science and technology, and can be awarded to European MSc and PhD students who fulfil academic criteria that have been jointly established by universities and fusion research centres throughout Europe.

EFDA Leader Francesco Romanelli addressing the students during the award ceremony.

EFDA Leader Francesco Romanelli addresses the FuseNet students during the award ceremony.

This first batch of certificates were presented to the nominated students by the EFDA leader Dr Francesco Romanelli, the chair of the Academic Council of FuseNet Prof. Ambrogio Fasoli and the chairman of FuseNet Prof. Niek Lopes Cardozo. Afterwards the students were treated to a spectacular ‘after hours’ tour of JET – including access to the torus hall itself.

The European Fusion Education Network FuseNet – with over 40 members including universities, research institutes and companies that are active in the development of fusion energy – supports and coordinates the education and training of the ‘ITER generation’ of fusion scientists and engineers. It’s aim is to ensure a core of highly skilled scientists and engineers for future fusion devices – most notably the international successor to JET and stepping stone to fusion power plants, ITER. Prof. Niek Lopes Cardozo, FuseNet chair explains: ‘The ceremony and JET visit are our way of showing these students that we highly appreciate the effort they have put into their studies of fusion; that we recognize the high level of expertise they have acquired and that it is young, smart and dedicated people like these that are going to make fusion energy happen’.

From now on, students can continuously apply for a European Fusion Master or Doctorate Certificate through the FuseNet website ( Applications will be evaluated twice per year.

The European Fusion Education Network FuseNet was established in response to the emerging need to ‘educate the ITER generation’. With fusion research going through a major transition (moving from the laboratory to the industrial scale) engineering is playing an increasingly important role. Hence, in addition to the physicists that are going to scientifically explore ITER, a broad range of engineers (including nuclear engineers) are required in the future.

The members of the FuseNet Association (universities, fusion research centres including ITER as well as industry), have joined forces and resources to attract the brightest students to fusion and offer them the best possible education programme. FuseNet has received financial support from the European Commission to undertake this important work.

One of FuseNet’s flagship programmes has been the European Fusion Master / Doctorate initiative – rewarding students or fusion educational programmes, with recognition from the fusion research community. To be awarded a FuseNet certificate, students need to follow a comprehensive programme of fusion modules and projects, that ensures a knowledge and understanding of the field that has both breadth and depth.