SOFT voices 2018

The 2018 SOFT conference had awarded the EUROfusion scientists Jens Reiser (KIT) and Simon Kirk (CCFE) for their outstanding work in fusion research. Fusion In Europe spoke to them about their research and about what the SOFT Innovation prize means to them. Seen in the picture: Patrick Child (European Commission), Jens Reiser, Simon Kirk and Pengcheng Long who received the prize because Yican Wu could not be present at the SOFT Innovation Prize ceremony. Picture Credit: KIT/Peter Späh.

Fusion research has become more focussed and goal oriented since introducing EUROfusion. The European Joint Programme is an example to the world of working together to deliver common goals.

Patrick Child, Deputy Director – General, Directorate General Research and Innovation

Jens Reiser (Karlsruhe Institute for Technology), EUROfusion group leader for “High heat flux materials”, won the first prize for the development of a novel ductile tungsten material.

Interview Jens Reiser

What does the SOFT Innovation prize mean for you and your work personally?

It is a great honour for my team and me. It is a great honour for us to forward fusion science and technology.

 

You have been a postdoctoral research fellow for EFDA in 2013. How do you see the development of fusion research throughout the years?

 I am also the group leader of the EUROfusion subproject “High heat flux materials”. It is just amazing to see how the teamwork is just excellent. The material development in the last 5 years in ALL the material subprojects is just overwhelming. Congratulations to all the subproject leaders, congratulation and thank you to all the members of the EUROfusion material program. Thank you for your contribution towards advance high-performance materials.

 

What does the SOFT conference mean for the European fusion research, how important do you find it?

The SOFT conference is of the utmost importance. It is beautiful to see people with a vision. Working together having the same vision. It is just a great and inspiring community. One of the politician said at the welcome speeches: “You are the angels of the future”. This idea impressed me very much.

Simon Kirk was named the third prize winner for his work on a robot tool for cutting and welding using a small laser head.

Interview Simon Kirk

What does the SOFT Innovation prize mean for you and your work personally?

It was a big surprise to receive it. Working on the DEMO laser cutting and welding project has been interesting and fun, and it’s great to have it recognised in this way. The prize also allows me to continue working on my laser cutting and welding tools.

 

Your work has been supported through EUROfusion for quite some time. How do you see the development of fusion research throughout the years?

I have been working on the DEMO laser cutting and welding project on a three year EUROfusion Engineering Grant.  Over that time I’ve seen the engineering and technology aspects of fusion research growing. Also their seems to be a good emphasis of integration and a systems engineering approach to fusion which is vitaliven the complexity of tokamaks.

 

What does the SOFT conference mean for the European fusion research, how important do you find it?

I found the SOFT conference very useful to attend.  There are so many different aspects of fusion research across a large number of European labs and universities, and SOFT gives you the opportunity to see the entire breadth of the fusion research activities all in one place. The design of fusion reactors are so interlinked and SOFT gives you an opportunity to learn about all the different aspects which helps you to understand how (and why) they effect the specific area of DEMO you are working on, in my case Remote Maintenance.

More Information

Read all about SOFT and much more in the December 2018 edition of Fusion In Europe.