During the meeting which took place in October in Lisbon, the EFDA Steering Committee appointed new Leaders and Chairs for most of the Task Forces and Topical Groups.
Here we introduce the new Chairs of the Diagnostics and Plasma Stability and Control Topical Groups. The next issue will discuss the Chairs and Leaders of the Transport Topical Group and the Plasma Wall and Integrated Tokamak Modelling Task Forces.

Plasma Stability and Control (MHD) Topical Group


Piero Martin is professor at the Physics Department of the Padova University, Italy, and head of the science program of the European Reversed Field Pinch (RFP) experiment RFX. He presently serves as Chair of the EFDA Topical Group on “Plasma Stability and Control”, and of the Executive Committee of the IEA Implementing Agreement on RFP research. He is a member of the EU delegation in the ITPA MHD Topical Group. For the period 2005- 07, he led the “MHD instabilities and their active control” Task Force in the ASDEX Upgrade experiment in Garching. Piero Martin is member of the “International Liaison Committee” of the “Center for Magnetic Self-Organization”, a frontier physics center founded by the US National Science Foundation. He serves in the coordinating committees of the EURATOM Bilateral Cooperation Agreement with USA. His expertise in fusion covers several areas, both in science and management. He has contributed to both RFP and Tokamak physics. As an author of 98 papers in refereed journals, he was invited to give talks and lectures at the main international conferences and schools, and in many universities and research centres. He has been promoting and managing several international collaborations and projects. He is active in outreach and divulgation of fusion as an energy source and has been supervisor to many undergraduate and Ph.D. thesis.

“Topical Groups are key contributors to a successful and strong European fusion science program, where excellence, diversity and education are synergic for the success of ITER and fusion”.

Vice Chairs

Simon Pinches graduated with a degree in Mathematical Physics before undertaking a PhD at CCFE (formerly UKAEA) Culham studying the non-linear interaction of fast particles with Alfvén waves. He subsequently took over a position at the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasma Physik in Garching. During this time he was able to collaborate with the stellarator community and then returned to JET as the MHD Task Force Leader. In 2006, he accepted a position with CCFE and he is now the Leader of the Equilibrium & Stability Group, the Stability Programme Area Leader on MAST and a member of the ITPA Topical Group on Energetic Particles. His research interests span a broad spectrum of stability issues but he continues to have a special interest in the influence of energetic particles upon plasma stability.

“I see the general aim of the EFDA MHD Topical Group to find solutions to those stability issues which inhibit progress towards the delivery of fusion power as an energy source.”

Hans Rudolf Koslowski has worked in fusion research for more than 20 years. He received his PhD at the University of Bochum working in atomic physics. He then joined Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and started to work in plasma diagnostics, measuring the electron density and current distributions, and studying a wide variety of MHD instabilities, from sawteeth and NTMs in the plasma centre to ELMs at the plasma edge. In 1997 he became Deputy Coordinator and in 1999 he took on the role of Coordinator of the MHD Topical Group within the Trilateral Euregio Cluster, a collaboration between FZJ FOM, The Netherlands, and ERM/KMS, Belgium, on the scientific exploitation of the TEXTOR tokamak in Jülich. Since the start of JET under EFDA he has frequently participated in the work of the MHD Task Force at JET. In 2005, he became Deputy Leader of this Task Force and has been its Leader since 2008. Furthermore, he is the present leader of the IV (MHD) Task Force on ASDEX Upgrade and co-ordinates the tokamak physics activities on TEXTOR.

“Europe has an impressive fusion landscape offering an extremely wide range of expertise and fusion devices in different configurations and of various sizes. We should share our knowledge, learn from each other, work together, and activate synergies in order to solve urgent problems on our way to develop a new energy source. EFDA provides a framework where all this can be achieved for the benefit of our common goal: controlled fusion.“

Diagnostics Topical Group


Andrea Murari has installed various diagnostic systems in several European experiments. Between 1998 and 2002, he was responsible for supporting all the diagnostics of the RFX experiment in Padua. Dr Murari has been the Diagnostics Task Force Leader at JET between 2003 and 2010 and is currently Leader of the Group on JET Diagnostics and CODAS (Control and Data Acquisition Systems) in the JET Close Support Unit. He is the Scientific Coordinator for all JET diagnostic upgrades for the next framework programme and in January 2008 he was nominated co-chair of the EFDA Topical Group on Diagnostics. Andrea Murari has been a member of the EIROforum Thematic Working Group on measurements since 2003. In August 2008 he was appointed the coordinator of the European delegation to the ITPA Topical Group on Diagnostics.

“I think the main objective of the Diagnostics Topical Group is to promote a holistic view of diagnostics, data analysis, data acquisition and real time control. For too long these interconnected fields have developed independently and there is a lot to be gained by a more integrated approach both for the ITER accompanying programme and for more long term projects such as DEMO. Since the field of measurements and their interpretation is common to all fields of science, I believe it is part of our mission to improve the links between the fusion community and other major scientific organisations such as the EIROforum.”

Vice Chairs

Marc Beurskens leads the JET Thomson scattering group and is Deputy Leader of the JET Task Force E1. He received his PhD at FOM-Instituut voor Plasmafysica in Rijnhuizen, The Netherlands, and first arrived at JET in 1999. He has a wide range of experiences in both diagnostic science and tokamak plasma physics. His key research areas of interest are pedestal and ELM physics with strong collaborations in international teams within the scope of the Pedestal and ELM Physics ITPA. He was closely involved in the development of the new JET High Resolution Thomson scattering system and is now also involved in the design of the ITER LIDAR system. He is author and co-author of over a hundred scientific publications.

“The EFDA Topical Groups have as the most important task to be an intermediate between the scientists in various EU laboratories. In times of tight budgets it is even more important to use our European resources efficiently and I hope that we as Topical Group Chairs can contribute to this.”

Didier Mazon has been Deputy Leader of the “Task Force Diagnostics” at JET since 2007 and Leader of the EFDA “Feed-back Control Group” since 2008. His main duties are to coordinate the control activity in Europe in preparation for ITER and DEMO, but he also follows up on and leads the diagnostics activities at JET and encourages the implementation of new diagnostics and new techniques. Dr. Mazon spent many years at JET as a research scientist, working on real-time plasma equilibrium reconstruction, realtime measurement systems, data mining and feedback control of plasma parameters. He also performed many fields of profile control experiments at JET with the aim of reaching steady state scenarios. In 1999, he joined CEA, where he is responsible for Bremsstrahlung emission and Soft X-rays diagnostics. He currently works on the development of real-time diagnostics and feedback algorithms for the simultaneous control of the current density and pressure profiles with direct applications in JET and Tore Supra. His research interests include plasma physics, in particular, the understanding and control of internal transport barriers, control systems, plasma equilibrium and transport studies. He has great experience in teaching physics and still supervises students during internships or PhD thesis. He has published more than 200 articles in renowned international journals and conferences as author or coauthor.

“The Diagnostics Topical Group must be innovative, in particular, to contribute to the active preparation of DEMO and ITER. I see my recent nomination as co-chair of the Diagnostics Topical Group as a wonderful opportunity to promote, develop and reinforce the use of realtime control techniques in the fusion domain”

Jesús Vega began his research activity in nuclear fusion with soft X-ray diagnostics (pulse height analysis and tomography). He has been very involved in the fields of data acquisition, control, remote participation and data analysis. His current research topics involve data mining t e c h n i q u e s and machine learning methods, with a main focus on the analysis of massive databases in Tokamaks (primarily JET) and stellarators (essentially TJ-II). Dr. Vega is currently Head of the Data Acquisition Unit of EURATOM/ CIEMAT as well as Vice Chair of the EFDA Topical Group on Diagnostics. In addition, he was appointed leader of the EFDA Working Group on “Data Analysis and Calibration Techniques”.

“In my opinion, the most important tasks of the EFDA Diagnostics Topical Group for the coming two year period lie, on one hand, in increasing the level of coordination in the areas of diagnostics, data analysis, data acquisition, data validation and control and, on the other hand, in improving the dialogue with other Topical Groups and Task Forces.”