More than 120 PhD students from a wide distribution of European countries participated in the fourth FuseNet PhD event that took place in Lisbon, Portugal, from 18th-20th November. This installment was organised by Instituto de Plasmas e Fusão Nuclear, IST, under the umbrella of the FuseNet Association and with financial support from EUROfusion.

Since 2011 the annual PhD Event has been bringing together PhD students whose doctoral topic is associated with nuclear fusion research and who are registered at a EUROfusion member state or a FuseNet member university. Its goal is to enable students to disseminate their research, develop a network of contacts and learn from each other’s experiences. This goal was achieved this year by a combination of social events, PhD student presentations, lectures by invited speakers, and student discussions.

The poster sessions were hugely crowded, but brought lively discussions and a gave a nice insight into the current topics of European PhD research. In the afternoon the students had the opportunity to visit the ISTTOK tokamak at IST. Following a plenary talk on Communication in Science, an Elevator Pitch Game trained the ability of the students to explain their research and the importance of it to a general audience. Invited talks included topics ranging from history of fusion research, fission, materials science and alternative approaches to build a fusion reactor. The highlight of the event however, were perhaps the selected oral presentations from the PhD students themselves, that provided examples of bright young students paving the way towards the next generation of fusion professionals.

Mark Scheffer, FuseNet