Guido Lange studies physics at TU Eindhoven. He is about to finish up his master’s thesis in the field of Motional Stark Effect Diagnostic (MSE), a method to measure the magnetic fields in the core of a fusion plasma. Last year he spent five months at the Korean fusion experiment KSTAR.

Guido, you connected with us via twitter and named our new iPAD game “Operation Tokamak”.

Yes, I came up with that name because I experienced the experimental campaign at KSTAR at that time. TU Eindhoven, where I study, does not operate a fusion experiment, so for me it was really exciting to watch the operation of a tokamak in the control room.

How did you come to fusion research?

I had to do an internship for my bachelor and chose fusion. I was interested in the world’s energy problem and I had heard that fusion was a big and interesting research project. During the project my interest grew and I decided to do my master in this field, too.

Are you planning to stay in fusion research for your PhD?

By the time this magazine is out, I might have already decided that. I really like contributing to the challenges that fusion has, but I have to still consider all opportunities.

How did you come to go to Korea?

Well, I wanted to go abroad, and when I learned that our group had a contract with KSTAR to design and install an MSE Diagnostic system, I asked whether I could do my master thesis in that field.

What is it like to live and do research there?

Regarding research I had a good time, partly because the KSTAR scientists are very interested in our diagnostic system – their questions made me learn much more about my topic and about the fields related to it. I also got some nice results for my work there. Live was good, too. When I arrived I joined a summer school and attended a small Korean language course. Knowing at least some Korean really helped. I also met other foreigners with whom I went around.

How international is the institute?

During a KSTAR campaign, many foreign researchers are on site. Outside these times I was one of the few westerners and in the end the only foreign student.

Do you have a dream job for the future?

My dream would be to combine two things I really like: Working on physics problems, which I do now, and – especially when thinking about the farther future – a more organising role in fusion or in energy in general.