I studied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for my undergraduate degree, specializing in applied mathematics and classical physics. I then completed a master’s degree in engineering mathematics at the University of Bristol, writing a dissertation on the nonlinear dynamics of fluid-lubricated bearing systems.
In my PhD project, supervised by Philippa Browning at Manchester and Christopher Ham at CCFE, I will be investigating and modelling performance-limiting instabilities and disruptions in spherical tokamaks, particularly the newly upgraded MAST-U at Culham.
Disruption events, where magnetohydrodynamic instabilities grow out of control and cause plasma confinement to be lost, are a fundamental challenge in the development of fusion power because the large currents and forces generated in such events can lead to catastrophic damage, particularly in large tokamaks such as ITER and possible future power plants.
The theory of Taylor relaxation provides a promising route to understanding the complicated nonlinear physics that occurs as instabilities grow to become disruptions. My project will involve analysing data from MAST-U and developing models, both analytical and computational, to compare with the data, developing a better understanding of disruption physics via the relaxation paradigm and improving our ability to predict and prevent these events.