Sebastian Ruiz

University Of York

As an undergraduate, I did a BSc in physics at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, specializing in plasma physics. I then did a year in Paris studying a master’s in physics focused on simulating magnetically confined plasmas. Through my early years, I became fascinated with the idea of fusion energy. Now, I am proudly starting a PhD, researching “Flexible Grids For Complex Tokamak Topologies” with Dr. Peter Hill.

Magnetically confined fusion devices called tokamaks are one of the most promising devices to achieve commercial fusion. Their exhaust systems, called divertors, are of particular importance as the complex physics in that region sets the boundary conditions “upstream” for the fusion-producing core, and so ultimately the power production. Advanced divertor designs, such as the “super-X” and “snowflake” divertors can have complex magnetic geometries and topologies which can make simulating them a challenging task.

The project’s objective is to adapt and extend the world-leading open-source BOUT++ framework to better handle advanced divertor designs by developing and testing a new mesh implementation in C++. The new mesh will then be used to study the effect of the shape of these advanced designs on the upstream conditions and compare simulations to experimental results from the UK’s MAST-U tokamak.