William Smith

University Of Manchester

As an Undergraduate, I studied for my BSc in Physics at the University of Manchester and then went on to do an MSc in Structural Engineering here too. I am now starting my PhD on: ‘Real-time finite element method for interactive design’ under the supervision of Prof. Lee Margetts (UOM), Prof. Mauricio Alvarez (UOM) and Dr Aleksander Dubas (UKAEA).

In the creation of a fusion reactor, there are many simulations that engineers and physicists want to run to look at many different aspects of the plasma, materials, structure and more. However, many of these simulations are slow to run and each scenario or set of parameters has to be simulated separately. This takes a lot of computing power and time.

This project will look at one of the main ways of analysing structural components, the finite element method. Rather than the standard method of evaluating each scenario separately, starting with a new set of equations each time, we will look to use re-analysis to re-use the results of previous analyses as a starting point for the simulation. With significant speed-up, the aim is to have results change interactively with the engineer changing parameters, significantly reducing the time spent in simulations finding the optimal solution to a problem. The project will evaluate the new tool for the design of the plasma-facing components of a fusion reactor.