Doctoral Degree – PhD Programme in Fusion Science and Engineering

Università di Padova – Università di Napoli Federico II

Università di Padova – Ghent University
(cycles XXXIII-XXXV)

Course description and objectives

The PhD Programme in Fusion Science and Engineering (FSE) has the ambitious goal of contributing to the training of highly qualified young researchers in the field of Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF), with specific theoretical, numerical and experimental skills and knowledge in the relevant sectors of physics and engineering.

The recent positive trend of the research in the MCF area, which sees several experimental devices ready to come into operation (JT-60SA), in an advanced status of construction (ITER) or in the design stage (e.g. DEMO, DTT), requires a significant increase in the number of experts in fusion science and technology in the coming years. This is also evidenced by the fact that the organization of the European fusion program - managed by the European consortium EUROfusion - puts a lot of emphasis on education and training programs in the field MCF.

For this reason, in the stream of the successful experience in coordinating the international doctoral networks LMP (Lisbon-Munich-Padua) and the joint doctoral program with Ghent University (cycles XXXIII-XXXV), starting October 1st 2020 (Cycle XXXVI), the PhD Programme in FSE will be jointly run by the Università di Padova and the Università di Napoli Federico II, with the support of a large network of national and international universities and research laboratories, which host leading experimental activities.

Job placement and professional opportunities

With several devices in the final design phase or ready to come into operation, demand for experts (physicists, engineers) in MCF will increase rapidly, as well as the investment by universities and research institutions involved in education, training and research programs in this area. In addition, industry's interest in activities related to devices under construction (JT-60SA, ITER, RFX-mod2) and in the design phase (DTT, DEMO) and support infrastructures (PRIMA Neutral Beam Test Facility, Padua) is growing as well.

PhD students enrolled in the FSE Doctoral Programme will be exposed to a training plan that provides study and research activities in universities, research centers also in collaborations with industry. Hence they will acquire those specialized and yet transversal skills that will allow them to find employment not only in the fusion sector but also in the sectors of industrial engineering (electrical, automation, mechanics), information (electronics, IT) and energy, in particular in companies with high technological content.

As a matter of fact, thanks to the high-level multidisciplinary skills acquired in the training and research path, most of FSE’s PhDs have found job opportunities in the MCF area (over 70% in the last 10 years); the rest have obtained positions in private and public companies in the fields of industrial engineering and high-tech information and service sectors.