Marco de Baar is a full professor and Chair of Plasma Fusion Operation and Control
at the Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His main scientific interest is the control of nuclear fusion plasmas, with a focus on control of MHD modes (for plasma stability) and current density profile (for performance optimization). All elements of the control loops are considered, including actuator and sensor design, and advanced control oriented modelling. He also has a keen interest in the operations and the remote maintainability of nuclear fusion reactors.
Marco's research largely focuses on understanding and controlling the turbulent plasma in a fusion reactor or tokamak: hot, charged and magnetised gas. Fusion could be a clean, safe, large-scale energy source, but the big challenge to realizing commercially attractive fusion energy is protecting the wall of the fusion reactor against the hot fusion exhaust. In the research program Marco is carrying out with DIFFER, the aim is to start managing the heat load inside the plasma, and bring the energy to the wall in a controlled way. As a physicist, Marco has a strong interest in control engineering, as the two fields make it possible to combine very different viewpoints.
Physics allows one to drill down to the very essence of a singular phenomenon while control engineering enables one to understand and optimise the entire system. To take something as complex as a tokamak plasma to its optimal performance, you really need both points of view.
Marco de Baar received his PhD is physics from (TU/e) and also holds an MSc in experimental physics from the University of Utrecht. In addition to his work at TU/e, Marco de Baar is also head of fusion research at FOM institute DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) located on the TU/e campus. As member of DIFFER's management team, he is also the Dutch representative in the European fusion research consortium EUROfusion. From 2004 to 2007, Marco de Baar headed the operations department at JET, Europe's largest fusion experiment to date, where he was responsible for the successful operation and development of the reactor. From 2007 he was deputy project leader in the international consortium that develops the upper port launcher. He is program-leader for the MHD stabilization work package in ITER-NL
Control-oriented modeling of the plasma particle density in tokamaks and application to real-time density profile reconstructionFusion Engineering and Design (2018)
Where to improve in human-in-the-loop tele-operated maintenance? a phased task analysis based on video data of maintenance at JETFusion Engineering and Design (2018)
A model-based, multichannel, real-time capable sawtooth crash detectorPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion (2016)
DEMO diagnostics and burn controlFusion Engineering and Design (2015)
Control of the tokamak safety factor profile with time-varying constraints using MPCNuclear Fusion (2015)
Current Educational Activities
No ancillary activities