Hugo van den Brand

My name is Hugo van den Brand and I am doing a PhD in Fusion at the TU/e and FOM DIFFER.

During my Bachelor Applied Physics (also at the TU/e), I became interested in plasmas and fusion in particular. Plasmas combines almost all interesting physics.
Fusion energy combines this interesting physics with challenging technological issues and the potential to power the future.

When I started my Master in Applied Physics, the Fusion group just started with their first year of lecturing, offering courses specialized in fusion and providing international contacts for internships. I did an internship at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald, Germany. At this location the largest stellarator in the world is under construction.

This device with its complex magnetic field structure relies on microwave heating.
To assess the damage unabsorbed microwaves could do to measurement equipment, a measurement apparatus was created at Eindhoven and successfully tested in Greifswald.

My graduation project consisted of simulating microwave emission from ITER plasmas at the FOM Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research in Nieuwegein.

We investigated whether this emission could be used for control of Neoclassical Tearing Modes, which are expected to seriously impact operation of ITER, currently under construction in Cadarache. The work was presented at an international workshop in San Diego, California and resulted in multiple publication and a cum laude Master degree.

In my PhD studies, I will work on the control of Neoclassical Tearing modes on ASDEX Upgrade in Munich, Germany. New control strategies with interesting set-ups are tested for ITER. This work will combine the best of the Fusion group, the Control Systems Technology group at the department of Mechanical Engineering and FOM DIFFER.