Culham Thesis Prize and Malcolm Haines Prize Winners 2019

3 April 2019

The Culham Thesis and Malcolm Haines Prize winners 2019 have been announced.

Culham Thesis Prize

Kevin Verhaegh head and shoulders photo
Dr Kevin Verhaegh

The Culham Thesis Prize is an annual award sponsored by Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) and jointly coordinated by CCFE and the IOP Plasma Physics Group.

The Culham Thesis Prize is awarded to the candidate who has displayed the highest degree of excellence in the execution of the scientific method as witnessed by the award of Doctor of Philosophy in plasma science from a UK or Irish university in the last two calendar years.

The thesis content should exhibit significant new work and originality, clearly driven by the nominee, be well explained and demonstrate a good understanding of the subject.

This year's winner is Dr Kevin Verhaegh from the University of York for his thesis: Spectroscopic investigations of detachment on the Tokamak à Configuration Variable (TCV).

He will receive a prize of £500 plus an expenses paid trip (to a maximum of £500 for travel) to the annual IOP plasma physics conference, where he will give an invited talk. Congratulations Kevin!

Malcolm Haines Prize

Nicholas Walkden head and shoulders photo
Dr Nicholas Walkden

The Malcolm Haines Prize is a new biennial award funded by Malcolm Haines' widow, Polly Haines and hosted by the IOP Plasma Physics Group.

The Malcolm Haines Prize was created in honour of the late Malcolm Haines, an outstanding plasma physicist at Imperial College London. It recognises early researchers for outstanding research carried out in the UK or Ireland, leadership and/or innovation in any area of experimental or theoretical plasma physics. A panel of experts is appointed to act as judges for the prize.

The first ever winner of the Malcolm Haines Prize is Dr Nicholas Walkden who is currently a research scientist at CCFE.

The award is in recognition of his important research on the physics of low-temperature plasmas in the edge (scrape-off layer) and divertor regions of tokamak fusion devices. His rare combination of capabilities, encompassing theory, modelling and experimental measurement, has provided fundamental insights into plasma transport.

His contributions include: measurements and simulations which led to the identification of transport mechanisms driving the observed spatially-broadened density profiles in the scrape-off layer; and the first efforts to explain the nature of the turbulence in the divertor region, and what role it may be playing in transport. The resulting publications are internationally recognised for their quality and novelty, and his participation on different tokamaks is much sought after. He will receive a prize of £500. Congratulations Nick!

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