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Culham Thesis Prize: Plasma Physics Group

This annual prize is for excellence in the scientific method recognised by the award of a Doctor of Philosophy degree in plasma science from a UK or Irish university in the last two years. 

The prize is £500 plus the costs of participating in the annual IOP Plasma Physics Conference where the winner is asked to give a talk.

The thesis should:

  • be well explained
  • demonstrate a good understanding of the subject
  • show significant new work and originality, clearly driven by the nominee
  • have been submitted two years before the nomination deadline
  • be authored by a member of the Institute of Physics

Previously unsuccessful theses can be resubmitted. Please make this clear in the nomination.

Proposers are encouraged to nominate the highest quality work. There is one nomination per proposer. There are no runner-up places for this prize.

Nominations are now closed.

When open, nominations will be accepted by email (preferred) or by post. If submitting in hard copy, please ensure that all material is sent in triplicate and by registered post. If you have any queries please contact:

Sarah Elmore. Email: [email protected]

Postal address:

Tokamak Science Department
United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
Culham Science Centre
OX14 3DB

Further information about the prize, including the next nomination deadline, can also be obtained from [email protected].

The prize is sponsored by Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) and jointly coordinated by CCFE and our group.



Dr Alex Picksley

University of Oxford. For the thesis, Low Density Plasma Waveguides for Low Density Laser Wakefield Accelerators.


Dr James Chappell

University of Oxford. For the thesis on experimental study of long timescale plasma wakefield evolution: investigations toward high-repetition-rate operation of plasma-based accelerators.


Dr Stefan Mijin

Imperial College London. For his thesis, Modelling of Kinetic Effects in Parallel Transport in the Tokamak Scrape-off Layer.


Dr Ben Chapman

University of Warwick. For his thesis, Ion Cyclotron Emission from Energetic Ion Populations in Fusion Plasmas.


Kevin Verhaegh

University of York. For his thesis, Spectroscopic Investigations of Detachment on the TCV Tokamak.


Clare Scullion

Queen's University Belfast. For her thesis, Investigations of Ion Acceleration from Solid Targets Driven by Ultrashort Laser Pulses.


Dr Jason Cole

Imperial College London. For his thesis, Diagnosis and Applications of Laser-Wakefield Accelerators.


Thomas White

University of Oxford. For his thesis, Resolving Ion Acoustic Waves in Warm Dense Matter.


Dr David A. MacLellan

University of Strathclyde. For his thesis, Effects of Electrical Resistivity on Fast Electron Transport in Relativistic Laser-solid Interactions.


Dr Guy Burdiak

Imperial College London. For his thesis, An investigation of Cylindrical Liner Z-pinches as Drivers for Converging Strong Shock Experiments.


Dr Charlotte Palmer

Imperial College, London, For her thesis, Approaching the Radiation Pressure Regime of Proton Acceleration with High Intensity Lasers.


Dr S M Vinko

University of Oxford. For his thesis, Studying Dense Plasmas Using Intense UV and X-ray Free-Electron Laser Radiation.


Stefan Kneip

Imperial College, London. For his thesis, Laser Plasma Accelerator and Wiggler.


Ian Chapman

Imperial College London. For his thesis, Modelling the Stability of the n=1 Internal Kink Mode in Tokamak Plasmas.


Dr Ben Dudson

University of Oxford. For his thesis, Edge Turbulence in the Mega-Amp Spherical Tokamak.


Dr Louise Willingale

Imperial College London. For significant experimental and numerical work on the acceleration of ions to high energies by laser-plasma interaction.


Dr Phil Nilson

Imperial College London. For Measurements of the Dynamics of Laser and Soft X-Ray Heated Targets by XUV and Optical Probing.


Dr Stuart P D Mangles

Imperial College London. For measurements of relativistic electrons from intense laser plasma interactions.


Dr Barney Walton

Imperial College London. For novel experimental investigations of beat-wave acceleration as intense electromagnetic fields interact with material in a plasma state.


Dr Andrea Ciardi

Imperial College London. For laboratory investigation and modelling of hypersonic jets in wire array Z-pinch experiments.


Dr Roderick Kennedy

University of Oxford. For innovative research on the application of probe theory to dust particles immersed in plasma.


Dr Eugene Clark

Imperial College London. For ground-breaking research on proton and ion acceleration in ultra-intense laser plasma interactions.