Nuclear Fusion research and development

The IEEE Student Branch hosted an event discussing nuclear fusion on Tuesday 7th March at the Imperial College South Kensington campus. Two Imperial College academics – Prof. Zulfikar Najmudin and Dr. Yasmin Andrew – joined us to present some of the concepts behind nuclear fusion power, along with progress made towards turning fusion into a practical power source and how the industry might develop in the future.

Prof. Najmudin focused on Inertial Confinement Fusion, which uses laser pulses to initiate reactions and has seen exciting recent results in the US at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), whilst Dr. Andrew presented information on Magnetic Confinement Fusion, where superheated plasma is controlled using electromagnets, such as at the Joint European Torus (JET) tokamak in Oxfordshire.

Following the presentations, the audience had the chance to ask the experts questions about their research within fusion. There was an interesting discussion involving both speakers and the audience on the wider implications and potential of fusion power.

The Student Branch would like to thank our speakers for taking part and we look forward to hosting more events in the future bringing together different areas of science and technology research communities.