Mr Hyun-Tae Kim completed both undergraduate and masters course at the Department of Nuclear Engineering in Seoul National University. His research area in his master course was on "Design and Characterization of a Microwave Plasma Source using a Rectangular Cavity." During his master course, he received the Best Poster Award from the Plasma Division of 34th KVS (Korean Vacuum Society), and published an article in JKVS (Journal of Korean Vacuum Society). In 2009, his research won "16th Young Scientist Award", which is given by the KVS.
He began his Ph.D study at the Plasma Physics Group in Imperial College London in August 2009, and is doing his Ph.D. research at Culham Centre for Fusion Energy at the moment.
His Ph.D. project deals with the topic of plasma break-down modelling in tokamaks, i.e. the formation of the plasma discharge due to an externally applied electric field, specifically in the JET(Joint European Torus) and MAST(Mega Amp Spherical Tokamak). This topic is gaining in importance due to the construction of the ITER(International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) experiment and the relative lack of understanding (predictive capability) of the break-down process in tokamaks. In particular, as was recently discovered at JET, plasma break-down is strongly sensitive to the impurity content and the plasma facing materials. Since, the composition of the ITER first wall is likely to be quite complex, involving a range of materials, e.g. Be, C, W, and volatile species, e.g. D&T, He, and noble gases (Ne, Ar), the ability to predict the plasma breakdown based on simple extrapolations from existing tokamaks is likely to be insufficient. This argues for the development of more quantitative tools/models, which should be validated on current devices, especially the largest tokamak in the world, i.e. JET. Moreover, there is a natural link to long pulse, superconducting tokamaks, specifically KSTAR(Korean Superconducting Advanced Research) in Korea.
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