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Project Grant Studentships

Each year there are a small number of PhD studentships available, for work on a particular project, funded from grants held by individual members of staff. These are advertised on this page as they become available.
  • Eligibility: Usually for UK and EU students, but dependent on the funder.
  • Closing Date: Dependent on the project.

PhD studentship in Mathematics or Interdisciplinary Mathematics

University of Warwick

“Nonlinear dynamics for stellarator design”

16 September 2019 – 15 September 2023

We seek a highly motivated and intelligent student with training in dynamical systems theory and computation, especially Hamiltonian dynamics, for a PhD project in stellarator design.

The project is to explore ways to make magnetic confinement devices for plasma with integrable or nearly integrable guiding-centre dynamics (to maximise the confinement) and no or small toroidal current (to minimise the need for current drive and associated instabilities), called stellarators. The latter condition requires significant deviation from axisymmetry, which is otherwise the straightforward solution. Integrability is guaranteed for a generalisation called quasisymmetry, but it is suspected that the only true quasisymmetries are axisymmetries. So the main work is to develop and test computationally various ways to quantify deviation from integrability.

The studentship is funded by a maintenance grant from the Simons Foundation under an international collaboration on “Hidden symmetries and fusion energy” at the standard EPSRC rate and fees paid by the Mathematics department for an EU citizen (with possibility to negotiate for fees for a strong non-EU citizen). The Simons Foundation grant will also pay for the student to participate in collaboration meetings in the USA.

Interested applicants are invited to contact and to apply for PhD in Mathematics or Interdisciplinary Mathematics (according to which you think would suit you best), via, specifying that you want to be considered for the Nonlinear Dynamics for Stellarator Design studentship with R.S.MacKay.


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