Doctoral Candidate (PhD) in the area of edge-plasma physics in magnetic fusion devices

Updated: about 2 months ago

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The Fusion and Plasma Physics Group ( ) at the Department of Applied Physics is inviting applications for a

Doctoral Candidate (PhD) in the area of edge-plasma physics in magnetic fusion devices

The group focuses on experimental and computational plasma physics in magnetically confined fusion experiments. Within this job posting the research project aims to improve understanding of the physics of the edge plasma in tokamaks by interpretative analysis of measurements in present devices and predictions from state-of-the-art numerical simulations. The primary physics goal of these studies is elucidating the physics of the onset of divertor plasma detachment in magnetically confined fusion devices.

Job description

The successful candidate will be trained in edge plasma physics with the goal to complete a doctoral thesis on the impact of molecules and photons on divertor plasma detachment in tokamaks within four years of the PhD programme at Aalto University. She and he will be educated in executing plasma edge codes, such as SOLPS-ITER and EIRENE, to interpret data from the JET and DIII-D tokamaks. As a team member, she or he is anticipated to participate in JET and DIII-D experiments, in data mining and analyses of past and on-going experiments, and in carrying out plasma simulations. She or he will be working in a team of senior and junior research members toward development and implementation of new physics models in these computational tools. The successful candidate is expected to document and publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals, and to present results at external conferences, seminars and/or technical meetings. At Aalto University a PhD dissertation includes 3-4 peer-reviewed publications within four years of the PhD programme. While the primary location of the studies will be at the Aalto University Otaniemi campus in Espoo, the research pertaining to the thesis will be carried out in collaboration with JET in the UK, DIII-D in the United State of America, and other European or outside-Europe fusion research facilities. The candidate is expected to spend some time at these research facilities.


As a successful candidate for this position, you should have:

  • M.Sc. degree in plasma physics or a related field
  • Experience in computer programming languages, such as Fortran or C
  • Experience with data analysis programming languages, such as Python, MATLAB
  • Proficient verbal and written communication skills in English necessary to work in a multidisciplinary environment, to author technical and scientific reports and publications, and to deliver scientific presentations

Skills, knowledge and abilities in the following areas are highly desirable:

  • Experience in at least one of these fields: plasma or optical emission spectroscopy, large data analysis or computational physics
  • Experience in high performance computing highly desirable

The primary language of communication within the Fusion and Plasma Physics Group is English.

Duration, salary and benefits

The fixed term Doctoral Candidate contract is initially for two years, followed by an extension for another two-year period after successful completion of the midterm exam after 1-1/2 years. The total duration of the position is four years. The annual workload of research and teaching staff at Aalto University is 1612 hours.

Aalto University follows the salary system of Finnish universities and we provide them upon request. The contract includes Aalto University occupational healthcare.

The primary workplace will be the Otaniemi Campus at Aalto University, and will involve international assignments to research facilities in the UK, Germany and the United States of America. Longer-term assignments to these facilities may be discussed at the time of recruitment.

For more Information

For additional information, please contact the head of the research group, Professor Mathias Groth, tel. +358 50 3640 495, or for recruitment-process related questions HR-coordinator Stefan Ehrstedt, tel. +358 50 340 7662. E-mails: .


Please send your application at earliest convenience to the Aalto University recruitment system, by September 11, 2020. To apply for the position, please submit your application including the attachment mentioned below as one single PDF document in English through the link ’Apply now’ link at the bottom of the web page. 

  • Letter of motivation (max. one page)
  • Copy of M.Sc. degree and English version of transcript of completed M.Sc. courses
  • CV (max. two pages), including references
  • List of publications, if applicable

Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider also candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

Espoo, July 27, 2020

Aalto University

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