Dr Mahmoud Mostafavi of the University of Bristol has been awarded a prestigious Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellowship. He will investigate High Temperature Fusion Engineering in this five-year position co-sponsored by the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
Dr Mostafavi is one of six academics to win this funding which aims to strengthen the links between industry and academia. It comes shortly after the UK Government committed £220m funding to the design of a fusion power station.
Mahmoud believes that fusion energy is achievable in his lifetime, and recognises that engineering innovation is needed to help harness the heat released by fusion to produce steam that can drive turbines to produce electricity. The structures required to withstand the high pressure induced by the coolant have high thermal stress gradients that cycle with the pulsation of the plasma.
They are often made of dissimilar materials, each optimised for operation in a specific part of the reactor and then joined together using advanced welding techniques. Dr Mostafavi's work aims to ensure the integrity and safety of the structures, to help make commercial fusion energy viable.
He says: “I always wanted to see how things work, taking things apart and seeing how all the bits and pieces work! In recent years, two Royal Academy of Engineering Fellows have had the most influence on me: my PhD supervisor Professor David Smith, who sadly passed away a few years ago, and more recently Professor David Knowles, who taught me everything I know about high temperature engineering. Doing this work, with the goal of unlimited green energy for humanity, makes me feel I can make a difference.”
Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships
The Academy’s Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships scheme has successfully supported numerous academic appointments and enhanced internationally renowned centres of excellence. This scheme aims to strengthen the links between industry and academia by supporting exceptional academics in UK universities to undertake use-inspired research that meets the needs of the industrial partners.
Applications for the next round are open from October 2019 – the Academy particularly welcomes and encourages applications from women and other groups underrepresented in the engineering profession. For more information on the Research Chairs and Senior Research Fellowships please visit: http://www.raeng.org.uk/researchchairs