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13 février 2014
The Itoh prize for the best PhD thesis in Plasma Turbulence delivered to Dr Farah Hariri (CEA/DSM/IRFM) by the President of Kyushu University, Japan

The Itoh Prize for the best 2013 PhD thesis in Plasma Turbulence has been awarded to Dr Farah Hariri. Farah Hariri was a PhD student at Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research (IRFM) (2010-2013). Farah Hariri was selected for this prize among 100 international PhD students at the 40th International conference of the European Physical Society held in Finland last year (1-5 July 2013). As winner of the prize she gets the unique opportunity to visit Kyushu University and the national institute for nuclear fusion science (NIFS) in Japan for two weeks in February 2014, including flights and living expenses. In an official ceremony her prize was delivered by the President of Kyushu University, Japan. For her thesis project, Dr. Hariri developed and validated a new method to deal with the key question, commonly met in magnetically confined plasmas, of how to develop efficient computer codes that would take into account the strong plasma anisotropy with minimal loss of computational resources.



Dr. Farah Hariri (center) with Kyushu University President Setsuo Arikawa (second from left), Kyushu University Vice President Professor Sanae-I Itoh (second from right), Professor Akihide Fujisawa (first from left) and Professor Shigeru Inagaki (first from right).

Farah Hariri carried her research work in the area of Computational Plasma Physics at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA, France) as a member of the Institute for Magnetic Fusion Research (IRFM) within the Physical sciences Division (DSM). She successfully defended her PhD thesis in November 2013 in front of an international panel of senior experts. Her thesis is entitled: “FENICIA: a generic plasma simulation code using a Flux-indepENdent fIeld-aligned CoordInate Approach”. Members of the jury included her PhD advisor Professor Maurizio Ottaviani (CEA, France), Professor Yanick Sarazin (CEA, France), Professor Laurent Villard (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL, Switzerland), Professor Eric Sonnendrücker (Max-Planck- Institut für Plasmaphysik, Garching, Germany), Professor Peter Beyer (Université d’Aix-Marseille, AMU, France), Professor Steven Cowley (CEO of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and Professor of Physics at Imperial College) and Professor Nabil Nassif (Former Chair of the Computational Science program at AUB, and Professor in AUB Mathematics department). The jury judged that “The groundbreaking nature of her work, addressing a fundamental question with multidisciplinary aspects, will likely inspire future work along the same line”.


In recognition of the quality of her work, Dr. Farah Hariri was awarded the 9th Itoh Prize for the best PhD thesis in Plasma Turbulence for 2013 at the 40th International conference of the European Physical Society held in Finland last year (1-5 July 2013). The prize is open to PhD students in the fields of: Tokamak and Toroidal Plasmas, Basic Plasmas, Laser and Inertial Plasmas, Astrophysical Plasmas and Application Plasmas. Farah Hariri was selected for this prize among 100 international PhD students. The selection committee of this international award, led by Professor Sanae-I Itoh (member of the Japanese scientific council, Director of the Japanese research center for plasma turbulence and Vice President of Kyushu University) and 7 other multinational senior Professors of Plasma Physics, ended the conference by congratulating her, mentioning that “The FENICIA code embedding the Flux Coordinate Independent system that Farah Hariri has developed is a remarkable achievement. It provides the scientific community with a platform on which new physics and new geometries can be easily introduced. It is thus foreseeable that Farah Hariri’s thesis will have an impact well beyond the field of magnetic nuclear fusion research”.


Discussions with the Kyushu University President Professor Setsuo Arikawa aiming at establishing collaborations among the plasma turbulence division in japan and teams at EPFL (Switzerland) and CEA (France).

The prize was recently delivered to Farah by the President of Kyushu University, Professor Setsuo Arikawa, at a ceremony held at Kyushu University’s campus (Fukuoka, Japan) on February 4th 2014.

A ceremony has been also organized on February 5th 2014 at the Japanese national institute for nuclear fusion science, (NIFS) near Nagoya where the General Director of the NIFS, Professor Akio Komori, congratulated Farah and discussed with her a collaboration around the FENICIA code between simulation teams at CEA, at EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, where Farah has currently a position) and at the NIFS institute. At this event, Professor Sanae-I Itoh, in her speech said  “I congratulate Farah Hariri, for the excellent work she achieved. Given the generality of the FENICIA code and the new coordinate system that she developed in her thesis, it is expected that her work will impact not only research in nuclear fusion, but also future numerical developments in astrophysical sciences and other areas as well”. Since January 2014, Farah Hariri has a post-doc position at CRPP (Centre of Research in Plasma Physics) at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where she continues her research on plasma turbulence in view of predicting the transport properties of ITER plasmas.


Maj : 20/02/2014 (363)

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