Fusion Technology Award for IPP Engineer

Lutz Wegener receives award for outstanding contributions to fusion technology

May 28, 2019

Dr. Lutz Wegener from Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) in Greifswald is awarded the Fusion Technology Award 2019 for outstanding contributions to research and development in fusion technology. The prize is bestowed annually by the Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a worldwide professional association of engineers with over 420,000 members.

Lutz Wegener receives the distinction in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the construction of the Wendelstein 7-X fusion research device. This world’s largest fusion device of the stellarator type is to investigate the suitability of this configuration for use in a power plant. As head of the assembly division he planned the construction of the research device together with a team of 150 IPP employees and external personnel, developed the assembly concept as well as the necessary technological solutions and assembly tools. From 2005, Wendelstein 7-X was built under his management. Ten years and well over a million working hours later, the plant was completed within the specified low tolerances and could be handed over to the physicists. In their experiments, they benefit from a magnetic field that deviates by only one hundred-thousandth from the calculated target shape, which has enabled outstanding scientific results.

Meanwhile, Lutz Wegener has already designed the plant upgrade planned for the end of 2018 to 2020: the present graphite coating of the plasma vessel will be replaced at particularly stressed areas by water-cooled surfaces made of carbon-fibre-reinforced carbon; a complex system of cooling circuits with pumps and manifolds will be set up. Lutz Wegener has also contributed his technical experience to other fusion projects, such as numerous design and assembly reviews for the ITER international test reactor.

The Fusion Technology Award, endowed with 3000 US dollars, will be presented during the “Symposium on Fusion Engineering”, an international fusion research conference that will take place from June 2 to 6, 2019 in Jacksonville, USA.

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