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Hot & cool: tackling the Fusion grand challenge with AI and HPC

LIDA Seminar
Monday 24 October 2022, 10am - 12pm
University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT
LIDA, 0113 343 9680,

Monday 24th October
10am - 12pm
University of Leeds (room tbc)

The LIDA Artificial Intelligence programme are delighted to welcome Lorenzo Zanisi for a guest seminar on the use of AI and HPC to solve remaining problems to unlocking Fusion power.

After a 45minute talk from Lorenzo, there will be a Q&A and the opportunity for networking afterwards.

Lorenzo is an AI Specialist in the Advanced Computing Department at the UK Atomic Energy Authority researching AI applications for Fusion energy. Prior to joining UKAEA in October 2021 he obtained a PhD in Astrophysics at the University of Southampton where he used deep generative models for out of distribution tasks. He also devised Monte Carlo methods to model galaxy structure as well as blood pressure treatment in presence of measurement uncertainty. He is interested in any and all AI methods that can speed up the delivery of Fusion power and believes in collaborative science as the only means to achieve big scientific breakthroughs. To this end, he recently won an award by the Alan Turing Institute to promote Fusion as a use case in the AI community.

Fusion holds the promise to deliver carbon free, almost limitless amounts of energy to power our world. A promising avenue to achieve Fusion is the Tokamak, a doughnut-shaped machine where plasma, a quasi-neutral ionised gas, is confined by means of magnetic fields. The UK has the ambition to deliver the Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) by 2040 - this will be a fully working Fusion power plant. A number of hurdles still need to be overcome on the way to making Fusion a reality. However, we now have access to some powerful tools unavailable to the scientists and engineers of the past: modern AI and exascale HPC solutions may just finally unlock commercial Fusion power. In this talk, Lorenzo will introduce some of the physics and engineering challenges that are unique to Fusion and will showcase how these are approached with a holistic view at the UK Atomic Energy Authority. I will then take a dive into our efforts within the Advanced Computing Department to tame Fusion using HPC and AI.
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