Padua-Lisbon-Munich Network

In 2007 a Joint Research Doctorate and Network in Fusion Science and Engineering has been set up by a group of European Universities, with a solid scientific/research background in the field of magnetically confined fusion plasmas:

  • University of Padua (coordinator), Italy
  • Instituto Superior Tecnico (IST), Lisbon, Portugal
  • Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMU), Munich, Germany

In 2014 the Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and the Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II” joined this Doctorate programme. It was an opportunity for the network to grow and gain new assets/competences, in particular on fusion engineering, an area of paramount importance given the needs of a program developing towards ITER and DEMO.

The programme is managed by a scientific council, with the day to day aspects delegated to an executive board. The selection of the students is done through a selection panel, set up once a year.

The funding of fellowships is through national channels, with a equitable return: fellowships funded by Italy, Portugal or Germany are given to students for a topic submitted by the respective partner, and the students will do the main part of their PhD in those countries. The number of Ph.D. students enrolled by the LMP network was respectively from 2007 to 2016: 13, 14, 11, 7, 8, 10, 12, 11, 11 and 15.

The LMP network pioneered in Europe the concept of transnational networking for fusion PhD courses. It was in fact the first to be set-up, and the first to be truly international (universities from 3 countries).

The LMP network has offered, since its beginning, an integrated education scheme: three advanced classes on Physics (Munich), Engineering (Padua), Diagnostics and Control and Data Acquisition (Lisbon).

The LMP network has been a model: most of its requirements and rules have been considered by the European FuseNet program, which has defined the common European rules for a fusion PhD certificate.

The LMP network members have been supporting the successful application of the Fusion-DC consortium (Erasmus-Mundus PhD program on fusion).

Overall, the LMP doctoral network has up to now been a very successful experience, with its students winning prestigious awards  and several EFDA/EUROfusion post-doc fellowships.