David Ward has worked in fusion since the first JET plasma, with major involvements in early JET studies of sawteeth and disruptions and a particular interest in runaway electrons. This included strong involvement in the first JET deuterium-tritium experiments, in which more than 1MW of controlled fusion power was first produced on Earth, and the later experiments in which up to 16 MW of fusion power was produced – still a world record.
After many years of working on both theory and experiment, David took on the role of leading the JET work carried out to help in the design of the next fusion experiment, ITER. From there the transition to technical work and a management role in systems studies for power plants, in particular DEMO, was a natural step.
The work in integrated design of a conceptual power plant includes determining the expected properties of fusion as a power source with a natural link to other energy systems and the likely role of fusion in a future energy market. This has involved collaborations with other energy researchers, outside fusion, and David presently works for one day a week in the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies - www.oxfordenergy.org