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Neil Lamas - internship at IPP COMPASS tokamak

Two days have passed since I finished my 3-months internship at IPP COMPASS tokamak, in Prague. Now that all the memories stream through my brain, I realize that quite a lot of things happened in such a restricted period of time.

First thing that pops in my mind is how friendly people were at COMPASS. It already started on my first day, when I met Tomas, my soon-to-be supervisor, a coffee-addicted Ph.D. student (sounds like a redundancy) whose moustache and glasses seem to have grown by themselves as predicators of his brain power. He introduced me to Maggi, a cheerful Bulgarian woman whom I was about to share my office with. On the same day, I was offered a cappuccino by Jiri who prepared it using a fancy Italian machine and, went throughout the traditional process of cappuccino. This took place in the “coffee club”, a colourful place where empty bottles of spirits are mixed to coffee beans bags, and quickly became part of my usual schedule. As days passed by, I was lucky to meet other good friends in COMPASS, as Liudas, a Lithuanian adventurous intern with whom I went for a weekend trip in the mountains. I was also glad to share many lunches with Michal, a light-hearted, though wise, man from Egypt.

However, beside the fact that I was surrounded by friendly people and living in an awesome city that was most of the time overhung by a magnificent blue sky (I am from Belgium, a blue sky is something I could only dream of), I was there to work. The goal of my internship was the simulation of resonant magnetic perturbations, a technic utilizing external coils that has proved to be helpful for mitigating runaway electrons as well as localized modes in tokamaks. Via this work, I was introduced to the state of the art in fusion technology while filling the holes in my basics knowledge thanks to Tomas who made himself available even though he surely is one of the hardest workers I know. This gave me the opportunity to stand among the co-authors of one paper and 2 posters. Eventually my feelings at the end of this internship are split between the shortness in time and the quantity of things I learned. It was such a dense experience! Summer has never felt so long and so short at the same time.

- Neil Lamas, MSc student in the EP-fusion program