Egemen KolemenPrincipal Investigator

Egemen Kolemen is an Associate Professor at Princeton University’s Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering jointly appointed with the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL). He is the Director of Program in Sustainable Energy, recipient of the David J. Rose Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award and an ITER Scientist Fellow. His research combines engineering and physics analysis to enable economically feasible fusion reactors. He currently leads research on machine learning, real-time diagnostics and control at KSTAR, NSTX-U and DIII-D. He directs liquid metal divertor and low temperature diagnostics labs. On the theoretical side, his group develops software for stellarator optimization and economical analysis of fusion reactor.

Research Staff

Azarakhsh JalalvandResearch Scientist

Aza is a Research Scholar in Princeton University with a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Ghent University (Belgium). His research focuses on Artificial Intelligence, signal processing and data-driven discovery research tracks including audio, visual and radar data analysis as well as multi-sensor signal processing for variety of applications such as object recognition, surveillance, predictive maintenance and anomaly detection. He investigates real-time, robust and adaptive data-driven models for condition monitoring and plasma control in the magnetic confinement devices to produce controlled thermonuclear fusion power.

SangKyeun KimResearch Scientist

SangKyeun Kim is a staff research scientist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) with a focus on plasma physics and fusion research. His expertise encompasses a wide range of areas including linear PBM stability analysis using MISHKA and ELITE tools, nonlinear physics studies with the JOREK 3D MHD code, and the development of the kinetic-EFIT reconstruction system for the KSTAR tokamak. Currently, SangKyeun is engaged in ML-related plasma control at DIII-D, where he explores the utilization of machine learning techniques for 3D control, ELM suppression, and boundary control, contributing to advancements in these fields.

CheolSik ByunPostdoctoral Researcher

CheolSik Byun is a postdoctoral researcher with expertise in simulation
and experiment of particle transport. During his doctoral studies at
Seoul National University, he focused on interpretative/predictive
simulations and experiments for hybrid scenarios in  KSTAR. He also
conducted research on particle transport driven by turbulence using
perturbative analysis in KSTAR experiments. Currently, his primary
research focus involves implementing various controllers, such as
RMP-driven ELM suppression and radiation power control, utilizing
RT-bolometer to manage heat loads on the plasma-facing components in

Alvin GarciaPostdoctoral Researcher

Alvin Garcia is an ORISE FES Postdoctoral Research Fellow experienced in computational modelling, analysis and techniques that can be used to study mission critical topics in fusion energy. Prior to joining the Plasma Control
Group at Princeton University, he completed his PhD in Physics at the University of California, Irvine on projects related to Spin Polarized Fuel and Artificial Intelligence using data from the DIII-D National Fusion Facility. He plans to design, propose, and execute experiments aimed at controlling dangerous Alfvén eigenmodes on DIII-D as a contributing member of the Plasma Control Group.

Yufan XuPostdoctoral Researcher

Yufan Xu is a postdoc at PPPL specialized in liquid metal magnetohydrodynamics, geophysical and astrophysical turbulence, and planetary and stellar dynamos. He received his PhD in geophysics and space physics at University of California, Los Angeles in 2023, on the experimental investigation of the heat and momentum transfer in liquid gallium rotating and non-rotating magnetoconvection, complemented with theoretical and numerical analyses. In Princeton, his focus is developing a flowing liquid lithium facility at PPPL for testing and validating liquid metal plasma facing component designs for fusion devices.

Rahul GaurPostdoctoral Researcher

I am a postdoctoral researcher working with the DESC optimization code. I am interested in the optimization of stellarators against instabilities and turbulent transport.
I completed my Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Maryland, College Park where I investigated the effect of ideal MHD and kinetic instabilities on high-beta tokamak and stellarator equilibria.

Peter SteinerPostdoctoral Researcher

Peter is a PostDoc in Princeton University with a Ph.D. in Signal Processing and Machine Learning from Dresden University of Technology (Germany). His research focuses on Artificial and signal processing of audio and multi-sensor signals with many application from recognition until event detection. He investigates data-driven models for plasma control and signal processing methods for different plasma diagnostics.

Max CuriePostdoctoral Researcher

Max Curie is a postdoc in Princeton University. He received his Ph.D. in physics in the University of Texas at Austin in 2022. His focuses are
1. End-to-end prediction for Tokamak.
2. Signal processing for the spectral diagnostics.
3. Design, propose, and conduct experiments in DIII-D (future).

Graduate Students

Dario Panici4th Year Graduate Student

Dario is a 4th-year graduate student in the MAE department interested in computational plasma physics, especially related to fusion energy. He completed his undergraduate in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at UIUC before attending Princeton. Currently, Dario works on code development and error analysis of computational stellarator equilibria, as well as helical coil design and connections between 3D global MHD equilibria and the near-axis expansion.

Personal Pic
Francisco Saenz4th Year Graduate Student

Francisco is a 4th-year PhD student in the MAE department interested in computational/experimental liquid metal magnetohydrodynamics, especially related to the design of plasma-facing component of fusion systems. His undergraduate degree is in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad de Costa Rica. Currently, Francisco works on simulations and experiments to evaluate the performance of the new liquid metal divertor concept called ‘Divertorlets’. Additionally, he works on simulations of free-surface liquid metal flows for MHD drag calculations.

Brian Wynne3rd Year Graduate Student

Brian is a 3rd year graduate student in MAE. Before joining the Kolemen group, he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering at The Ohio State University. Brian works with experiments and simulations on LMX-U (Liquid Metal eXperiment Upgrade) at PPPL. He is currently involved in testing  the effects of a gradient magnetic field on free surface flow, as well as designing a magnetically driven centrifuge for lithium hydride separation from liquid lithium. 

Andy Rothstein3rd Year Graduate Student

Andy is a 3rd year graduate student in MAE interested in data-driven approaches to plasma control. His work involved building machine learning models to find correlations between tokamak diagnostics and magnetic instabilities to build models capable of predicting magnetic instabilities in real-time. Before Princeton, he got his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Caltech and while performing research in astrodynamics and quantum optics. 

Jalal Butt2nd Year Graduate Student

Jalal studies the 3D field physics of edge-localized modes (ELMs) and their control in pursuit of long-pulse tokamak operation for KSTAR, ITER and beyond. Before Princeton, Jalal graduated from Columbia University, where he contributed to the disruption event characterization and forecasting code (DECAF), and CCSU. Jalal also worked as a research scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on novel satellite remote sensing techniques.

Minseok Kim1st Year Graduate Student

Minseok is a 1st-year PhD student in the MAE department. Before joining the Kolemen group, he completed his bachelor’s degree in Physics and Artificial intelligence at Korea University and master’s degree in Nuclear and Quantum engineering at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Minseok studied Bayesian statistics for KSTAR ion temperature profile reconstruction and machine learning application for fusion-grade hot plasma prediction during his master’s degree. His current research interest is to detect edge localized mode (ELM) induced by sawtooth instability at DIII-D tokamak using ECE diagnostics.

Yigit Gunsur Elmacioglu1st Year Graduate Student

Yigit is an incoming PhD student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering along with a double major in Physics at Bogazici University. During his undergraduate studies, he worked on magnetic guidewire steering in ultrahigh magnetic fields and PIC-DSMC implementation of the ion thruster grid region. In the Kolemen group, he will work on plasma simulations for stellarators.

Hiro Farre1st Year Graduate Student

Hiro is a 1st year PhD student at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. He completed his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Physics at the University of Cambridge, where he worked on simulating and detecting the Low to High Confinement Mode transition in tokamaks. By running HESEL simulations and analyzing experimental data from the DIII-D and MAST-U tokamaks, he studied the triggers leading to High Confinement Mode, a plasma state that is favorable for fusion reactors. In the Plasma Control group, he will work on plasma profile prediction for real time control on the DIII-D and ASDEX-U tokamaks.

Nathaniel Chen1st Year Graduate Student

Nathan is a PhD student in  the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Physics and Cognitive Science at the University of California, Los Angeles. He works on machine learning and diagnostics in the plasma control group.

Kian Orr1st Year Graduate Student

Kian is a 1st year PhD student interested in computational plasma physics, especially in the context of fusion. He went to UCLA for his undergrad in physics and subsequently worked at TAE Technologies, where he researched particle confinement times with spectroscopy diagnostics.

Undergraduate Students

Felipe De BolleSophomore
Kaya UnalmisSenior

Kaya is an undergraduate student at Princeton studying Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics. As part of the stellarator team in the summer of 2022, Kaya contributed to the development of DESC, a stellarator equilibrium and optimization code. Outside of research, Kaya enjoys swimming and lifting.

Aly RashidSophomore

Visiting Scholars

Past Members

Rory Conlin
Ricardo Shousha
Joe Abbate
Daniel Dudt
Susan Redmond
Josiah Wai
Zhen Sun
A photograph of Jacob Schwartz
J. A. Schwartz
Jaemin Seo
Pat Vail
Tim Chen
Oak Nelson
Adam Fisher
Adam Fisher
Yichen Fu
Yichen Fu
Mike Hvasta
Olivier Izacard
Olivier Izacard
Florian Laggner
David Eldon
Alexandre Fil
Mikhail Modestov
Matthijs Roelofs
Kornee Kleijwegt
Koji Kusumi
Shoki Nakamura
Jason Crocker
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Kayla Xu
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Daniel Vergara
Tal Shpigel
Ayomikun Gbadamosi
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Samantha O’Sullivan
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Shayaan Subzwari
Laura Fang
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Yuno Iwasaki
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Azmaine Iqtidar
Aaron Wu
Milan A Wolff
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Bora Kiyan
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Alex Liu
Nathaniel Barbour
Neil Slighton
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Gerrit Bruhaug
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Dhruval Patel
Dhruvit Patel