Matthew Hole

Professor and ITER Science Fellow

Interests#

Fusion Plasmas, Vacuum Arc Centrifuge Plasma, Astrophysical and Space Plasmas, Plasma Propulsion, Plasma Instabilities.

Groups

Research#

Research Interests Computational logic, agents, machine learning, and declarative programming languages.

Biography#

Professor Hole holds degrees in Physics, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, and completed a PhD on plasma centrifuge physics at the University of Sydney. During 2001-2002. Professor Hole worked for the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority on fusion power on the innovative spherical tokamak concept. From 2003-2004 Professor Hole worked on space plasma physics in the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. Since 2005, he has worked with Professor Dewar of the Plasma Theory Modelling Group at ANU, and as lead of the group from 2011.

He is an expert in the physics basis of toroidal confinement fusion, their underpinning mathematical models and their (typically computational) solution, modelling of stochastic systems, Bayesian inference, the design of high frequency magnetic diagnostics, and the detailed modelling of low temperature cylindrical plasmas. His current focus of research is mathematical modelling of toroidal confinement configurations (equilibrium), their stability, and energetic particle physics.

He has attracted ~$3.3m in competitive funding, including a first round ARC Future Fellowship, private investment through the US Simons Foundation, and philanthropic support. In total he has supervised nearly 50 research students, across physics, mathematics and electrical engineering, and been nominated twice by students for an Award for Excellence in Research Supervision.

In 2005 Professor Hole founded the Australian ITER Forum, a growing consortium of over 180 scientists and engineers drawn from universities, government research laboratories, private industry and the general public. The Forum seeks to promote the science of fusion energy through advocacy of Australian involvement in the world’s largest science project: the next step fusion energy experiment, ITER.  The advocacy and outreach efforts of the ITER Forum have contributed to securing a Cooperation Agreement between ITER and ANSTO. This agreement, which was signed on Sep. 30, 2016 by ANSTO on behalf of Australian fusion science is a coup for Australian science, and enables Australians to participate in ITER.

In 2010 Prof Hole was made International Union of Pure and Applied Physics Young Scientist of the year for “research in related wave phenomena in plasmas, and research leadership to engage Australia with ITER”. In 2017 he was appointed as the first ITER Science Fellow appointed outside of the ITER member consortium.

Activities & Awards#

Professor Hole is also:

  • Co-Chair of the International Fusion Research Council of the IAEA.
  • On the board of Editors for Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
  • a regular reviewer for Physical Review Letters, Physical Review, Plasma Physics of Physics of Plasmas, Nuclear Fusion, IEEE Trans. on Plasma Science, and Journal of Plasma and Fusion Research
  • a regular author of outreach (e.g. Conservation) articles.
  • a member of the Australian Institute of Physics
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