CEO and Founder, Commonwealth Fusion Systems
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Abstract: Over the last 3 years CFS has embarked with partners at MIT and around the world on a path to commercialize fusion energy in time to make a difference to climate change. The chosen technical path has been the high-field approach enabled by the conventional tokamak and a new generation of HTS magnets. This particular strategy is dictated by the timeliness of a practical scalable fusion-based energy generation technology. The talk will cover the current status of the program including development of HTS magnets and the upcoming construction of the SPARC tokamak. Then it will look ahead to the strategies being employed to develop a near-term fusion pilot plant to be constructed starting at the end of the current decade. It will cover the needed innovations and opportunities for teaming to complete the design basis for this, the first commercial, fusion power plant.
Bio: As CEO of Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), Bob leads the strategic vision for the company. He received his PhD in plasma physics at MIT, focusing his work on Alcator C-Mod and developing techniques to measure the magnetic field inside tokamak plasmas. During this time, Bob contributed to the design of several small tokamaks using high temperature superconductors (HTS). As an MIT fellow, Bob focused on how entrepreneurship, risk-retirement strategies, and partnerships could increase the speed of fusion from laboratory to market. His work has focused on strategies to leverage the collaboration of private finance and traditional academic resources to speed the path to commercial fusion energy.