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Persoonlijk profiel


“Fusion energy has phenomenal world-saving potential, but is also phenomenally difficult to realise. A perfect challenge for the socially motivated engineer.”

Research profile

Niek Lopes Cardozo is professor of 'Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion' in the Applied Physics department of Eindhoven University of Technology, and is interim chair of the Science Domain of NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and member of the executive board of NWO.

He has more than 35 years experience in fusion research, authored 100+ papers and supervised 30+ PhD theses. Former leader of the Dutch fusion research programme (2001-2009), he was member of the top-level European fusion governance committees, including as vice-chair of the Governing Board of the European Domestic Agency for ITER ‘Fusion for Energy’. He received the 2003 Koninklijke/Shell prize for sustainable development and energy research.

At TU/e he has established the interdisciplinary 2-year Fusion Master program, with an intake of >25 international students per year. He has initiated the European Fusion Education Network FUSENET (60+ members) and the consortium ITER-NL, in which Dutch research institutes collaborate with industry for the ITER project.

In recent years his research focus has been on the (economical) prospects of fusion energy, in view of the outstanding technical challenges on the one hand and the progress in other energy technologies on the other.

As major responsibility beside his university position, he chaired the Dutch Organisation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM), then the physics branch of NWO, from 2010 to 2017. In that role he also chaired the interdisciplinary NWO research theme Sustainable Energy and was member of the leading energy-related committees in the Netherlands, including the ‘regieteam’ of the Topsector Energy.

He is presently interim chair of the Science Domain of NWO which comprises Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Mathematics, Computer Science, Biology and Geophysics, and member of the executive board of NWO.

Academic background

Niek Lopes Cardozo holds an MSc degree in Experimental Physics from Utrecht University (1981) and a PhD from FOM-Rijnhuizen Institute for Plasma Physics (1985). He worked as a postdoc on the Joint European Torus in Culham (UK) for two years before returning to FOM-Rijnhuizen in 1987, where he later became head of the Fusion Physics department. Lopes Cardozo started as part-time professor at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in 1994 and became Full Professor and chair of Science and Technology of Nuclear Fusion in 2009. In 2010, he was appointed Chair of FOM.

Externe posities

Member of the Executive Board a.i., NWO

1 okt 201731 dec 2018


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