Philip B. Snyder, Interim Director of the Fusion Energy Division at ORNL



Fusion, the process that powers the stars, offers the potential to provide plentiful clean energy here on earth.   Realizing this potential presents substantial interrelated physics and engineering challenges.  Following substantial progress in scientific understanding, together with important technology developments, the US has embarked on a bold decadal vision in fusion research, with an aim to develop a fusion pilot plant.   ORNL has embraced this vision, and is engaged in a rapidly growing, comprehensive fusion research program across key areas including fusion materials, blanket and fuel cycle, enabling technology, and core physics.   ORNL is bringing together scientific understanding and advanced materials and technology to enable a full optimization of the fusion system.   ORNL hosts the US project office for the international ITER project, focused on a power plant scale demonstration of fusion energy, and is building the Materials Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX) which will enable efficient tests of materials under fusion conditions.   ORNL is also engaged with six private companies in the new fusion milestone program, aimed at development of a fusion pilot plant.  In addition, ORNL is working with other local institutions to promote the possibility of hosting next-generation fusion facilities in east Tennessee and turning the region into a fusion research hub.

Biographical Sketch:

Philip B. Snyder

Philip Snyder received his BS in computational physics from Yale University and a PhD in plasma physics from Princeton University.  He studied turbulent transport in fusion plasmas and developed a novel model of the edge plasma that enabled discovery of a new high-performance regime known as Super H-Mode.   He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles cited more than 16,000 times, is a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) and has been honored with the IAEA Nuclear Fusion Award, the APS John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research, and the Rosenbluth Award for Fusion Theory. In 2022 he was named an ORNL Corporate Fellow.   He has served on two National Academies committees addressing strategy for US fusion research.  He currently serves as the Interim Director of the Fusion Energy Division at ORNL.

Phil Snyder