During the Winter Meeting of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) in Washington, D.C., in November this year, ITER's Blanket Section Leader René Raffray was recognized as a Fellow. The election to the rank of Fellow within the ANS recognizes the contributions that individuals have made to the advancement of nuclear science and technology through the years.
René Raffray earned the highest grade of ANS membership "for his pioneering computational modelling research which provided solutions to several issues for fusion chambers including opening the inertial fusion energy dry wall design window through inclusion of ion time of flight effects and use of nano-structured tungsten armor; and understanding the tritium behavior in ceramic breeder blankets."
René Raffray was a Research Scientist in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department and Center for Energy Research, University of California in San Diego. On 1 September 2009 he joined the ITER Organization as the Blanket Section Leader.
Born on the beautiful Island of Mauritius and trained as a Mechanical Engineer at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, England, René made first contact with the fusion world at the University of California, Davis working with his doctoral advisor, Prof. M. Hoffman, on a grant from the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California. "My advisor introduced me to blankets in fusion devices. That is how it all started, and I never left," René says.
This said, René is not a newcomer to the ITER community. In fact he was already part of the family during the Conceptual Design Phase of the project in the late 1980s, as a member of the US effort on the ITER breeding blanket. During the following Engineering Design Activity Phase in the 1990s, René worked in Garching in the Blanket Group together with several current ITER colleagues including Kimihiro Ioki, now the Vacuum Vessel Division Head, and Gary Johnson now the Deputy Director-General in charge of the Tokamak Department. He left Garching in 1998 when the US pulled out of the project. Back in the US he worked on the ARIES program, which performs advanced integrated design studies of the long-term fusion energy embodiments to identify key R&D directions and to provide visions for the fusion program. Recent ARIES studies covered tokamaks, stellarators and also inertial fusion devices.
He also worked for the High Average Power Laser (HAPL) Program focused on developing laser fusion with direct drive targets and dry wall chambers.
René is glad to be back in the ITER fold and, after all these years, looking forward to contribute to the realization of this unique and exciting endeavour. "After waiting so long along the bumpy ITER ride through the various design phases, it is exciting to finally be part of the team building ITER." return to Newsline #112