|He competes in dragon boat races, weightlifts, skis and is one of General Fusion’s Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) scientists – meet Jean-Sebastien Dick or JS!
JS (pictured above on the right) received the “Le génie en images” award from Polytechnique Montréal for his PhD simulations. Now, he brings that talent for “engineering in pictures” to General Fusion’s highly specialized team that uses CFD to drive decision-making at various stages of engineering projects, from concept to demonstration to power plant.
“CFD is pivotal for simulation and modelling at General Fusion. Our Magnetized Target Fusion technology uses the high-fidelity coordination between a plasma injector and a compression system to produce fusion energy,” explains JS.
General Fusion’s approach uses refinements of existing technology, such as steam-powered pistons, to compress plasma to fusion conditions and key innovations, like the liquid metal wall, to make it durable and efficient.
“CFD is used to design the piston-driven compression system and to precisely shape a cavity out of the liquid metal vortex. CFD is also used to assist our experimental engineers in their work in the lab,” adds JS.
JS joined General Fusion almost two years ago from the aerospace industry. Growing up, JS knew he wanted to be an aerospace engineer. While pursuing his post-graduate degrees, his interest shifted toward fusion energy. “The consequences of climate change were becoming more obvious and seen around the world,” said JS.
As soon as he earned his PhD in numerical simulation of fluid mechanics, he decided to look for a job. JS wanted to work somewhere where his expertise could positively contribute to combating climate change and the energy crisis.
“When I studied nuclear physics, I knew that fusion energy has the potential to solve these two global issues that I am passionate about. My research led me to General Fusion,” explains JS. “I was fascinated by the company’s unique approach to commercialize fusion energy. Most importantly, I was inspired by the unwavering determination of the founder, Dr. Michel Laberge.”
This is an exciting time for General Fusion; the company is in the technology delivery stage and progressing with its fusion demonstration program at the UKAEA’s Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. JS is one of the CFD scientists working with the team as they assemble proven components of the company’s technology into a scaled version of its commercial machine.
“Here, we are building a fusion machine which I believe will play a role in the global clean energy transition,” said JS. “The collaborative culture this company is built on fosters the flow of creativity – vertically and horizontally across teams. Here, I am part of a team, I am part of a mission to transform the world’s energy supply with fusion energy and I am here for it.”