Fields of expertise
Nuclear fusion/plasma physics:
Tokamak scenarios and their control, current drive, profile control. Control of MHD instabilities, magnetic control of plasma equilibrium. Simulation of plasma core profile evolution, free-boundary equilibrium simulation and reconstruction. Real-time simulation and prediction.
Control theory, feedback control design, observer design, (Kalman) filtering, nonlinear optimization, model-based predictive control, iterative learning control, machine-learning approaches to control. Implementation of control systems, real-time coding.
BiographyFederico Felici obtained his MSc degree cum laude in Systems & Control from TU Delft (The Netherlands) in 2005 and his PhD. studies at the Swiss Plasma Center at EPFL, Switzerland in 2011. His PhD thesis focused on controlling diverse aspects of fusion plasmas using physics-based modelling approaches. As part of his thesis, he worked on control of MHD instabilities on the TCV tokamak and wrote the fast control-oriented RAPTOR code for solving plasma transport equations. His PhD thesis (available online) was awarded the EPFL doctorate award.
In 2012 he moved to TU Eindhoven in The Nederlands as a postdoctoral researcher, where he was appointed as tenure track assistant professor in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Control Systems Technology group in 2014. He continued working on applications of control science to nuclear fusion, collaborating in particular with the ASDEX-Upgrade tokamak at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Garching, Germany.
In 2018, he returned to EPFL as a research scientist. Here he leads research activities on advanced plasma control and supervises a number of PhD students. Among other projects, he co-leads a collaboration between EPFL and Google DeepMind on plasma control using reinforcement learning.
His current research interests include all aspects of tokamak plasma control, with a strong focus on model-based approaches for practical implementation and demonstrations on existing and future devices. Also, he is the main developer of the RAPTOR code as well as a co-developer of the MEQ equilibrium code suite.
Currently he is one of the EU representative to the ITPA, a member of the ITER Scientist Fellow Network in the area of control, Scientific Coordinator of EUROFusion experiments on TCV and ASDEX-Upgrade. He has published in the key journals in the field and given invited talks at major plasma physics conferences.