VTT Summer of Changemakers: Research Trainee, Fusion Plasma Physics

Do you want to start changing the world for the better next summer? Are you all about science and technology? Would you like to develop your skills and use them to tackle the greatest challenges of our time? VTT might be just the place for you. Apply now for VTT Summer of Changemakers 2023 traineeships. Together, we can turn these challenges into a hopeful future.

VTT is one of the leading applied research organisations in Europe. What unites us are curiosity, a passion for learning and a purpose: to solve the biggest challenges of our time and turn them into sustainable growth and well-being. Our cross-disciplinary community of over 2100 brilliant minds from 50 different nationalities is focused on creating impact through science-based innovation. In recent years, we have created ground-breaking innovations such as the world's fastest and most accurate radiation detector, a cancer-sniffing sensor device for smartphones, and a headphone set entirely made of microbial materials. Now, we are looking for passionate changemakers – you – to join us as summer trainees.

Do you want to be our next Research Trainee in the Fusion Energy and Decommissioning Team? Join us - and let’s make science work for hope next summer! 

As a Research Trainee, you will get acquainted with the main interaction mechanisms of the hot plasma with the walls of a fusion reactor, you will learn to apply the acquired knowledge to numerically model erosion of plasma-facing components inside the reactor, and finally, you will put the obtained results into perspective by comparing them with existing experimental data from present-day fusion devices. As a result, the international fusion community will be provided with estimates on the erosion rates of different materials at varying operational conditions, which in turn will influence the design of next-generation fusion power plants. 

Our Fusion Energy and Decommissioning team works on topical questions related to understanding key physics processes contributing to the safe and successful operation of future fusion reactors as well as on challenges related to the final decommissioning of all kinds of nuclear power plants, both based on fission and fusion. We are also coordinating two large research programmes, which aim at building competences in research and business networks together with the Finnish industry to increase our visibility and competitiveness in the international arena.

What would your responsibilities as a Research Trainee include?

  • You will familiarize yourself, using the available literature, with the main interaction mechanisms between the hot plasma and the materials used in the walls of a fusion reactor
  • You will learn to use state-of-the-art simulation tools (such as ERO2.0 and DIVIMP-OSM) to model the erosion and deposition processes on plasma-facing components
  • If needed, you will implement new functionalities in the applied codes such that all the required physics is properly included in the simulations
  • You will benchmark your modelling results with the available experimental data from different fusion facilities, especially the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak, and amend the simulations whenever necessary
  • You will write research reports and compile presentations in clear English to disseminate your results to the international fusion community. 

Who we are looking for?

  • You have passed your elementary physics and mathematics course with good grades
  • You have experience in programming (e.g., Fortran, Python) and using numerical tools for different kinds of case studies
  • You have basic knowledge of nuclear fusion and, preferably, of plasma physics
  • You have the willingness to learn skills on new topics such as cross-breeding between plasma physics, plasma-wall interactions, and materials science
  • You can communicate fluently and clearly in English.

As a person, we hope that you:

  • Are open-minded, eager to learn new things, and interested in research and science
  • Are willing and able to work in an international environment
  • Have good collaboration skills and professional attitude
  • Are willing to solve challenges and problems in an innovative way
  • Are an active member of the research team to deliver results within the given timeframe.

The ideal VTT Changemaker is a curious mind, who is eager to develop and take on new challenges. We appreciate ambition and willingness to learn over having all the answers or skills ready when you start. You are also a team player with strong collaboration skills who wants to drive positive impact in the world.

What would we offer you?

  • Impactful work for the future. As a leading applied research organisation, we are on a mission to bring exponential hope to the world by joining together people, businesses, science and technology. We tackle the biggest challenges of our time – from climate change and resource sufficiency to industrial renewal and smart healthcare – and turn them into sustainable growth. Read more about our strategy – the path of exponential hope.
  • Career opportunities, top-level mentors. At VTT, your skills are appreciated and supported with the opportunity to learn from the top experts in their field. You’ll get to discover our community of over 2100 experts representing more than 50 nationalities working across cutting-edge fields of science and technology.
  • Meaningful projects, real responsibility. With us, you get to take on meaningful projects and create innovative scientific and technical solutions as part of our Fusion Energy and Decommissioning team. We treat all employees as equals and give you real responsibility from the start. VTT is a caring employer that supports your growth and work–life balance and offers a range of well-being services.

What is like to work with us solving the biggest challenges of our time? Check from the video what kind of experiences Aymara, Daniil, Eric and Isabella had from their summer traineeships and what kind of change did they drive.

Apply now and join our community of brilliant minds!

Come, curious minds and clever changemakers! Prepare your CV and cover letter, and send in your application with your transcript of records via our recruitment system as soon as possible but at the latest by 5 February 2023. Let’s change the world for the better next summer.

All VTT Summer of Changemakers traineeships are paid and the duration is usually between 3 and 6 months. The exact starting date and length of the traineeship can be discussed. We will process applications as they come in, and fill in the position as soon as we find the right candidate.

Please read more of VTT Summer of Changemakers from here: https://www.vttresearch.com/en/summer-changemakers

Interested and want to hear more?

For further information, please contact Antti Hakola, antti.hakola@vtt.fi, +358 400 102 840 on one of the following timeslots:

  • Monday 9 January at 12-13,
  • Monday 16 January at 10-11, or
  • Monday 30 January at 10-11.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Apply between and
Employment type: Full-time, Fixed-term (Summer traineeship)


VTT is one of Europe's leading research organisations, a visionary innovation partner for businesses and society. We bring hope to the world by turning the greatest challenges of our time into sustainable growth with cutting-edge science and technology. We employ a community of over 2100 world-class problem-solvers across fields of science and business. You can familialise yourself with VTT's research infra from here.

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Location: Kivimiehentie 3, Espoo

Currently, we have over 40 truly meaningful and versatile traineeship positions open! See other summer trainee position from VTT Summer of Changemakers 2023 pages.


VTT Summer of Changemakers: Research Trainee, Fusion Plasma Physics

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