Christopher Smiet

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Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland

Leiden University, Physics, Leiden, Netherlands; PhD 2017


Chris Smiet is a scientist at the Swiss Plasma Center in Lausanne, Switzerland. He is working with Joaquim Loizu on integrating measures of order and chaos in stellarator optimization. 

Chris received his PhD in 2017 from Leiden university. His Thesis, 'Knots in Plasma' received the Christiaan Huygens science award for most innovative thesis in Physics. He received a Rubicon Fellowship for a two-year postdoc at Princeton University/PPPL, after which he was spent a year as developer of the Stepped Pressure Equilibrium Code (SPEC) at PPPL. From 2021 to 2022 he was Chief Scientific Officer of Renaissance Fusion. He was a full-time father for a year, and is now a scientist at EPFL. 

In Chris's work he applies abstract mathematics to solve tangible problems in plasma physics and fusion. In his PhD, he applied knot theory derive elegant representations for self-organizing, helical magnetic structures such as magnetic clouds and compact tori. He has used the group structure of the special linear group of order to over the reals to explain the decades old puzzle of low-q sawtooth crashes. His work has contributed to stellarator physics, tokakmak physics, quantum optics, astrophysics and EUV photolithography.