Dr. ir. Matthijs Van Berkel
Matthijs received his secondary education at the Technisch Instituut Sint-Jansberg in Maaseik, Belgium. At this institute he received his TSO degree in industriële wetenschappen in 2003. In the same year he began his studies in Mechanical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In 2010, he received the M.Sc. degree (with great appreciation) in Mechanical Engineering: Control Systems Technology (prof. Maarten Steinbuch). The subject of his Master's Thesis was wavelet analysis for real-time determination of the sawtooth behavior in non-stationary fusion plasmas. In the winter of 2008, he performed his master internship in Japan at Nagoya University's Department of Aerospace Engineering, where he worked on Control Moment Gyroscopes. After a three-month period as a full-time researcher in the Control Systems Technology group and a short break he started his Ph.D. research in 2011.
The subject of his Ph.D. research is the estimation of heat transport coefficients in fusion plasmas with a focus on electron heat transport. His Ph.D. research is performed within a formal collaboration between the Tokamak Physics group at the Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) and the Control Systems Technology Group at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In addition, there has been an intense collaboration with the Department of Fundamental Electricity and Instrumentation at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, at which he also spent four months. In 2013, he received fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to conduct research at the National Institute for Fusion Science, Toki, Japan, where he prepared and performed experiments over a period of one year.
After a short post-doc of 4 months at the Vrije Universiteit Brusse. Matthijs was awarded the EUROfusion Engineering Grant to develop new control engineering strategies for heat transport in DEMO (the new fusion reactor to build after ITER by the European Union). He his performing this research at the Dutch Institute For Fundamental Research where he leads a project on detachment control and takes part in an interdisciplinary research on solar cells that produce hydrogen instead of electricity.