Prize Recipient

Recipient Picture

Keith H. Burrell
General Atomics


"For experiments that show that sheared ExB flows can suppress turbulence and transport in tokamak plasmas and that such flows can spontaneously arise at the edge and in the core of tokamak plasmas."


B.S. Physics, Stanford University, 1968
M.S. Physics, California Institute of Technology, 1970
Ph.D. Physics, Applied Mathematics and History, California Institute of Technology, 1974

Dr. Burrell has 32 years experience in theoretical and experimental plasma physics. This includes 27 years at General Atomics working on a variety of experimental and theoretical topics in controlled fusion research. He has participated in and lead portions of the research work on D III-D, Doublet III, ISX-B and ISX-A. The primary focus of his work has been energy and angular momentum transport both in the core plasma and in the edge of H-mode plasmas. A major recent focus of his work has been testing the paradigm of sheared E x B stabilization of turbulence, which has been advanced as the explanation for the confinement improvement seen in several regions of tokamak plasmas. For experimental work in this area, in 2001 he was one of four recipients of the Excellence in Plasma Physics Award from the Division of Plasma Physics of the American Physical Society. He has worked on developing a number of diagnostics, including the highly successful charge exchange recombination spectroscopy (CER) diagnostics on Doublet III and D III-D. He is experienced in managing both small experimental groups and in leading large cooperative projects such as Doublet III and D III-D. Dr. Burrell was elected to Fellowship in the American Physical Society for his research on tokamak transport. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Physics in the UK.

1998 to Present: Dr. Burrell is Program Manager IV in the Experimental Science Division of General Atomics, overseeing fusion research work on the D III-D tokamak. His primary focus is on energy and angular momentum transport in tokamak plasmas. He leads the work in the Confinement and Transport Topical Science area. He continues to have a major involvement in plasma diagnostics, especially the CER system.

1991 to 1998: Dr. Burrell was Senior Technical Advisor in the Boundary Physics and Technology Division. His responsibilities involved managing the work on D III-D on H-mode physics. This includes coordinating the efforts of colleagues from MIT, UCLA, UCSD and U. Wisc. In addition, he was leader of the group coordinating the work on the fluctuation studies in the plasma core. Furthermore, he was a major participant in the work on helium transport being carried out by a group from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Finally, Dr. Burrell continued his previous responsibility for a number of diagnostic systems on D III-D, among them the CER system for measuring ion temperature, rotation speed profiles and electric field profiles. The electric field profiles produced by this system have had a major impact on establishing the paradigm of electric field shear stabilization of turbulence in tokamak plasmas. Dr. Burrell was a member of the ITER Expert Group on Confinement and Transport.

1986 to 1991: Dr. Burrell was Senior Technical Advisor to the Manager of the D III-D Physics department with overall responsibility for experimental planning. This involved establishing the detailed experimental plans for the next several months in consultation with fusion management. The need to meet program goals, the realities of tokamak operation and capabilities, and the desire to perform as many excellent experiments as possible all had to be unified in this planning effort. In addition, he continued to lead the work on the CER system.

1982 to 1986: Dr.

Selection Committee:

Steven Cowley (Chair), Frederick Skiff, Daniel Dubin, Ricardo Betti, Christina Back