Francesco Sciortino

Graduate Student



Francesco Sciortino is a PhD candidate in the MIT Department of Physics working at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center under the supervision of Dr. Nathan Howard and Dr. Earl Marmar. Originally from Italy, he completed a MSci in Physics at Imperial College London (UK). While spending a year abroad at EPF Lausanne (Switzerland), he worked on his undergraduate thesis at the TCV tokamak. At MIT, Francesco has been working on particle transport in the Alcator C-Mod and DIII-D tokamaks.

Francesco has been active in student organizations for many years, taking up leadership positions in student representation bodies of his region in Italy, in the Imperial College Physics Society, in the Italian Association of Physics Students and in the International Association of Physics Students.

Awards and Honors

Educational Outreach Award – MIT PSFC 2018
Dean's Award - BP and Imperial College London, 2015
Swiss-European Mobility Programme – Full Scholarship, 2015
Best Talk Award - European Physical Society and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft, 2014
Undergraduate Research Bursary - Royal Astronomical Society, 2014
Cooper Award for Physics - Dallam Foundation, 2012


Francesco’s research focuses on turbulent particle transport in tokamaks, with an emphasis on computational statistics and machine learning methods. The goal of Francesco’s thesis is to obtain detailed measurements of transport coefficients to validate state-of-the-art turbulence simulations and to contrast impurity transport in different advanced tokamak operational scenarios. The objective of this study is to better understand particle dynamics and optimize performance in a fusion reactor.

Francesco also cultivates an interest in laboratory astrophysics. In recent years, he has undertaken projects at the APEX-D experiment at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (Germany), aiming to confine matter-antimatter plasmas in a levitated superconducting dipole, at the Magnetic Reconnection Experiment (MRX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (USA), where he worked on the effect of guide fields on reconnection dynamics, and at the Mega Ampere Generator for Plasma Implosion Experiments (MAGPIE) at Imperial College London (UK), where he first became interested in plasma physics.


Coming soon.

Talks & Media:

Francesco Sciortino: Organizing the scientific life (PSFC News)

Why organizing a conference can produce huge benefits (Nature)

Un dottorato al MIT per la fusione nucleare (Micron)