Theresa Wilks

Postdoctoral Associate


General Atomics 13-414



PhD. Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (2016)
M.S. Nuclear Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (2013)
B.S. Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley (2011)


Modeling, simulation, and experimental design and analysis of edge pedestal turbulence and transport in tokamak plasmas.



During my PhD, my research focused on predictive modeling of the radial electric field in the edge pedestal of tokamak plasmas. I worked on developing a reduced model for the radial electric field and how it impacts ions orbiting out of the tokamak, intrinsic rotation, and heat and particle fluxes.

My current research as a postodoctoral scientist revolves around designing and running experiments on the DIII-D tokamak to better develop and understand the quiescent H-mode (QH-mode) plasma regime. In this regime, the radial electric field impacts the ExB shear in the edge pedestal to leverage turbulence to suppress large magnetohydrodynamic instabilities called ‘ELMs’ (edge localized modes), which mitigate large heat and particle fluxes on the divertor of the tokamak.



T.M. Wilks,  A.M. Garofalo, P.H. Diamond, Z.B. Guo, J.W. Hughes, K.H. Burrell, and Xi Chen. “Scaling Trends of the Critical ExB Shear for Edge Harmonic Oscillation Onset in DIII-D Quiescent H-mode Plasmas.” Nuclear Fusion, submitted (2018)

J.B. Greenblatt, N.R. Brown, R. Slaybaugh, T.M. Wilks, E. Stewart, and S.T. McCoy. “The future of low carbon electricity.” Annual Review of Environmental Resources 42:1, 289-316 (2017).

T.M. Wilks, W.M. Stacey, and T.E. Evans. “Calculation of the radial electric field from a modified Ohm’s law.” Physics of Plasmas 24, 012505 (2017).

T.M. Wilks and W.M. Stacey. “Improvements to an ion orbit loss calculation in the tokamak edge.” Physics of Plasmas 23, 122505 (2016).

W.M. Stacey and T.M. Wilks, “Inclusion of ion orbit loss and intrinsic rotation in plasma fluid rotation theory.” Physics of Plasmas 23, 012508 (2016).

T.M. Wilks, W.M. Stacey, and T.E. Evans, “Analysis of toroidal phasing of resonant magnetic perturbation effects on edge transport in the DIII-D tokamak.” Physics of Plasmas 20, 052505 (2013)

D. Arbelaez, T.M. Wilks, A. Madur, S. Prestemon, S. Marks, R. Schleuter, “A dispersion and pulse width correction algorithm for the pulsed wire method.” Nucl. Instr. and Methods in Phys. Res. A, 746, 62-70 (2013)

W. Stacey, C. Stewart, J.-P. Floyd, T.M. Wilks, A. Moore, A. Bopp, S. Tandon, A. Erickson, “Resolution of fission and fusion technology integration issues: An upgraded design concept for the Subcritical Advanced Burner Reactor (SABR)” Nucl. Technol. Vol. 187, 15 (2014)

CL Stewart, WM Stacey, JP Floyd, T.M. Wilks, AP Moore, AT Bopp, MD Hill, S Tandon, AS Erickson, Ikuo Kinoshita, Michio Murase, Yoichi Utanohara, Dirk Lucas, Christophe Vallée, Akio Tomiyama, Takashi Ishibashi, Susumu Tsuchino, Shiro Matsumoto, Fumio Kasahara, Fateme Fahiman, Mahdi Kafaee, Ali Moussavi-Zarandi, Meisam Fahiman, Ataul Bariand Jin Jiang, Thomas B Rezentes, Mark A Prelas, Eric Lukosi, Matthew L Watermann, Jack Crawford, Richard H Olsher, Nicholas R Brown, Albert L Hanson, David J Diamond, “The SABrR Concept for a Fission-Fusion Hybrid 238U-to-239Pu Fissile Production Reactor” Nucl. Technol. Vol. 187, 1-14 (2014).