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EUROfusion Welcomes Prof. Ambrogio Fasoli as New Programme Manager: A Vision for the Future

EUROfusion, a frontrunner in fusion energy research, welcomes Prof. Ambrogio Fasoli as its new Programme Manager (CEO). With his vast experience and leadership at the Swiss Plasma Center and at the EPFL, Prof. Fasoli is primed to propel EUROfusion into a new era of achievement and innovation.
Ambrogio Fasoli © EPFL / Photographer: Nicolas Schopfer

In a recent interview, Prof. Fasoli introduces himself and outlines his vision and plans for the programme:

Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Prof. Ambrogio Fasoli: From my academic roots in Milan to a PhD at EPFL, and through pivotal roles at JET and MIT, my journey in fusion research has been deeply enriching. Presently, I’m a faculty member at EPFL, where I have been responsible of all research fields as Associate Vice-President for Research. I also continue to lead the Swiss Plasma Center (SPC). And until the end of last year, I contributed to EUROfusion as the elected Chair of its decision-making body, the General Assembly.

Away from the rigour of fusion, I’m an avid enthusiast of music, theatre, literature, and a variety of sports. My saxophone skills might raise a few eyebrows, but they’re part of who I am. And, standing as the most important role, I’m the proud father to two incredible teenagers.

Why did you decide to become a Programme Manager at EUROfusion?
Ambrogio Fasoli © EPFL / Photographer: Nicolas Schopfer

Fasoli: This role at EUROfusion is more than a position; it’s a calling to influence a pivotal transition in fusion. It’s an exciting time where I can meld my vision with the consortium’s capabilities to accelerate and enrich our collective journey.

In my tenure as Chair of the General Assembly, I championed a collaborative ethos, focusing on consensus-building, which is vital for decision-making in our multifaceted consortium. We achieved significant unanimity, a reflection of the trust and shared purpose. As Programme Manager, I aim to perpetuate this spirit of unity and collaboration, which I believe is essential as we embark on the challenging yet exhilarating path ahead in fusion research.

How did you end up in the fusion industry?

Fasoli: Fusion is not just a field of science; it’s a quest for mankind. The lure of contributing to a cause larger than any individual drew me irresistibly into this industry.

What do you see as the biggest challenges for Europe’s fusion community?

Fasoli: The fusion landscape is evolving rapidly, marked by notable successes and burgeoning public interest. Our challenges are not only in maintaining European leadership and technological competitiveness but also in accelerating towards commercially viable fusion energy. A crucial part of this journey is the evolution of our consortium to effectively collaborate with industry. Bridging the gap between scientific research and practical engineering, and merging public and private sector efforts, are essential steps for achieving our objectives.

How will you push EUROfusion to face those challenges?

Fasoli: To navigate these challenges, we must pivot our strategies—intensifying our support of ITER, accelerating the DEMO developments, and bolstering R&D. This also involves strengthening our workforce and knowledge management, streamlining regulatory frameworks, and fostering innovation in all aspects of the programme.

Tony Donné and Ambrogio Fasoli, EUROfusion’s outgoing and incoming Programme Managers, united in Eindhoven, NL, December 2023. Photo courtesy of DIFFER.
How do you see yourself working with EUROfusion members and stakeholders?

Fasoli: My role is to be a unifying force, embodying the spirit of cooperation while steering operational decisions. I envision a dynamic where every participant maximises their potential, ensuring the Consortium’s cohesive and optimal functioning.

What kind of changes can we expect from you?

Fasoli: Expect a paradigm shift—an internal restructuring to embrace industry relations, optimised designs for DEMO, enhanced training programmes, and streamlined procedures. This evolution will be marked by improved integration, communication, and a culture fostering excellence and innovation within EUROfusion.


Prof. Fasoli’s outlook and leadership herald an exciting phase for EUROfusion, signifying a commitment to heightened collaboration, improved efficiency, and increasing progress in the EUROfusion programme’s quest to drive forward the realization of fusion energy.

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