René Pellat Festival Memorial Prize

René Pellat was an astrophysicist and a specialist in plasma physics. A recognized researcher and teacher, he went through the CEA, the École Polytechnique and was President of the CNRS, High Commissioner for Atomic Energy at the end of his career. Thanks to him, exceptional progress has been made brought into the physics of plasmas, but he is also a little responsible for the creation of ITER on the Cadarache site. The Prize René Pellat, has a namesake within the French Society of Physics, of course these two awards have nothing in common except the domain, the prestige and the name. It is in his memory and for the second year that the Theory Festival honors a young physicist to reward him for his contribution to research on plasma physics at the Theorie Festivals, by awarding him the « René Pellat Memorial Festival Prize ».

Zoé Pellat, René Pellat’s grandaughter, Zhibin Guo, and Alain Becoulet (head of IRFM)
Zhibin Guo, presently associate professor at Peking University, is the winner of the 2019 « René Pellat Festival Memorial Prize ». The prize was awarded by Dr. Alain Bécoulet, head of the IRFM Institute (CEA), in the presence of Zoe Pellat, granddaughter of the scientist René Pellat. Haihong Che was the first winner of the prize in 2017.
This prize rewards his theoretical work on the evolution of heat flux phases in QH mode – the Quiescent H-mode is an improved confinement regime observed in tokamak plasmas, characterized among others by the absence of strong relaxation events such as Edge Localized Modes, notoriously deleterious in ITER – as well as for his contribution to the phenomenology of the access to QH mode on DIII-D, in particular regarding the prediction of the critical ExB shear for the transition.
Zhibin Guo has also contributed to the theory of phase dynamics of zonal flows, to the understanding of L-H transition and to the development of turbulent reconnection models. He is already the author or co-author of more than fifteen scientific publications. He has participated to several festivals, and was also involved in the definition of the 2019 Festival’s topic.
The award ceremony took place during the gala dinner at Aquabella, in Aix-en-Provence. The various organizers and sponsors, such as Vitrociset, Omexom, Fusenet, Atos, Air Liquide, FR FCM, CPT, SFP, the city of Aix, AMIDEX and AMU were greatly acknowledged for their critical support of the Festival de Théorie. The Festival ends on July 26th.

Jury for the Prize:
Pr. P.H. Diamond (UCSD, chair)
Dr. X. Garbet (CEA, co-chair)
Pr. D. Hughes (U. Leeds)
Pr. L. Wang (U. Huazhong)
Pr. H. Che (U. Alabama Huntsville)
Dr. G. Dif-Pradalier (CEA, scientific secretary)
HAIHONG Che laureate 2017
HAIHONG Che during the Festival de Théorie on 2017

The first winner in 2017 is HAIHONG Che.  « Dr. Che has opened new doors thanks to his contribution in the field of plasma physics. His work has enabled the realization of synthetic numerical simulations, theoretical analyzes as well as a fine understanding of experimental data which brought unique and innovative results. She has been creative in developing new approaches to elucidate fundamental plasma interactions. His contributions to the Festival in 2015 and 2017 were highly appreciated for their pioneering and stimulating character.  »