XEO Cohort Explores Cutting-Edge Fusion Research at DIII-D National Fusion Facility

Feb 7, 2024

In the heart of San Diego, amidst the vibrant landscape of innovation and technology, lies a hub of groundbreaking research and development. As part of the second session of the Spring 2024 XEO program, the 30 members of the cohort got to witness firsthand the cutting-edge research being conducted at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility.

DIII-D, operated by General Atomics on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy, is advancing the science and technology necessary for the development of nuclear fusion as a viable energy solution for future generations.


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Led by expert guides, the XEO cohort was treated to a comprehensive tour of the facility and gained valuable insights into the world of magnetic fusion and plasma physics, one of the most promising avenues for sustainable energy production.

The excursion wasn’t solely about the fascination of emerging technology, however. The experience demonstrated the significance of collaboration between industry, academia, and the broader community in driving scientific progress and innovation.

Reflecting on her experience, one participant remarked, “What an opportunity at the 2nd Session for XEO Connect Spring 2024 Cohort #3!!! Hosted by General Atomics–complete with an in-depth tour of DIII-D National Fusion Facility which is operated by GA for the US Department of Energy….and fantastic XEO programming to round out the incredible experience.”

The XEO members learned about the history of General Atomics as well as its global impact through a presentation given by Dr. Amani Zalzali, Strategic Development Associate at GA. She highlighted efforts to bridge the gender gap in this field, sharing about Women in Fusion, a global community which inspires and supports women in the field through sharing experiences, promoting their leadership, and encouraging greater recognition for their contributions to fusion.

XEO aims to continue the inclusive work being done in the community and beyond through its mission to drive diversity in the innovation ecosystem.

“XEO is the coolest program. The individuals in the program, along with the alumni – are such a high-quality, impressive group of people. Truly … awesome, amazing people. Take note of the companies supporting these people – they too are a part of what makes San Diego great. These are the leaders who ‘do,’” said Mike Krenn, CEO of Connect.

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The visit to DIII-D sparked introspection and inspiration among the XEO cohort, reinforcing their passion for advancing innovation and driving positive change. Equipped with newfound knowledge and perspective, these emerging leaders gained a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper appreciation for the significant impact of collaborative research and innovation.

To learn more about the XEO program, or to apply to the next cohort, visit the XEO page.

To learn more about the groundbreaking research being conducted at DIII-D, visit General Atomics and DIII-D.