As a young female engineer, MIT’s Amy Watterson is paving the way for future female scientists to play a role in important scientific research. Learn more about Watterson and her work in fusion research in our latest magnetic personalities piece! 

A Brief Look into Amelia (Amy) Watterson’s Background

Amy Watterson is a Mechanical Engineer Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). She’s also the daughter of Catherine Fiore, a former PSFC research scientist, and Reich Watterson, a former PFSC optical engineer. Watterson graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, America’s first technological research university, in 2016 with a Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering. 

Watterson’s Work with MIT’s SPARC

SPARC is the pilot fusion plant developed through a partnership with PSFC and Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), a private fusion startup. This is a net fusion energy experiment with a stronger magnetic field than existing mid-sized fusion divisions. It’s predicted to produce 50-100 MW of fusion power. The goal of SPARC is to increase fusion development by using high-field, high-temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets

Watterson’s current focus for SPARC is the upcoming test of the Toroidal Field Magnet Coil (TFMC). This is a scaled prototype for the magnets that will encase the toroidal vacuum chamber in SPARC. The prototype has been designed by computer models and simulations, research that Watterson has been a part of for the last two years. Watterson has been working on modeling aspects of the cryogenic system that will keep the TFMC cold enough to remain superconducting. Her team has also modeled pressures and stress inside the TFMC. 

Get the Latest Magnetic News with Apex Magnets 

As advancements are made in the SPARC experiment, our team will continue to share results and findings. Whether you’re looking to read more about other magnetic personalities in the field or stay up-to-date with current events and the latest discoveries in magnetism, subscribe to the Apex Magnets newsletter or check out our blog.