Ben Hounsell passed his PhD viva
Ben Hounsell passed his PhD viva on the 30th of June 2022. His PhD was on the topic of the conceptual design of the PERLE injector. During the course of his PhD Ben spent time at both Daresbury Laboratory in England and IJCLab in France.
PERLE is an ERL (Energy Recovery Linac) that is currently being designed with the plan that it would be built at IJCLab in France. Ben’s work focused on the beam dynamics design for the injector. The injector is the part of the machine where the electron beam is generated, the initial beam manipulations are performed, the beam is accelerated up to the injection energy and the beam is transported into the main ERL loop. The low energy of the beam in the injector means that the space charge forces in the bunch are significant and can cause degradation in the beam quality. The injector needs to be designed to mitigate this degradation. Ben investigated the electrode geometry of the electron gun and the beam dynamics of a number of different schemes for the injector. This involved simulating the electrostatics of the gun and the space charge dominated beam dynamics in the injector. The performance of the electron gun and injector was optimised using genetic algorithms. At the end of the PhD an initial beam dynamics design of the injector was produced.
Ben was supervised by Max Klein and Carsten Welsch from the University of Liverpool, Walid Kaabi from IJCLab and Boris Militsyn from ASTeC. He has now started a postdoc at ASTeC working on beam dynamics for RUEDI an accelerator for ultrafast electron diffraction and imaging that is currently being designed.