Ian Pong

Year group: 2005

Degree: PhD, Applied Superconductivity and Cryoscience

College: St John’s

Home country: Hong Kong

Current position: Monaco/International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Magnet Division at ITER

Before coming to Cambridge, Ian studied Aerospace Materials Engineering at Imperial College London.  In 2005 he joined St John’s College and studied Applied Superconductivity in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy as an Honorary Cambridge Trust Scholar, after obtaining a full scholarship from the Croucher Foundation in Hong Kong.  He won the Institute of Physics Roy Prize for the best PhD thesis in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics in 2009. 

Since leaving Cambridge Ian has been working on Nb-based superconductors for multi-billion-Euro international projects.  His research is related to the performance of superconducting wires for accelerator magnets at CERN (which runs the largest particle accelerator in the world, the Large Hadron Collider) and plasma confining magnets at ITER (the world’s largest experimental fusion facility).  On project management, he has acted as scientific secretary of a small international team characterizing superconductors under high energy neutron and proton irradiation at CERN and has been supervising the world-wide benchmarking activities at ITER. 

When asked what is special about Cambridge, Ian states, “One of the most remarkable things for me was the exceptional opportunities and generous support available to students.  Another was the privilege to meet and be inspired by truly amazing people – it was incredible how easily and frequently one could encounter people who could effortlessly do what appeared to be impossible.  It was a most stimulating environment with all the support for a holistic development.”