Felix Parra-Diaz

Professor Parra Diaz is Head of the Theory Department and Professor of Astrophysical Science at Princeton University. He studied Aeronautical Engineering in the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronauticos (ETSIA) of the Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM) from 1999 to 2004. He continued his studies in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his work started to focus on nuclear fusion by magnetic confinement. In 2009, he graduated from MIT with a PhD that earned him the Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award. After graduation, he moved to the University of Oxford as an EPSRC Post-doctoral Fellow in Theoretical Physics and a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church college. He moved back to MIT in 2011, where he was an Assistant Professor in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department from 2011 to 2013. While at MIT, Professor Parra Diaz got awarded the US DoE Early Career Award. In 2013 Professor Parra Diaz moved back to Oxford, where he stayed until 2021. In 2016, he was awarded the BBVA Prize to the Best Theoretical Physicist by the Spanish Royal Physics Society. He joined the Princeton faculty and PPPL in September 2021.

Professor Parra Diaz is interested in hot magnetized plasmas, and in particular, in plasmas for nuclear fusion energy, but has also worked on cold, partially ionized plasmas and accelerators. Most of his work has focused on how hot magnetized plasmas scape magnetic field confinement due to collisions or self-generated electromagnetic fluctuations commonly known as turbulence.