Expertise: Fusion energy, nuclear engineering, plasma physics, systems engineering, science communication
Derek Sutherland is a Ph.D candidate at the University of Washington (UW), and is the Co-Founder and CEO of CTFusion, a spin-off company dedicated to the development of economical fusion reactors. Derek, a native of Orlando, Florida graduated from MIT with a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering and in Physics, with a focus on plasma physics and fusion energy. Derek was recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 under 30 in Energy in 2015 for his work on an economical fusion reactor concept called the “Dynomak.” This economically attractive reactor concept and other promising results from research performed at the University of Washington serve as the technical foundation of CTFusion. Derek has extensive experience working with both public and private fusion projects, from the mainline tokamak devices at MIT and General Atomics to alternative concepts of spheromaks and field-reversed configurations at the University of Washington, General Fusion Inc., and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Derek is a champion of the potential of this revolutionary energy source and sees opportunities in a multitude of ideas that could bring economical fusion energy to the grid in the not-too-distant future.
Beyond his primary focus of helping develop economical fusion energy, he has strong interests in economics, public policy, science education, and music.