IAEA Challenge on Materials for Fusion 2018 (Prize of €5,000 + a trip to Vienna)

IAEA Challenge on Materials for Fusion 2018 (Prize of €5,000 + a trip to Vienna)

Deadline: July 14, 2018

Applications are invited for the IAEA Challenge on Materials for Fusion 2018. This challenge is concerned with the material that might make an effective first wall: in the extreme environment near to the fusion plasma, such a material is exposed to high temperatures and bombardment by the highly-energetic neutrons and other particles.

Candidate materials include tungsten, steel and beryllium. Since experiments on physical samples are difficult and expensive to carry out, scientists have turned to computational models to simulate the behaviour of a material.

The Challenge

Participants are invited to come up with innovative ways to visualise, analyse and explore the provided data. The precise nature of the software solution to the challenge is deliberately left open to invite as many novel approaches as possible, but may involve one or more of the following:

  • Novel software for visualizing the material damage represented by the data files in a way that aids its qualitative and quantitative assessment.
  • New software tools to rapidly and reliably identify, classify and quantify new patterns and structures of particular kinds in the data sets.
  • Efficient algorithms to depict and summarise the statistical distribution of atom displacements and to analyse the effect of impact energy on this distribution.

It is envisaged that analysis techniques applied in the domains of tomography, medical imaging, protein crystallography, or computer vision may be applied in a modified form to address the Challenge.


  • The individual or team with the best submission, as judged by the advisory panel, will be awarded €5,000 and invited to IAEA Headquarters in Vienna to present their solution.


  • The Challenge is open to individuals, teams, companies, non-commercial organizations and other organisations in any Member State of the IAEA;
  • The Challenge submission shall be in English;
  • Illustrative materials including videos, charts, diagrams, figures and other illustrations accompanying the submitted software are to be subject to the Creative Commons BYSA (Attribution and share-alike) License allowing royalty-free reuse;
  • Each Challenge submission is to be uploaded as a single zip or tar archive to a URL advised on submission of a completed form at the challenge website. tar archives may be compressed with gzip or bzip2;
  • Submissions must contain a completed solution description form (obtainable through the challenge website) outlining their analysis of the data and explaining the technical, mathematical or algorithmic approach to their solution;
  • The software for solving the Challenge should be operable under one or both of the Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems. Full and clear instructions for its deployment and testing must be provided. The submission of code released under an open-source software licence is particularly encouraged;
  • A well-described test suite of example input files to the software application and their expected outputs should be provided with the submission;
  • The language of the Challenge is English. Where translations into other languages are provided they are for guidance only and the English description, regulations and procedures are to be considered normative and shall therefore prevail. Requests for clarification or further information concerning the Challenge must also be submitted in the English language


Participants shall provide the following deliverables by the challenge end date:

  • A completed solution description form submitted via this link outlining their analysis of the data and explaining the technical, mathematical or algorithmic approach to their solution.
  • The means to obtain a working executable version of the software developed, with full instructions for its compilation (if appropriate), installation and deployment. Submissions utilising open source technologies are particularly encouraged.
  • A well-described test suite of example input files to the submitted software application and their expected outputs.


  • Participants register with the IAEA Challenge, providing their contact details, and subscribe to the Challenge, indicating their intent to participate. Registered participants will have access to a page providing additional technical details and instructions on how to submit a proposal.

For more information, visit IAEA Challenge on Materials for Fusion.