General Atomics Scientist Honored for Career Achievements in Fusion Energy

Dr. Tony Taylor receives 2023 FPA Distinguished Career Award

San Diego, Dec. 19 – Fusion Power Associates (FPA) has awarded one of its 2023 Distinguished Career Awards to General Atomics (GA) fusion scientist Dr. Tony Taylor for his contributions in advancing international fusion energy research. The FPA Distinguished Career Awards are given annually to individuals who have made distinguished, lifelong career contributions to fusion development.

Dr. Taylor spent his entire career at GA. He came to the company in the early 1980s as a senior scientist on the Doublet III program, attracted by the innovation and strong team culture in fusion. He contributed to the project’s strong results and to the design of the DIII-D National Fusion Facility, which GA operates for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science.

Dr. Taylor led the DIII-D Stability and Physics Operations Group, which was responsible for the successful rapid startup of DIII-D and the achievement of strong shaping, high-performance results. He and the team received the American Physical Society (APS) Excellence in Plasma Physics Research Award for this achievement in 1994, and Dr. Taylor was named an APS fellow that same year. He was pivotal in developing the DIII-D Advanced Tokamak program and was responsible for initiating the modeling and experimental evaluation of several high-performance regimes.

Dr. Taylor’s deep commitment to supporting the fusion community is reflected in his participation on numerous facility, program, and National Academy advisory boards; the DOE Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee; and the ITER Science and Technology Advisory Committee, among others. Over his more than 40 years in fusion energy research, he served as GA’s Director of Experimental Science, Deputy Director and later Director of DIII-D, and Vice President of Magnetic Fusion Energy. He currently holds the position of Senior Fellow.

Dr. Taylor is a recognized leader in international collaboration and was deeply involved in a wide range of international scientific partnerships in fusion. These included, most notably, the ITER experiment under construction in France, as well as initiatives that had GA and DIII-D scientists working alongside fusion experts from Japan, China, Korea, the UK, and the EU. He also worked as a visiting scientist at the JET (UK) and JT-60U (Japan) tokamaks. These efforts led to a long list of significant achievements in understanding the science of fusion.

“I owe much of my success to the strong support, mentorship, and leadership of the Fusion Division and Energy Group, and most importantly the outstanding scientific contributions and commitment of the scientists and engineers of the DIII-D and Fusion Division,” Dr. Taylor said. 

“Tony stands as an esteemed colleague and cherished friend to countless fusion researchers globally, and his impact on international fusion research is immeasurable,” remarked Wayne Solomon, Vice President of Magnetic Fusion Energy, who succeeded Taylor. “This well-deserved honor reflects Tony’s exceptional contributions, and we at GA extend heartfelt congratulations on this important recognition.”

“This award reflects the gratitude of the fusion community for the many significant contributions Tony has made over the years,” said Anantha Krishnan, Senior Vice President of the GA Energy Group. “As we enter this exciting new era for fusion energy, Tony’s leadership is evident in the scientists and engineers he has mentored, who are now pushing the boundaries of science and technology to make commercial fusion energy a reality.”

The FPA award cites Taylor for “the major contributions he has made to the world fusion program over his 40+ year career in fusion research, including significant scientific advances while leading tokamak physics experiments that validated beta stability limits, demonstrating extremely high beta operation of a tokamak, and for leading the way in the development of potential steady-state Advanced Tokamaks, which increases the prospects for a U.S. fusion Pilot Plant. He is also recognized for being instrumental in increasing national and international collaborations that enabled many important contributions to the final design of ITER, as well as the development of strong tokamak fusion programs in Japan, Korea and China.”

The award will be presented at the FPA 44th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC December 19-­20. 

About General Atomics: Since the dawn of the atomic age, General Atomics innovations have advanced the state of the art across the full spectrum of science and technology – from nuclear energy and defense to medicine and high-performance computing. Behind a talented global team of scientists, engineers, and professionals, GA’s unique experience and capabilities continue to deliver safe, sustainable, economical, and innovative solutions to meet growing global demands.

For more information contact: Evan Polisar, Strategic Communications Manager – 858-455-3474 –

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