<span style="font-size:11.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;mso-ansi-language:EN-US;mso-fareast-language:EN-US;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA" lang="EN-US">The goal of the research is to significantly improve the working conditions of next-step fusion reactors (ITER, DEMO). More specifically, optimization techniques are developed for coupled plasma edge simulation codes. Primarily geometric optimization of fusion reactors subject to strong recycling conditions is aimed for. In a first stage, numerical optimization of the divertor targets with respect to optimal energy load spreading at fixed pumping capacity is envisaged. By using advanced adjoint-based optimization algorithms, the entire divertor design problem is solved at a computational cost only a small multiple of the cost of a single edge plasma simulation. The research opens further perspectives towards the optimization of transient operating conditions such as ELMs (edge-localizedmodes), optimal Carbon deposition and Helium removal.