The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) and the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES) hosted a symposium on advances in nuclear energy on April 28 and 29 in honor of Professor Michael J. Driscoll, who is celebrating his 80th birthday this year.
Professor Driscoll has been a member of the NSE Department for half a century. His research — in fields including thermal and fast reactor engineering, nuclear fuel management, and fuel cycle engineering — have provided a strong foundation for the department’s work in these areas over the years. Among his most recent contributions are a re-assessment of the supercritical CO2 power cycle for high temperature reactors, a model for predicting uranium production costs from terrestrial sources, and the potential for deep borehole disposal of high-level nuclear waste.
These and other topics were covered in a two-day symposium held at MIT on April 28 and 29, 2014. .
Professor Driscoll, whose contributions to the field of nuclear engineering span seven decades (from the 1950s until today), has been a member of our Department for half a century. During his decades of dedicated, highly productive service on the MIT faculty, Mike has enriched the lives of a remarkable number of students, and his work as an outstanding educator and generous mentor continues today.
Born in Peekskill, NY in 1934, Michael J. Driscoll received his B.S. in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon, and shortly afterwards joined the Nuclear Navy. As a commissioned officer he worked as an engineer in support of the Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, as well as the first nuclear power plants. He subsequently enrolled as a graduate student in the MIT Nuclear Engineering Department (as it then was), obtained his doctorate under the supervision of Professor Irving Kaplan, and joined the Department’s faculty in 1966. Since then he has supervised almost 200 doctoral, master’s and engineer’s theses in the Department, many of these in the years since his official retirement (Mike has brought new meaning to the term ‘retired’!), and a much larger number of MIT students have benefited from taking his classes. His research — in fields such as reactor analysis, thermal and fast reactor engineering, fuel management, and fuel cycle engineering and analysis, including uranium extraction from seawater and deep borehole disposal of high-level waste — continues to have significant impact today.