NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


News Archives — 2016

Grating Spec

Measuring radiation damage on the fly

Technique could continuously assess aging of materials in a high-radiation environment, in real-time. ... more

Competition poster

2016 Nuclear Maker Design Competition

December 14, 2016 from 11:00am to 1:00pm at 20-306 (Twenty Chimneys and Stratton Balcony) ... more

Professor Sow-Hsin Chen

Professor Sow-Hsin Chen receives Honorary Doctor of Science from McMaster University

NSE’s Professor Emeritus Sow-Hsin Chen was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa, from his alma mater, McMaster University at the November Convocation on November 18, 2016 by the University Chancellor Susan Labarge and University President Patrick Deane, as approved by the University Senate. ... more

Slippery graphene

The science of friction on graphene

Graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon in sheets just one atom thick, has been the subject of widespread research, in large part because of its unique combination of strength, electrical conductivity, and chemical stability. Using powerful computer simulations, NSE Prof Ju Li and a team of researchers have made significant strides in understanding graphene’s fundamental properties, including why the friction varies as the object sliding on it moves forward. ... more

Award winners

NSE’s Guanyu Su wins 2016 Young Professional Thermal Hydraulics Research Competition

NSE graduate student Guanyu Su won the 2016 Young Professional Thermal Hydraulics Research Competition at the November meeting of the ANS Thermal Hydraulics Division in Las Vegas, NV for his presentation entitled “High Resolution Measurements Reveal Transient Boiling under Exponential Heat Inputs.” ... more

Matteo Bucci, Zach Hartwig, MIT

NSE’s Bucci and Hartwig are among the 13 new engineering professors for 2016–2017

The School of Engineering will welcome 13 new faculty members to its departments, institutes, labs, and centers during the 2016-17 academic year. With research and teaching activities ranging from nuclear fusion to computational complexity theory, they are poised to make vast contributions to new directions across the school and to a range of labs and centers across the Institute. ... more

David Carpenter, Michael Short, MIT

MIT NRL to upgrade Post-Irradiation Examination capabilities

NSE Professor Michael Short, along with the NRL’s David Carpenter, Gordon Kohse, and Lin-Wen Hu, have received a $215,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to upgrade the NRL’s Post-Irradiation Examination (PIE) capabilities. ... more

Alcator C-Mod interior

New record for fusion

Alcator C-Mod tokamak nuclear fusion reactor sets world record on final day of operation. ... more

Alcator C-Mod interior, MIT

Alcator C-Mod pressure record: FAQ

On September 30th 2016 the Alcator C-Mod team set the plasma pressure record for a magnetically confined fusion device. For the first time anywhere the team obtained plasma pressures higher than 2 atmospheres. ... more

Earl Marmar, Alex Tinguely

High-intensity fusion

MIT’s Alcator C-Mod nuclear reactor winds down — and defines its legacy on its final run. ... more

CFD4NRS-6-2016 award winners

NSE’s Kossolapov, Richenderfer win best poster award at CFD4NRS-6 2016

Two NSE graduate students have received an award for best research poster at the recent conference on Computational Fluid Dynamics for Nuclear Reactor Safety Applications. ... more

lithium dendrites

In batteries, a metal reveals its dual personality

Branchlike deposits grow on lithium electrode surfaces in two ways, one much more damaging. These findings described in the journal Energy and Environmental Science in a paper by senior postdoc Peng Bai, Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT; Fikile Brushett, an assistant professor of chemical engineering; and Martin Z. Bazant, the E. G. Roos (1944) Professor of Chemical Engineering and a professor of mathematics. ... more

nanolithia cathode

New lithium-oxygen battery greatly improves energy efficiency, longevity

New chemistry could overcome key drawbacks of lithium-air batteries. The new battery concept, called a nanolithia cathode battery, is described in the journal Nature Energy in a paper by Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT; postdoc Zhi Zhu; and five others at MIT, Argonne National Laboratory, and Peking University in China. ... more

Brian Henderson

Brian Henderson joins LNSP as Stanton Fellow

Brian Henderson has been named LNSP’s (laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy) first Stanton Fellow ... more

Buongiorno, Whyte

$1M Sloan Foundation grant supports NSE-led Future of Nuclear Energy Technologies study

The goal of the study will be to conduct an objective assessment of the opportunities and challenges affecting the ability of nuclear energy technologies in meeting U.S. and global energy needs in a carbon-constrained world. ... more

Researchers find a way to extend life and improve performance of fuel cell electrodes.

Researchers at MIT have developed a practical and physically-based way of treating the surface of materials called perovskite oxides, to make them more durable and improve their performance. ... more

Meet our 2016 Graduates!

Carolyn Carrington

NSE’s Carrington receives Infinite Mile Award for Excellence

Carolyn Carrington embodies the qualities that the Infinite Mile Award is intended to acknowledge: aptitude, skill, hard work, and dedication to MIT’s faculty and students. ... more

Alex Creely

NSE’s Creely wins prestigious DoD fellowship

NSE graduate student Alexander Creely has been awarded a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. This highly competitive, portable fellowship is awarded to graduate students who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering ... more

2016 NSE Awards

The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the student chapter of the American Nuclear Society hosted the annual awards dinner on on May 10, 2016. Meet the award winners.


Michael Short, Ronald Ballinger

Profs Short and Ballinger recognized for excellence in undergraduate advising

Professor Michael Short wins 2016 Earll S. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising and Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising. Professor Ronal Ballinger wins Creative Advising Activity Award. ... more

Bucci, Buongiorno, McKrell

Bucci, Buongiorno, McKrell awarded CEA, France grant

Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) Research Scientist Matteo Bucci, Professor Jacopo Buongiorno and Research Scientist Thomas McKrell have been awarded $295,000 by the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for a project on transient critical heat flux. ... more

Paola Cappellaro

NSE's Cappellaro among seven newly tenured MIT engineers

“These newly tenured colleagues have demonstrated a commitment to outstanding research and teaching,” said Ian A. Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering. “They have made a significant impact on MIT and their fields, and we look forward to the continuation of their remarkable work.” ... more

R.Scott Kemp: Inside the Iran Deal

At a colloquium organized by the Department of Physics, R. Scott Kemp, the Norman C. Rasmussen Assistant Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, described the political strategizing and technical evaluations that went into crafting the Iran ‘nuclear deal’, and assessed its technical robustness. ... more

NSE’s Yildiz wins MITEI Seed Fund Grant for early-stage energy research

The winning project, a design for metal-oxide surfaces to enable fast oxygen exchange in fuel cells, is a collaboration between Bilge Yildiz and Ahmed Ghoniem, the Ronald C. Crane (’72) Professor of Mechanical Engineering. They seek to significantly improve the performance of perovskite oxides that function in extreme environments. The goal of her team’s proposal, she says, is “to improve materials not only for solid oxide fuel cells and electrolyzers, which I study in my own laboratory, but also for gas conversion and thermo-chemical reactors to produce clean fuels, which are Ahmed Ghoniem’s area of expertise.” ... more

NSE’s Yildiz wins MIT-Imperial College London Seed Grant

The winning project, “Control of Interfaces for Increasing the Power Density and Durability of Solid State Batteries,” is a collaboration between Bilge Yildiz, John Kilner, professor at Imperial College London, and Ainara Aguadero, lecturer at Imperial College London. ... more

Paola Cappellaro: Stabilizing quantum bits

Quantum computers are largely hypothetical devices that could perform some calculations much more rapidly than conventional computers can. They exploit a property called superposition, which describes a quantum particle’s counterintuitive ability to, in some sense, inhabit more than one physical state at the same time. ... more

Bilge Yildiz: How to make metal alloys that stand up to hydrogen

High-tech metal alloys are widely used in important materials such as the cladding that protects the fuel inside a nuclear reactor. But even the best alloys degrade over time, victims of a reactor’s high temperatures, radiation, and hydrogen-rich environment. Now, a team of MIT researchers has found a way of greatly reducing the damaging effects these metals suffer from exposure to hydrogen. ... more

2016 NSE Graduate Research Expo

50 students participated in NSE’s 2016 Graduate Research Expo, held on March 11. The annual event kicked off MIT’s visit weekend for prospective graduate students, and provides a unique opportunity for the visitors and MIT community to learn more about the diverse research being conducted within NSE by faculty and current graduate students. ... more

MIT is home to No. 1 graduate engineering program

MIT’s graduate program in engineering has once more placed at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of the nation’s graduate programs. The Institute has held the No. 1 spot since 1990, when the magazine first ranked such programs. ... more

Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of CANES

On March 3rd, the MIT Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems celebrated its 15th year anniversary as an integral part of the MIT energy community and a research hub that brings together industry, national lab, and leading international organizations to collaborate on pushing forward our understanding and design of advanced nuclear energy systems. ... more

Ju Li: Carbon nanotubes improve metal’s longevity under radiation

NSE Professor Ju Li and collaborators find that aluminum used in nuclear reactors and other harsh environments may last longer with new treatment. ... more

MITEI and Exelon collaborate on clean energy, includes advanced nuclear generation

Exelon’s MITEI membership will support research including energy storage, smarter grids, advanced nuclear generation, and solar energy. ... more

R. Scott Kemp

NSE’s Kemp wins Sloan Research Fellowship

R. Scott Kemp is one of eleven MIT researchers from eight School of Science and School of Engineering departments among the 126 American and Canadian researchers awarded 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today. ... more

concrete packing fraction

Riddle of cement’s structure is finally solved

Concrete is the world’s most widely used construction material, so abundant that its production is one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Yet answers to some fundamental questions about the microscopic structure and behavior of this ubiquitous material have remained elusive. NSE’s Professor Sidney Yip, a collaborator in this work, thinks of these findings as a first step toward clarifying the question of cement’s structure in a scientifically quantifiable way. ... more

2016 Del Favero Prize

Del Favero Lecture: Radiation physics today for materials science tomorrow

To the naked eye, radiation is a mysterious, invisible energy that permeates space, seemingly unimpeded, until it is either reflected or absorbed by an object. This behavior is precisely what makes radiation an excellent tool for scientists to interrogate and explore the atomic structure of materials. In the 2016 Del Favero Doctoral Thesis Prize Lecture, Dr. Mingda Li, shared his perspective as a nuclear scientist on how radiation can be used to benefit society and help us understand and design new materials. ... more

inside Alcator C-Mod

New finding may explain heat loss in fusion reactors

NSE professor Anne White and her students in collaboration with others at the University of California at San Diego, General Atomics, and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, have found the key to one of the biggest obstacles to making fusion power practical — and realizing its promise of virtually limitless and relatively clean energy. Their findings are reported in the journals Nuclear Fusion and AIP Physics of Plasmas. ... more

phase transition

Switchable material could enable new memory chips

NSE professor Bilge Yildiz and DMSE graduate student Qiyang Lu have developed a thin-film material whose phase and electrical properties can be switched between metallic and semiconducting simply by applying a small voltage. The findings are reported in the journal Nano Letters. ... more

energy harvesting concept

Harnessing the energy of small bending motions

NSE professor Ju Li, graduate students Sangtae Kim and Soon Ju Choi, and four others have developed a completely new method of harnessing the energy of small motions based on electrochemical principles, which could be capable of harvesting energy from a broad range of natural motions and activities, including walking. The new system, based on the slight bending of a sandwich of metal and polymer sheets, is described in the journal Nature Communications. ... more

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