NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


News Archives — 2018

ion beamline to measure radiation damage

Monitoring radiation damage to materials in real-time

Researchers at MIT and Sandia National Laboratories have developed, tested, and made available a new system that can monitor radiation-induced changes continuously, providing more useful data much faster than traditional methods.

Alex Creely, MIT

From Fusion to Foxtrot

Grad student Alex Creely is studying ways of reducing simulation times in fusion experiments, using data from tokamaks at the PSFC and Max-Planck Institute for Plasma Physics. To take a break from plasma science Creely dances competitively with the MIT Ballroom Dance Team.

Nuno Loureiro, MIT

Focus on plasma turbulence pays dividends in fusion energy, astrophysics for theorist Loureiro

Difficult problems with big payoffs are the life blood of MIT, so it’s appropriate that plasma turbulence has been an important focus for theoretical physicist Nuno Loureiro.

Mike Short, MIT

Mike Short receives ARPA-E funding for nuclear materials research

Shortand a team of researchers from Georgia Tech, Louisiana Tech, and the Idaho National Laboratory were awarded $1,694,034 for their project: Multimetallic Layered Composites (MMLCs) for Rapid, Economical Advanced Reactor Deployment.

Dennis Whyte, MIT

Dennis Whyte receives Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award

The Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Board of Directors has awarded its 2018 Leadership Award to Prof. Dennis Whyte, Head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and Director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

Pablo Ducru, MIT

Two from MIT named Schwarzman Scholars for 2020

As a Schwarzman Scholar, NSE’ grad student Pablo Ducru hopes to explore building ventures in China that harness algorithms and artificial intelligence to address challenges in energy, agriculture, health, and environmental sectors.

Jayson Vavrek, MIT

Jayson Vavrek wins award for Best Student Presentation at ANS

Fifth-year graduate student, Jayson Vavrek, was winner of the Best Student Presentation in the Advances in Nuclear Nonproliferation Technology and Policy section of the 2018 ANS Winter Meeting for his presentation entitled “Warhead verification experiments using nuclear resonance fluorescence”.

Ellis, Shaner, MIT

Running Start

NSE alums Matt Ellis and Sam Shaner, co founders of Yellowstone Energy featured in MIT Spectrum. They are developing an advanced nuclear reactor designed to exploit the existing nuclear supply chain for quick and cost-effective deployment.

Xingang Zhao, MIT

NSE’s Zhao wins 2018 Young Professional Thermal Hydraulics Research Competition

Fifth-year NSE graduate student, Xingang Zhao, won the 2018 Young Professional Thermal Hydraulics Research Competition for his presentation entitled “Machine Learning-Based Critical Heat Flux Predictors in Low Quality Flow Boiling”.

Emilio Baglietto, MIT

NSE’s Baglietto honored for mentorship of grad students

Professor Emilio Baglietto was nominated by his graduate students as a model of great mentorship, and is among the current slate of honorees for Committed to Caring (C2C).

Bilge Yildiz, MIT

NSE’s Yildiz and team win 2018 Purdy award

NSE Professor Bilge Yildiz and her research team have won the Ross Coffin Purdy award for 2018 for their paper, “Improved chemical and electrochemical stability of perovskite oxides with less reducible cations at the surface”.

Tungsten-ditelluride transistor, MIT

First two-dimensional material that performs as both topological insulator and superconductor

A transistor based on the 2-D material tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) sandwiched between boron nitride can switch between two different electronic states — one that conducts current only along its edges, making it a topological insulator, and one that conducts current with no resistance, making it a superconductor — researchers at MIT and colleagues from four other institutions have demonstrated.

Dennis Whyte, MIT

NSE celebrates 60 years

The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering celebrated the 60th Anniversary of its founding in 2018. As part of the celebration, the Department honored Manson Benedict, the first Department Head. NSE dedicated the department’s conference room to commemorate Benedict’s legacy of comradery and collegiality.

Karen Dawson, MIT

Podcast: The Future of Nuclear Energy

Jacopo Buongiorno, John Parsons, and Karen Dawson discuss nuclear energy’s potential in the future low-carbon energy landscape, and review strategies for navigating barriers in construction costs, government policy, and community outreach.

BNSE60 graphic, MIT

NSE celebrates 60 years

As part of its 60th Anniversary celebration, NSE honored Manson Benedict, the first Department Head, and his lasting legacy of camaraderie and collegiality. Long-standing professors in the Department were asked to reflect on their favorite NSE memories.

Brain Sensor, MIT

Monitoring electromagnetic signals in the brain with MRI

Technique develop by Alan Jasanoff’s research team could be used to detect light or electrical fields in living tissue.

Mareena Robinson Snowden

NSE alumna Robinson-Snowden pushes boundaries in PhD pursuit

When Mareena Robinson-Snowden PhD ’17 graduated from MIT, she became the first self-identified American black woman to graduate with a PhD in nuclear engineering from the Institute.

Richard Lanza, MIT

Lanza named American Physical Society Fellow

Lanza is amongst four from MIT to receive the prestigious honor recognizing them for their research and leadership.


A new path to solving a longstanding fusion challenge

Novel design could help shed excess heat in next-generation fusion power plants.

Jenkins, Sepulveda, MIT

PODCAST: Firm low-carbon energy resources

Jesse Jenkins and Nestor Sepulveda of MIT discuss what the future looks like for reducing CO2 emissions in electricity

MIT energy mix graphic, MIT

Adding power choices reduces cost and risk of carbon-free electricity

To curb greenhouse gas emissions, nations, states, and cities should aim for a mix of fuel-saving, flexible, and highly reliable sources.

MITEI graphic, MIT

MITEI study reports on the future of nuclear energy

Findings suggest new policy models and cost-cutting technologies could help nuclear play vital role in climate solutions.

Luisa Kenausis, MIT

A passion for policy

Alumna Luisa Kenausis ’17 builds on her foundation in nuclear policy through a Herbert Scoville Jr. Peace Fellowship

 Jacopo Buongiorno, MIT

A plan for revitalizing Japan’s nuclear energy industry

NSE’s Buongiorno and MIT team to develop nuclear power plant concept for the Japanese energy market

Alan S. Hanson

Alan S. Hanson 1946 – 2018

Alan S. Hanson, PhD ’77, former Executive Director of the International Nuclear Leadership Education Program, dies at 71

Alex Creely, MIT

Alex Creely receives Itoh Project Prize

Doctoral study could speed fusion research by shortening simulation time

 Jacopo Buongiorno, MIT

NSE’s Buongiorno to collaborate on $1.9M DOE grant

The collaboration with Franz-Josef Ulm, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Hitachi-GE Nuclear Energy, Exelon Generation, and Bechtel will focus on ways to accelerate advanced nuclear technology development

Cottrill, Buongiorno, Strano, MIT

“Artificial blubber” protects divers in frigid water

MIT engineers develop a way to triple the survival time for swimmers in wetsuits.

Gail H. Marcus, MIT

A conversation with alumna Gail H. Marcus ’68, SM ’68, ScD ’71

Gail H. Marcus was the first woman in the United States to earn a doctorate in nuclear engineering. Dr. Marcus celebrated her 50th Reunion in June.

R. Scott Kemp, MIT

Explained: Detecting the threat of nuclear weapons

Professor of nuclear science and engineering Scott Kemp describes the science behind the search for clandestine nuclear sites.

North Korean leader by Reuters

North Korean disarmament: build technology and trust

Researchers must improve ways to verify weapons declarations and collaborate on nuclear power, argues NSE’s R. Scott Kemp.

congratulations banner

2018 Commencement

999 undergraduates and 1,821 graduate students receive their MIT diplomas on June 8 — amongst them are 40 students from NSE.

Yellowstone Energy logo

NSE alums, Ellis, Shaner win $2.5M ARPA-E award

Co-founders Matt Ellis and Sam Shaner and the Yellowstone Energy team seek to develop a new reactor control technology to enhance passive safety and reduce costs for its molten salt reactor and other designs.

NSE Awards graphic

2018 NSE & ANS Awards

NSE and the student chapter of the ANS hosted the annual awards dinne on May 14, 2018.

Joe Paradiso MIT

Spinning data into sound

Prof Joe Paradiso uses a modular synthesizer to translate data from Alcator C-mod’s final experiment into artful sound. The installation, entitled “Resynthesizer”, is a collaboration between NSE, the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT), the PSFC, and the Media Lab.

Baglietto, Ghoniem, Li, Smith, Cappellaro MIT

Celebrating great mentorship for graduate students

NSE professors Emilio Baglietto, Paola Cappellaro, and Ju Li are among the third slate of dedicated professors selected for MIT’s Committed to Caring Award.

Ashok Ajoy, James Del Favero, Jon Walsh, MIT

2016 + 2017 Del Favero Thesis Prize Lectures

The Del Favero Prize Lecture held on April 17 featured Dr. Jon Walsh (2016 winner) and Dr. Ashok Ajoy (2017 winner).

nuclear warhead verification, MIT

For nuclear weapons reduction, a way to verify without revealing

New isotope-detection method could prove compliance but avoid divulging secrets.

Self healing metal oxides graphic, MIT

Self-healing metal oxides could protect against corrosion

Researchers find an ultrathin layer of aluminum oxide, though solid, can flow like a liquid instead of cracking.

Walsh, Ajoy

2016 + 2017 Del Favero Prize Lecture

On April 17, the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering will host the Del Favero Prize Lecture. This year we celebrate awards to the 2016 and 2017 winners

2018 NSE Expo, MIT

2018 NSE Graduate Research Expo

In addition to showcasing groundbreaking research from NSE’s various labs, the Expo also provides an opportunity for prospective students to learn about what projects they may be able to work on if they choose to come to MIT in the fall.

Martin Greenwald, Dan Brunner, Zach Hartwig, Brandon Sorbom, Bob Mumgaard, Dennis Whyte, MIT

MIT and newly formed company launch new approach to fusion power

Goal is for research to produce a working pilot plant within 15 years.

Zach Hartwig, MIT

3 Questions: NSE’s Zach Hartwig on MIT’s big push on fusion

Researchers will work with industrial collaborators to pursue fusion as a source of carbon-free power.

NSE Expo Poster

2018 NSE Research Expo

On March 16, the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering will host its annual Graduate Research Expo —a unique opportunity for the MIT community to learn more about the diverse research being conducted within NSE by faculty and graduate students.

NMR Spectrometer, MIT

QEG develops unprecedented visibility into quantum information transfer

Advance holds promise for “wiring” of quantum computers and other systems, and opens new avenues for understanding basic workings of the quantum realm.

R. Scott Kemp, MIT

How to detect clandestine nuclear weapons programs

NSE’s R. Scott Kemp explores practical ways to sniff out uranium processing from afar.

Pablo Rodriguez Fernandez, MIT

Integrated simulations answer 20-year-old question in fusion research

MIT study finds that turbulence competes in fusion plasmas to rapidly respond to temperature perturbations.

Nuclear Systems Design : Pitch Presentations

Topics in the Design Class Pitch Presentations demonstrated the broad application of nuclear science and engineering in finding solutions to real world problems.

Turning heat into electricity

NSE’s Mingda Li and colleagues find topological materials could boost the efficiency of thermoelectric devices.

Mark Reed

Predicting distortions

With his computational breakthrough, nuclear engineer Mark Reed characterizes the weird warping of geometries inside a reactor core.

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