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NSE Spotlight Archives :: 2012

Lindsey Anne Gilman

Lindsey Anne Gilman: Better boiling for more efficient energy production

For Lindsey Anne Gilman, SM ’12, playing with bubbles is serious work. Her PhD research project, launched this past summer, concerns ways of improving heat transfer for energy production utilizing boiling water. In nuclear reactors, the formation and movement of bubbles in boiling water turns out to be a critical issue: “If instead of nice little bubbles leaving the surface of the fuel, you get a film of vapor forming, the temperature of the fuel rods can increase,” says Gilman. “When this happens, you have reached critical heat flux. The concern is that if the temperature of the fuel rods gets high enough, the structural integrity of the rods might be compromised, and even fail.” ... more

Michael Short

Spotlight on NSE Research | Michael Short spans classroom, forge, reactor

MIT NSE research scientist Michael Short is an exemplar of interdisciplinary knowledge, with two Institute degrees in both nuclear science and engineering and materials science and engineering. “Interdisciplinary work is where the fun stuff is; it’s where you get to work on challenges that many people consider too difficult, or that require a broader perspective,” he says. ... more

Materials at NSE

Spotlight on NSE Education | Understanding and predicting materials behavior: NSE takes an interdisciplinary approach

One of the great challenges in the world of nuclear engineering is the behavior of materials under extraordinarily harsh conditions. Over time, the intense radiation, high temperatures and stresses, and corrosive environments in fission and fusion reactors alter material properties and behavior; understanding these changes is central to effective reactor design and operation. ... more

Ekaterina Paramonova

Spotlight on Women in NSE | Ekaterina Paramonova: A nuclear networker

Ekaterina (Katia) Paramonova ’13 acknowledges starting Course 22 with some distinct advantages: both her father and grandfather work in the nuclear industry, and her Russian parents insisted on fluency in the language, opening up opportunities in another country with a well-established nuclear sector. Now this 19-year-old undergraduate is intent on leveraging her assets in some surprising ways, establishing a unique career track that intriguingly combines nuclear engineering and diplomacy. ... more

R. Scott Kemp

Spotlight on New NSE Faculty | R. Scott Kemp brings new perspectives on nuclear technology and society

All engineering disciplines interact with society, but nuclear engineering is a special case, inexorably bound up with critical issues of our era: energy, the environment, and international security. Developing a deeper understanding of the interplay of nuclear technology and society and building these insights into new models of engineering leadership are central elements of MIT NSE’s strategic plan,and the appointment of assistant professor R. Scott Kemp marks a milestone in extending research and teaching in this area in NSE. ... more

Michael Corradini, Marc Goldsmith, Ray Rothrock

Spotlight on NSE Alums | NSE alums take the helm of ANS, ASME, and NVCA

In recent months three NSE alums, Michael Corradini, Marc Goldsmith, and Ray Rothrock, have assumed leadership roles in three major professional organizations. ... more

Find your Roadmap in Course 22

Course 22 Roadmaps

So where might a bachelor's degree in NSE take you? Find your roadmap in Course 22 ... more

Daniel Casey

Spotlight on NSE Research | Daniel Casey: Exploring a “little star” on Earth

In 2010, after a decade of meticulous preparation, Daniel Casey and an MIT team finally ran their experiment. The world’s largest laser struck a millimeter-sized target, and in less than a second, it was all over. Casey, now a post-doctoral associate in MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, recalls, “You heard a little pop, but there was no other sight or sound in the control room.” Yet if the moment itself proved an anticlimax, the experiment has paid off in spades, yielding data that opens a window onto extreme conditions found nowhere else on Earth, and starting a new chapter in high energy density physics. ... more

Fusion at NSE

Spotlight on NSE Education | NSE fusion program moves beyond plasma, towards practical power-plant issues

Nuclear fusion is a seemingly ideal energy source: carbon-free, fuel derived largely from seawater, no risk of runaway reactors, and minimal waste issues. With the world’s energy supply chain facing intense environmental, economic, and political pressures, fusion’s appeal is growing and international collaboration is accelerating. ... more

Sara Ferry

Spotlight on Women in NSE | Sara Ferry: A new generation works to fulfill the promise of nuclear energy

The world of nuclear technology is in a generational transition. Many nuclear engineers and scientists were trained between the 1950s and 1970s, but entry to the field slowed in subsequent decades; NSE Ph.D. student Sara Ferry is part of a new cadre of technologists who are working to fulfill the promise of nuclear energy in a world very different from that of their predecessors. ... more

Clarice Aiello

Spotlight on Women in NSE | Clarice Aiello: Finding quantum gold in diamond’s defect

The kind of diamond Clarice Aiello values does not come in a dazzling pear or square cut, swaddled in black velvet on a counter at Tiffany’s. Instead, it exists as a millimeter-sized chunk on a sturdy table in a lab she built. What’s more, Aiello is not searching for perfection in her rock, but imperfection of a remarkable kind: a naturally occurring defect in the diamond’s lattice that, if manipulated properly, gives rise to quantum phenomena. ... more

Computation at NSE

Spotlight on NSE Education | New NSE faculty drive curriculum expansion into computational science and engineering

Since the earliest days of science, the interplay of theory and experimentation has been the primary method of creating new knowledge. Today, the affordability of massive computing power has added a third tool to the researcher’s workbench ... more

Ashley Finan

Spotlight on Women in NSE | Ashley Finan: Developing better policy for energy innovation

When Ashley Finan receives her Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering, it won’t be so much the culmination of an academic career as a milestone in a journey begun a decade ago. Finan credits some unique opportunities at MIT with setting her on a path toward a “place where it’s possible to make the most positive impact” on clean energy solutions and climate change. ... more

Richard Lanza

Spotlight on NSE Education | Nuclear security takes its place in NSE’s curriculum

While virtually any scientific or engineering technology has the potential for misuse, nuclear technology is a special case, and security of materials and know-how has always been a priority in the nuclear community. In an age of rogue nations and violent sub-national organizations, the subject has even greater significance, and this is reflected in its important place in the curriculum of MIT’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Department. ... more

Emilio Baglietto

Spotlight on New NSE Faculty | Emilio Baglietto: Better reactors grow from better simulations

Nuclear fission technology is the only viable grid-scale source of continuous, carbon-free electricity available today – but realizing its potential in the fight against global climate change requires substantial improvements in both the technological and the economic performance of new-generation reactors. Over the last 15 years, computational techniques for modeling reactor behavior on both macro and micro scales have emerged as central tools in this effort... more

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