NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


NSE Spotlight Archives :: 2014

Alexandre Cooper-Roy, Masashi Hirose, Ashok Ajoy

Doctoral students seek quantum control in Prof. Cappellaro’s Quantum Engineering Group

MIT’s Quantum Engineering Group (QEG) has a challenging but potentially world-changing mission: to harness the quantum properties of matter for use in information technology, metrology, defense, healthcare, and many other fields. ... more

Areg Danagoulian

NSE extends security-related efforts with appointment of Areg Danagoulian

From early in its development, the nuclear community has emphasized the need for a “culture of safety.” Today, with an increasing range of potential nuclear threats, there is growing emphasis on a “culture of security ” — and MIT NSE has augmented its presence in this area by appointing Assistant Professor Areg Danagoulian to contribute to its security-related technology research. ... more

Michael Short

Michael Short’s Institute Odyssey: From Freshman to Professor

Life at MIT seems to suit Michael Short. Since arriving as a freshman in 2001, he’s earned four Institute degrees, served as lecturer and research scientist, worked extensively with hot metal at the MIT Forge, and used the campus Hobby Shop to prototype an LED cinema lighting system now sold by one of the three companies he’s helped found ... more

Mareena Robinson

Mareena Robinson: An unexpected path to nuclear engineering

When she was accepted into the undergraduate business program at Florida A&M University (FAMU), Mareena Robinson thought she had her future all figured out: She would go to law school and become an attorney, like her father, or else a businesswoman. ... more

Cappellaro lab

Quantum engineering: Paola Cappellaro’s work with nanoscale diamonds unlocks secret codes

In can be difficult to distinguish between basic and applied research in the nascent field of quantum engineering. One person’s exploration of quantum systems like atoms and electrons yields another’s building block for quantum computers, and vice versa. Paola Cappellaro’s lab operates at the interface of basic and applied research. “We sometimes go more in one direction and sometimes more in the other,” she said. ... more

Yan Chen

Altering the energy landscape: Yan Chen’s work on fuel cell catalysts could help integrate new power solutions

Doctoral candidate Yan Chen wants to improve the world. She doesn’t say this directly, but her five years of research on catalytic surfaces for use in high-temperature fuel cells say it for her. Her work has the potential to create efficient new energy solutions to help curb the world’s appetite for carbon-based fuels. ... more

R. Scott Kemp

Scott Kemp on rethinking nuclear security efforts

What is the best way to prevent countries from acquiring nuclear weapons? The vast majority of nonproliferation efforts attempt to control access to sensitive technologies. However, a new study by Scott Kemp, an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, suggests that this approach might not be working.


NSE team’s floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

A new design for nuclear plants built on floating platforms, modeled after those used for offshore oil drilling, could help avoid such consequences in the future. Such floating plants would be designed to be automatically cooled by the surrounding seawater in a worst-case scenario, which would indefinitely prevent any melting of fuel rods, or escape of radioactive material. ... more

Pavlina Karafillis and Rasheed Auguste

Open-Ended Problems With No Answer Keys: Freshmen Karafillis and Auguste Thrive on NSE Lab Team

What do MIT freshmen Pavlina Karafillis and Rasheed Auguste like about their work in the Short Lab, NSE Assistant Professor Mike Short’s materials research group?

“There’s no answer key — you have to figure things out on your own,” says Karafillis. Adds Auguste, “it’s like one big open-ended problem; nobody tells you exactly how to attack it.” ... more

perovskite oxide structure

Strain can alter materials’ properties

In the ongoing search for new materials for fuel cells, batteries, photovoltaics, separation membranes, and electronic devices, one newer approach involves applying and managing stresses within known materials to give them dramatically different properties. ... more

Minh Dinh

NSE undergrad Minh Dinh’s love of learning, materials, and programming leads him to research group role

Minh Dinh has always had a love of learning; it got a big boost when he was attending high school in Hue City, Viet Nam, and a university enrichment program introduced him to nuclear physics. “It made me think, wow, this stuff is so cool, I want to learn more about it — that’s when I decided to study nuclear engineering in college,” he recalls. ... more

“We simply have to stop using fossil fuels!”

An Alum Acclaims NSE’s Focus on Science, Systems and Society

Ray Rothrock (SM ’78) didn’t set out to be a venture capitalist, but the moribund nuclear industry of the 1980s drove him and many of his fellow nuclear engineering students into alternative career paths. After participating in several Silicon Valley startups, he joined pioneering VC firm Venrock, leading over 50 company investments since 1988 and rising to managing general partner; the big appeal, he says, is “working with young people and seeing their ideas come into reality.” ... more

Supporting NSE: Kearney Fellowship is legacy of a “Nuclear Green”

Michele Kearney describes her late husband Joe, a prominent nuclear engineer and energy executive, as “one of the first nuclear Greens” — an advocate of nuclear power on environmental grounds. ... more

INLEP: Building safe, secure, and successful nuclear energy programs

NSE’s new International Nuclear Leadership Education Program, brought together leaders from emerging and established nuclear countries to discuss the challenges involved in building safe, secure, and successful nuclear energy programs. The inaugural INLEP class was made up of 8 participants from Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Nigeria, Slovakia, UAE, and Vietnam, They heard presentations from 25 experts drawn from the international nuclear community as well as the MIT faculty ... more

Gabrielle Ledoux

NSE UROPs give Ledoux a perfect intersection for materials studies

Gabrielle Ledoux came to MIT as a freshman in 2012 with a longtime interest in materials science, and a passion for research and discovery — a combination that’s finding fulfillment at MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering, where her participation in a series of investigations has led to a dual major and a Summer 2013 project that Ledoux calls “a perfect intersection of all my interests.” ... more

Rosemary Sugrue

Rosemary Sugrue: Tracking bubbles for improved nuclear safety

Whether soloing on tenor saxophone in a jazz band, souping up a racing coupe, or serving as the lone woman operator at a nuclear power plant, Rosemary Sugrue seizes opportunities to stretch herself and learn. This second-year graduate student, who says she has always “enjoyed problem-solving, critical thinking and mechanical things,” arrived at MIT as a freshman in 2007 restless to explore new domains. ... more

Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering

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