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NSE Spotlights

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

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

Benoit Forget

Forget helps advance computational capabilities, expand student research options in NSE’s CRPG

MIT’s Computational Reactor Physics Group (CRPG) supports leading-edge research across the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, providing new simulation and modeling capabilities for development and refinement of nuclear reactors. So why does the group’s co-leader, Associate Prof. Benoit Forget, counsel his researchers to study the early days of computing for clues on how to accomplish their goals? ... more

Mujid Kazimi

CANES: Systems-oriented knowledge helps integrate fission beyond the grid

While fission reactors are among the most intricate systems in the world, engineering them to run reliably and economically is only a starting point. Fission technology must integrate not only with the energy grid, but with society as a whole, meeting stringent safety, security, and environmental expectations with oversight from well-versed managers and policymakers. ... more

Zach hartwig

Zach Hartwig applies physics, teamwork to create new tools for fusion energy science

As an undergraduate engineering student, Zach Hartwig was introduced to the methods, procedures and practices that form an engineer’s toolkit. But, he recalls, his real interest was in “the principles the tools were built on, the fundamental physics that lay behind them.” So he switched majors and became a physicist, spending the next few years working in particle physics before joining the MIT NSE doctoral program. ... more

Jake Jurewicz

Jake Jurewicz: An undergraduate contributes to fusion reactor advancement

Like many in the MIT community, Jake Jurewicz has felt a lifelong attraction to engineering. “Growing up, all I ever played with were Legos and Lincoln Logs, things that involved building,” he recalls. ... more

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

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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