NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


Jake Hecla

Jake Hecla ’17

What were your interests in high school?
I was involved in FIRST robotics competitions and participated in science fairs in high school.

What is your favorite activity outside of the classroom?
I enjoying collecting minerals, especially those that contain uranium and thorium compounds. New Hampshire and Maine have U and Th rich pegmatites that I usually visit, but I’ve gone as far Utah to find rarer samples (like torbernite and tyuyamunite).

Why did you decide to major in course 22?
I was interested in nuclear technology from the beginning of high school, and my science fair research was related to fusion neutron sources. It was a natural progression of my interests in engineering and physics.

What is you most memorable experience so far as a course 22 student?
Exploring Chernobyl unit 4 was the most memorable nuclear-related experience I have had. In particular, seeing the control room where the accident unfolded was a humbling (and slightly scary) reminder of the dangers of nuclear technology.

What would you like to do after graduating?
I’m strongly considering grad school here or at UW Madison. I would like to work on radiation detector technologies for radiation safety and nuclear security.

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Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering

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