NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


Recent News

assembly image, MIT

Want cheaper nuclear energy? Turn the design process into a game

Koroush Shirvan, Ben Forget and other MIT researchers show that deep reinforcement learning can be used to design more efficient nuclear reactors.

Lucio Milanese, MIT

NSE’s Lucio Milanese awarded 2022 Schwarzman Scholarship

Lucio Milanese anlong with three others from MIT will pursue master’s degrees in global affairs and leadership training at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Pablo Rodriguez-Fernandez, Katia Paranomova, MIT

NSE alums on 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Energy and Science

NSE alums Katia Paramonova ’13 and Pablo Rodriguez-Fernandez PhD’19 have been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 lists for 2021.

thermoelectric conversion, MIT

A cool advance in thermoelectric conversion

A quantum effect in ‘topological semimetals’ demonstrated by MIT researchers could allow for the utilization of an untapped energy source.

22.033, MIT

Final Presentations: Two NSE Design Classes

Ju Li, MIT

NSE’s Ju Li elected as 2020 AAAS Fellow

Li is one of six MIT faculty members elected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is among a group of 489 AAAS members elected by their peers in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science.

Nuclear Cost, MIT

Study identifies reasons for soaring nuclear plant cost overruns in the U.S.

Analysis points to ways engineering strategies could be reimagined to minimize delays and other unanticipated expenses.

Cong Su

2020 Del Favero Thesis Prize

2020 Del Favero Thesis Prize has been awarded to Cong Su, PhD ’19.

Samuel McAlpine, MIT

Samuel McAlpine wins First Place prize in Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Awards

NSE graduate student Samuel McAlpine was awarded a First Place prize in the Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Awards sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Technology R&D. McAlpine’s award is in the Open Competition in the category of Advanced Reactor Systems.

heated face mask, MIT

Engineers design a heated face mask to filter and inactivate coronaviruses

The reusable mask would include a heated copper mesh that’s powered by a battery and surrounded by insulating neoprene.

metallic diamond, MIT

Turning diamond into metal

Normally an insulator, diamond becomes a metallic conductor when subjected to large strain in a new theoretical model.

VIPER cable assembly, MIT

Superconductor technology for smaller, sooner fusion

MIT-CFS team’s demonstration of new superconducting cable is a key step on the high-field path to compact fusion

Koroush Shirvan, MIT

Shirvan, Fortum collaborate on techno-economic modelling tool

Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) Koroush Shirvan will lead a collaborative 3-year project with Fortum to create an open source tool for techno-economic modelling of small modular reactor (SMR) projects.


Validating the physics behind SPARC

A series of 7 papers published as a special issue of the Journal of Plasma Physics provides a high level of confidence in the plasma physics and the performance predictions for SPARC. No unexpected impediments or surprises have shown up, and the remaining challenges appear to be manageable. This sets a solid basis for the device’s operation once constructed, according to Martin Greenwald, Deputy Director of MIT PSFC.

Fighting Racism, MIT

3Q: Fighting racism in the nuclear community

NSE alumna Aditi Verma along with agroup of nuclear scientists recently published a call for anti-racist action in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, urging researchers and their colleagues to confront a long legacy of racial disparities and injustices in the history of the nuclear field, many of which continue today.

quantum thermodynamics, MIT

Advancing the field of quantum thermodynamics

Study allows quantum systems to be modeled and predicted with more realistic results, enabling further development of technologies such as quantum computers and quantum heat engines.

MITAB graphic, MIT

2020 MIT A+B Applied Energy Symposium

The 2020 sessions covered topics including waste management, energy economics, and battery technology, and featured multiple NSE alumni and current faculty.

2020 UROP Festival, MIT

NSE UROP Summer Research Festival

Friday, August 28, 2020. 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST. Showcasing undergraduate research in the Department in three parallel Zoom sessions.

Mike Short, MIT

The tenured engineers of 2020

NSE’s Mike Short is one of eight faculty members granted tenure in five departments across the School of Engineering.

Krypton Capture, MIT

Novel gas-capture approach advances nuclear fuel management

NSE Prof Ju Li and multidisciplinary team use metal organic frameworks to extract radioactive krypton from fuel reprocessing gases.

Anne White, MIT

Anne White appointed SoE Distinguished Professor of Engineering

This professorship was established to recognize outstanding contributions in education, research, and service. Professor White’s appointment recognizes her exceptional leadership, innovation, and accomplishments in education and research.

irradiated and nonirradiated materials, MIT

Radiation slows corrosion of some materials

Prof Mike Short and collaborators finds that in certain alloys, exposure to proton irradiation can extend the material’s lifetime, study finds.

ionic-electronic devices, MIT

Engineers design a device that operates like a brain synapse

MIT team has made strides toward a system, which uses physical, analog devices that can much more efficiently mimic the brain’s learning process, for neural network AI systems.

TIL graphic, MIT

PODCAST: TIL about nuclear power

Prof. Jacopo Buongiorno talks with host Laur Hesse Fisher about how nuclear power works, why even some climate advocates don’t agree on using it, and what role it can play in our clean energy future.


A fix for foulants

Researchers devise a practical solution for preventing corrosive buildup in nuclear systems.

Kohn Anomalies, MIT

Newly observed phenomenon could lead to new quantum devices

Exotic states called Kohn anomalies could offer clues to why some materials have the electronic properties they do.

Peter Brenton, MIT

NSE’s Peter Brenton recognized for outstanding service by School of Engineering

School of Engineering’s Ellen Mandigo Award recognizes staff who have demonstrated, over an extended period of time, intelligence, skill, hard work, and dedication to the Institute.

Quantum Engineering Group, MIT

Quantum leaps on the horizon

Quantum computing will likely be able to tackle the biggest data challenges, but the exact applications may depend on which systems prove most practical. “We’re still in the stage where we’re trying to pick the best technology,” says Paola Cappellaro.


2020 Commencement

Thirty-four NSE students graduate this year on May 29

Issac Wolverton, MIT

Undergraduates develop next-generation intelligence tools

Issac Wolverton explored the use of AI to redesign the reactor core to more efficient.

Awards event, MIT

2020 NSE + ANS Annual Awards

The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the student chapter of the American Nuclear Society hosted their annual awards event virtually on May 22, 2020.

Accident tolerant fuel, MIT

A layered approach to safety

Using 3D fabrication, researchers develop novel nuclear materials that optimize both accident tolerance and performance

Paola Cappellaro, MIT

Achieving advisory equilibrium

Paola Cappellaro honored by her graduate students for being committed to caring

Reactor Core, MIT

Making nuclear energy cost-competitive

Three MIT teams to explore novel solutions to reductions in operations and maintenance costs of advanced nuclear reactors


2020 Graduate Research Expo

Irradiating N95 masks, MIT

Gamma radiation found ineffective in sterilizing N95 masks

Nuclear scientists and biomedical researchers team up to investigate whether treatment with gamma radiation could make N95 masks more reusable.

Dopamine response, MIT

How dopamine drives brain activity

Jasanoff's team finds that a specialized MRI sensor reveals the neurotransmitter’s influence on neural activity throughout the brain.

Covid-Supercomputing, MIT

MIT joins White House supercomputing effort to speed up search for Covid-19 solutions

NSE’s Ben Forget one of four at MIT to oversee Institutes work as part of the consortium which includes industry, government, and academic institutions.


Fusion researchers endorse push for pilot power plant in US

Fusion energy community makes unified statement on priorities in report for Department of Energy Policy Advisory Group.

QUBIT Harnessing Defects, MIT

Novel method for easier scaling of quantum devices

System “recruits” defects that usually cause disruptions, using them to instead carry out quantum operations.

Gordon-MIT Engineering Leadership Program, MIT

A new way to prepare graduate students to lead in tech

Becoming a leader is nearly inevitable for engineering students, says Lucio Milanese, a fourth-year NSE graduate student.

Thomas Dupree, MIT

Thomas Dupree, professor emeritus of nuclear science and engineering and physics, dies at 86

Highly regarded physicist was well-known for studying plasma turbulence in terms of coherent structures.

thermal conductivity, MIT

A material’s insulating properties can be tuned at will

Most materials have a fixed ability to conduct heat, but applying voltage to this thin film changes its thermal properties drastically.

Quantum Errors, MIT

Correcting the “jitters” in quantum devices

A new study suggests a path to more efficient error correction, which may help make quantum computers and sensors more practical.

Students Dicover Things, MIT

Nuclear Gets Personal with Prof. Michael Short

In this first episode on Chalk Radio, Professor Michael Short discusses one of the core principles of his teaching philosophy: the importance of making abstract concepts in nuclear science tangible by means of hands-on activities.

IAP Fusor Workshop, MIT

IAP fusor workshop inaugurates Nuclear Maker Space

Building devices to study fusion processes generates enthusiasm, and a purple glow

new electrode design, MIT

Beefing up batteries

New research by engineers at MIT and elsewhere could lead to batteries that can pack more power per pound and last longer, based on the long-sought goal of using pure lithium metal as one of the battery’s two electrodes, the anode.

Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, 24-107 (map)
Cambridge, MA 02139