NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


2022 News

Four students on a curved walkway indoors against an orange backdrop, MIT

The task of magnetic classification suddenly looks easier

MIT undergraduate researchers, Helena Merker, Harry Heiberger, and Linh Nguyen and PhD student, Tongtong Liu, exploit machine learning techniques to determine the magnetic structure of materials.

Male faculty member Ian Hutchinson in front of Alcator C-Mod, a fusion tokamak in a large lab sapce, MIT

Spotlight: Probing plasma

Investigating the solar wind flowing past Earth, MIT physicist and professor of nuclear science and engineering, Ian Hutchinson finds solitary waves that might arise within fusion devices.

illustration with elements from the periodic table shown as a cloud of tiles, blue background, MIT

A faster experiment to find and study topological materials

NSE’s Mingda Li and a team of researchers from MIT, Harvard, Princeton and ANL have shown that Using machine learning and simple X-ray spectra, can uncover compounds that might enable next-generation computer chips or quantum devices.

Nuno Loureiro, MIT

NSE’s Nuno Loureiro elected as fellow of the American Physical Society

One of six from MIT elected this year, Prof Nuno Loureiro is recognized for “transformative contributions to the theory of magnetic reconnection and for elucidating the fundamental role of hierarchical reconnection phenomena in plasma turbulence, with broad applications in laboratory, space, and astrophysical systems.”

Ian Hutchinson, MIT

NSE’s Ian Hutchinson wins 2022 Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics

AIP Publishing has selected Prof Ian Hutchinson as the recipient of its 2022 Ronald C. Davidson Award for Plasma Physics for his paper, “Electron holes in phase space: What they are and why they matter.”

Faculty member Koroush Shirvan in a hallway with lighs overhead in a zig-zag pattern, MIT

Spotlight: Pursuing a practical approach to research

Winner of a prestigious award from the American Nuclear Society, Koroush Shirvan has pursued avenues to lower the costs of nuclear energy.

Headshot of grad student Amelia Trainer standing inside a lobby of an MIT building, background in soft focus, MIT

Spotlight: Simulating neutron behavior in nuclear reactors

Amelia Trainer’s work is fundamental to understanding how nuclear reactors operate. A passion for computer modeling and poetry have stood her in good stead through her research career.

Anne White, MIT

Spotlight: High energy and hungry for the hardest problems

Fusion physics pioneer and MIT climate change leader Anne White hopes to help “save the world with nuclear”

Zach Hartwig, MIT

NSE’s Zach Hartwig wins 2022 FPA Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award

Robert N. Noyce Career Development Professor, Zach Hartwig has been selected by the Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Board of Directors as the recipient of a 2022 Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award.

Measuring Radiation, MIT

A better way to quantify radiation damage in materials

More complete than existing methods, the new approach might enable longer operational lifetimes for nuclear reactors.

Matteo Bucci, MIT

Spotlight: Solving a long-confounding mystery in heat transfer

Hailing from a small town in Italy, Matteo Bucci is determined to address some of the unknowns plaguing fundamental science.

Photonic Resisters, MIT

New hardware offers faster computation for artificial intelligence, with much less energy

Engineers working on “analog deep learning” have found a way to propel protons through solids at unprecedented speeds.

SOE Awards, MIT

School of Engineering Awards for 2022

NSE’s Mike Short, Nuno Loureiro, Charlotte Wickert, and Sreya Vangara are amongst those honored with MIT School of Engineering awards in 2022.

Michael Short, MIT

Michael Short wins 2022 MIT Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching

The School of Engineering honors the associate professor of nuclear science and engineering for his experiential approach to teaching.

Zach Hartwig, MIT

Pursuing progress at the nanoscale

Led by NSE’ Prof Zach Hartwig, Nuclear Systems Design Project students tackle the real problem of bringing small-angle neutron scattering (SANS) technology to campus.

Matteo Bucci, MIT

NSE’s Matteo Bucci wins inaugural DOE Distinguished Career Award

Matteo Bucci, an associate professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering is an inaugural winner of the Distinguished Early Career Award given by the US Department of Energy for Nuclear Energy Projects.

Quantum sensing, MIT

Quantum sensor can detect electromagnetic signals of any frequency

MIT engineers expand the capabilities of these ultrasensitive nanoscale detectors, with potential uses for quantum computing and biological sensing.

Evan Leppink, MIT

Spotlight: Seeking a way to better stabilize the fusion environment

In a residency supported by the Department of Energy, the NSE PhD candidate, Evan Leppink, will explore the high-field side of the DIII-D tokamak.

Jack Hare, MIT

NSE’s Jack Hare to explore geothermal stimulation technology

Hare will pursue an electromagnetic approach to hydraulic fracturing with a team from Eden through a recent APRA-E award.

Jiayue Wang, MIT

NSE alum, Jiayue Wang PhD ’22, wins Julian Baumert Thesis Award

Established in 2008, the Julian David Baumert PhD Thesis Award is presented annually to a researcher who has recently conducted a thesis project that included significant measurements at NSLS-II (National Synchrotron Light Source).

NSE Awards, MIT

Loureiro, Short, Hartwig on leadership team revisioning of the future of the MIT PSFC

Five from the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, including three NSE profs, assume new duties to support the growth of collaborations, research, and education at MIT

MIT-CFS collaboration image, MIT

MIT expands research collaboration with Commonwealth Fusion Systems to build net energy fusion machine, SPARC

New five-year agreement will support SPARC science, increase graduate students and postdocs, and support interdisciplinary work toward fusion power plants.

Dennis Whyte, MIT

NSE’s Dennis Whyte honoured with Alumni Achievement Award

Whyte is one of seven honorees this year to recieve Alumni Achievement Award given by the University of Saskatchewan.

Neil Todreas, MIT

Spotlight: In service to nuclear energy

From Rickover to advanced reactors, emeritus professor Neil Todreas pursues a lifelong commitment to carbon-free electricity.

NSE Awards, MIT

Nuclear Science and Engineering Annual Awards 2022

NSE and the student chapter of the American Nuclear Society hosted their annual awards dinner on May 11, 2022

Justin Kunimune, MIT

NSE’s Justin Kunimune wins prestigious LRGF fellowship to further his work in inertial confinement fusion

Kunimune will spend time at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory working with NSE alum Dan Casey PhD ’12 in Verena Geppert-Kleinrath’s research group, where he will develop new analysis tools to reconstruct the three-dimensional shapes of ICF implosions.

Kealoha Wong ’99, MIT

Poet Kealoha Wong’99 to speak at the MIT Classes of 2020 and 2021 Graduation Celebration

Kealoha Wong, Hawaii’s first poet laureate,became a professional poet in 2002 and has been featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices and made appearances on NBC, PBS, Food Network, and National Public Radio. His most recent work, “The Story of Everything,” is a science-based theater production that will premiere as a feature film at the 2022 Maui Film Festival.

seed fields, MIT

How the Universe got its magnetic field

By studying the dynamics of plasma turbulence, MIT researchers are solving one of the mysteries of the origins of cosmological magnetic fields.

Dennis Whyte, MIT

NSE’s Dennis Whyte honored with 2022 University of Saskatchewan Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award,

Whyte is one of seven honorees this year to recieve Alumni Achievement Award given by the University of Saskatchewan (USask). One of the university’s highest honours, this award is given to those who “embody the university’s aspiration to be what the world needs because of their significant accomplishments and contributions since graduating from USask.” Read profile

Global Computing, MIT

How can we reduce the carbon footprint of global computing?

Workshop hosted by MIT’s Climate and Sustainability Consortium, MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, and the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing highlights how new approaches to computing can save energy and help the planet.

Charlotte Wickert, MIT

NSE’s Charlotte Wickert named 2022–23 Goldwater Scholar

Wickert, a third-year undergraduate is double majoring in nuclear science and engineering and physics. Together the disciplines allow her to develop a detailed theoretical knowledge base she can apply to work in nuclear energy.

Ceramic electrochemical cells, MIT

Using excess heat to improve electrolyzers and fuel cells

MIT researchers team with Idaho National Lab to study and develop new technology that could help generate hydrogen and chemical industry ingredients with imporved efficiency

Climat Grand Challenges, Yildiz, MIT

Developing electricity-powered, low-emissions alternatives to carbon-intensive industrial processes

Co-led by NSE’s Bilge Yildez and DMSE’s Yet-Ming Chiang, The Center for Electrification and Decarbonization of Industry, unites MIT climate researchers to create scalable clean energy solutions under one roof. NSE’s Ju Li is one of sixteen collaborators who form the MIT team.

Climat Grand Challenges, Flagship projects, MIT

MIT announces five flagship projects in first-ever Climate Grand Challenges competition

The winners of the first-ever Climate Grand Challenges will become multiyear flagship research projects, helping define a new research agenda focused on addressing complex unsolved climate problems and bringing high-impact solutions to the world on an accelerated basis.

Ju Li, MIT

NSE’s Ju Li recognized for outstanding contributions in materials science and engineering

Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor in Nuclear Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering was selected to receive the The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) Fellow Award, Class of 2022.

Sidney Yip, MIT

Spotlight: Eighty-six, and still looking ahead

Emeritus professor Sidney Yip reflects on a life in nuclear science and materials engineering, while planning his next act.

2022 NSE Expo, MIT

2022 NSE Research Expo

The annual MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering’s Research Expo showcases groundbreaking research from NSE’s various labs.

ANS Rapid Response Taskforce graphic, MIT

ANS Rapid Response Taskforce on Ukraine

An American Nuclear Society (ANS) Rapid Response Taskforce exists in order to provide factual, up-to-date information about nuclear safety and security around the world.

proximity effect, MIT

Seeing an elusive magnetic effect through the lens of machine learning

An MIT team incorporates machine learning to facilitate the detection of an intriguing materials phenomenon that can lead to electronics without energy dissipation.

Changhao Li, MIT

Spotlight: Mining valuable insights from diamonds

A passion to understand natural science phenomena ignited Changhao Li’s love of quantum physics.

Zoe Fisher, MIT

Spotlight: Finding her way to fusion

Zoe Fisher’s undergraduate research journey leads to a role working on the SPARC tokamak

Stabilizing solid batteries, MIT

Toward batteries that pack twice as much energy per pound

A team of researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory have come up with a way of stabilizing the interfaces in solid-state lithium-ion batteries opens new possibilities.

Anne White, MIT

Trailblazing Women in Science

NSE’s Anne White is one of ten trailblazing women scientists featured in the most recent issue of Scholastic’s Science World — a classroom magazine that covers biology, physics, chemistry, earth science and engineering.

New Engineering Faculty, MIT

School of Engineering welcomes new faculty

NSE’s Assistant Professor Haruko Wainwright is among seventeen new professors join the MIT community. Her research focuses on environmental modeling and monitoring technologies, with a particular emphasis on nuclear waste and nuclear-related contamination.

Climate Grand Challenge, MIT

Two NSE projects among 27 finalists in first-ever MIT Climate Grand Challenges

Center for Electrification and Decarbonization of Industry, led by Yet-Ming Chiang and Bilge Yildiz and Decarbonizing and strengthening the global energy infrastructure using nuclear batteries, led by Jacopo Buongiorno are finalists in the Climate Grand Challenges competition launched in July 2020.

2022 MLK Lunch, MIT

NSE’s Carolyn Carrington speaks at Annual MLK Celebration

The 48th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, held virtually on February 10 themed ‘Open your mind and heart to truth and love’

Richard Lester, MIT

Spotlight: Leveraging science and technology against the world’s top problems

From nuclear proliferation to climate change, Richard K. Lester taps research talent to map a path toward a sustainable planet

Areg Danagoulian, MIT

Spotlight: Building technological tools for nuclear disarmament

Associate Professor Areg Danagoulian credits mentorship with helping him establish a path through nuclear physics.

NSE Strategic Plan graphic, MIT

An Urgent Call to Action on Climate Change Lays Foundation for New Strategic Plan from MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science & Engineering

A rebooted vision built around NSE’s motto — Science. Systems. Society. — lays the foundation for faculty, staff and students over the next few years.

Jack Hare, MIT

Spotlight: Mapping the depths of plasma physics

In his new lab where he will study how plasma behaves in the universe, assistant professor of nuclear science and engineering Jack Hare draws inspiration from spelunking.

plasma turbulence, MIT

Seeing the plasma edge of fusion experiments in new ways with artificial intelligence

NSE graduate student Abhilash Mathews is testing a simplified turbulence theory’s ability to model complex plasma phenomena using a novel machine-learning technique.

Nina Andrejevic, MIT

Spotlight: Fast-tracking the search for energy-efficient materials

Doctoral candidate Nina Andrejević combines spectroscopy and machine learning techniques to identify novel and valuable properties in matter.

Lucio Milanese, MIT

Turbulence yields to topology

NSE PhD candidate Lucio Milanese expands a theory of turbulence to include both ionized and non-ionized fluids.