NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


2013 Awards

Noah Andersen Fischer

Incoming NSE graduate student Fischer awarded NSF Fellowship

Incoming NSE graduate student Noah Andersen Fischer has been awarded an National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship. Fischer will join the Computational Reactor Physics Group (CPRG) in the Department. He will work with Professors Kord Smith and Benoit Forget on advanced computational methods for high performance computing simulations applied to nuclear reactor design and analysis. By incorporating the new parallelism offered by general processing units (GPUs) and many integrated cores (MICs) Fischer plans to improve the current techniques, and design new ones, so that complete reactor modeling and simulations can be done effectively.

The NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.

more about the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship Program

NSE’s Pantano, Richenderfer, Walsh, Kindfuller win NEUP awards

Michael Pantano, Andrew Richenderfer, Jonathan Walsh, Vincent Kindfuller

Four students in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering have received NEUP awards. Michael Pantano, Andrew Richenderfer and Jonathan Walsh are among 31 graduate students across the nation who were awarded 2013 NEUP fellowships. NSE’s Vincent Kindfuller received an undergraduate NEUP Scholarship.

Walsh is working with Professors Benoit Forget and Kord Smith in the Computational Reactor Physics Group. His research is on the development of Monte Carlo methods for neutron transport and reactor physics simulations. A particular area of recent interest is improving the computational efficiency of stochastic treatments of epithermal neutron scattering from resonant nuclei. Walsh works primarily with the OpenMC particle transport code.

Richenderfer is working with Professor Jacopo Buongiorno and Dr. Thomas McKrell to develop new techniques in infrared (IR) thermography to study boiling heat transfer. His research involves the use of high-speed IR and visible light cameras to image bubble growth, which lasts on the order of milliseconds. The specific goal is to demonstrate an approach in which the temperature distribution and the liquid/vapor distribution on the boiling surface are measured simultaneously. This approach can ultimately enable a more comprehensive understanding of boiling heat transfer mechanisms, to enable advanced models and greater efficiency and safety margins for nuclear reactors.

Pantano is working with Professor Mujid Kazimi to investigate the cladding material in accident tolerant fuels (ATF). In a LOCA scenario, high temperature steam may react with the cladding, which then experiences thermal stresses created when cold water is pumped into the core to keep the fuel cool. These two processes weaken the cladding, possibly causing fuel failures, and therefore must be well understood before new cladding materials can be used in a reactor. Pantano is testing composite SiC and coated ZIRLO metal cladding as ATF candidates.

Each NEUP graduate fellow will receive $50,000 annually over the next three years in addition to a summer internship at a National Laboratory.

NSE sophomore Kindfuller is working with Professor Neil Todreas to research security concerns for an Offshore Small Modular Reactor (OSMR). He is helping determine the required security forces and arrangements that will be needed to provide security to a small, 250MW floating reactor, as part of the second stage of a proposed design being developed by Professors Buongiorno, Todreas and Michael Golay. Kindfuller will receive $5,000 to help cover the cost of his education over the next year.

Photos: left to right: Michael Pantano, Andrew Richenderfer, Jonathan Walsh, Vincent Kindfuller

Nuclear Science and Engineering Annual Awards 2013

The Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the student chapter of the American Nuclear Society hosted their Annual Awards Dinner on May 9, 2013. The event attended by students, faculty and their guests was an evening of celebration and recognition of exceptional contribution and achievement by members of the Department.

Meet the award winners

NSE graduate student Mario Manuel wins prestigious Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship program, sponsored by NASA, awards Fellowships to recent PhDs in astronomy, physics, and related disciplines. Manuel who graduated with his PhD from NSE in December 2012 is the winner of one of twelve fellowships award for 2013 selected from a pool of 190 applicants. His thesis work was partially funded by the National Laser User Facility (NLUF) program at the Laboratory of Laser Energetics (LLE) and can be downloaded on their website

more about the Einstein Fellowship Program

Sara Ferry

NSE graduate student Sara Ferry awarded the Joseph P. Kearney Graduate Fellowship

The Joseph P. Kearney Graduate Fellowship was established in the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering through a generous gift by Michele T. Kearney. The Fellowship will support NSE graduate students whose studies focus on nuclear applications with the potential to contribute to innovation and entrepreneurship in the field of nuclear energy. Ferry is the first Joseph P. Kearney Fellow.

Spotlight on Women in NSE | Sara Ferry: A new generation works to fulfill the promise of nuclear energy
more about the Joseph P. Kearney Funds