NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


Recent News

Congratulations 2024 NSE graduates, MIT

Congratulations to our graduating students!

MIT’s commencement ceremony is on May 30th. Forty NSE students graduate this year.

Female faculty member in front of lab equipment and instrumentation, MIT

Bilge Yildiz wins 2024 Faraday Medal

The Faraday Medal is awarded annually by the Electrochemistry Group of the Royal Society of Chemistry “in recognition of outstanding original contributions and innovation in any field of electrochemistry”.

Colorful Tetris-like pieces speed through a blue neural network, with a burst of light on the top right (Ella Maru Studio)

With inspiration from “Tetris,” MIT researchers develop a better radiation detector

The device, based on simple tetromino shapes, could determine the direction and distance of a radiation source, with fewer detector pixels.

Orange background with multi-color graphic shpes in a column on right-hand edge and white text to the left — 2024 Anual Awards

Nuclear Science and Engineering Annual Awards 2024

NSE and the student chapter of the American Nuclear Society hosted their annual awards dinner on May 22, 2024

Graduate student, Thomas Varnish, in the middle of a research facility, PUFFIN at MIT's PSFC

SPOTLIGHT: Studying astrophysically relevant plasma physics

The third-year doctoral student has always loved a hands-on approach to science. Research in lab-based astrophysics has enabled him to experiment in an otherwise heavily theoretical subject.

A MRI image of a brain shows bright red blood vessels on a darker red background

Using MRI, engineers have found a way to detect light deep in the brain

The new technique could enable detailed studies of how brain cells develop and communicate with each other.

On right, David Lanning seated ;eaning on table in a bookshelf-lined room, one female and one male student on the left in the doorway to the room speaking

David Lanning, Course 22 professor emeritus and key contributor to the MIT Reactor, dies at 96

Remembering the research contributions of a nuclear engineering expert and passionate teacher

Photo of Nuno Loureiro seated indoors on a white lounge chair

Nuno Loureiro named director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center

A lauded professor, theoretical physicist, and fusion scientist, Loureiro is keenly positioned to advance the center’s research and education goals.Loureiro succeeds Dennis Whyte, who stepped down at the end of 2023.

headshot of Zach Hartwig in the center of frame photographed in a lab space with orange lighting

Zach Hartwig honored as “Committed to Caring” for 2023–25

The Committed to Caring (C2C) program at MIT is a student-driven initiative that celebrates faculty members who have served as exceptional mentors to graduate students. Hartwig is one of twenty-three MIT professors have been selected as recipients of the award for 2023-25, marking the most extensive cohort of honorees to date.

Dramatic lighting highlights a futuristic computer chip on a stylized circuit board.

Mingda Li, one of two MIT teams selected for NSF sustainable materials grants

Chosen from 16 finalist teams, Prof Li’s project will be finding pathways to scale up sustainable topological materials, which have the potential to revolutionize next-generation microelectronics by showing superior electronic performance, such as dissipationless states or high-frequency response.

Graduate student, Eli Sanchez standing in a out of focus naturally lit hallway, in the left side of the photograph, MIT

SPOTLIGHT: Modeling the threat of nuclear war

As part of his doctoral studies in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Scienc and Engineering, Eli Sanchez focused on understanding whether hypersonic missiles are a threat to global security.

Jennifer Rupp, Thomas Defferriere, Harry Tuller, and Ju Li pose standing in a lab, with a nuclear radiation warning sign in the background

A new way to detect radiation involving cheap ceramics

Work by MIT engineers could lead to plethora of new applications, including better detectors for nuclear materials at ports.

For credit: Ella Maru Studio  colorful Tetris-like pieces speed through a blue neural network, with a burst of light on the top right.

With inspiration from “Tetris,” MIT researchers develop a better radiation detector

The device, based on simple tetromino shapes, could determine the direction and distance of a radiation source, with fewer detector pixels.

Two rows of MRI brain scans with a line graph in between. Several scans show small blobs of red. In the graph there is a spike corresponding to the brain scan with the largest red spot

Reevaluating an approach to functional brain imaging

An MRI method purported to detect neurons’ rapid impulses produces its own misleading signals instead, an MIT study finds.

A colorful, 3D computer image comprised mainly of spheres, representing atoms, arranged on and along planes. Some of the spheres are connected by tubes (atomic bonds)

Propelling atomically layered magnets toward green computers

MIT scientists have tackled key obstacles to bringing 2D magnetic materials into practical use, setting the stage for the next generation of energy-efficient computers.

A sphere is made of an array of material and, inside, has a blue arrow pointing down and a red dot pointing up. Under the sphere is a yellow grid with a bulbous red hump going up and a blue hump going down.

NSE researchers discover “neutronic molecules”

A study by graduate students Hao Tang and Guoqing Wang, and profs Ju Li and Paola Cappellaro, shows neutrons can bind to nanoscale atomic clusters known as quantum dots. The finding may provide insights into material properties and quantum effects.

2024 NSE Expo, MIT

2024 NSE Research Expo

The MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering hosts its annual Research Expo on April 26, 2024. The event will showcase NSE research from across the Department.

Aerial photo of Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Station showing nuclear reactors and support systems, sited on the coastline, ocean in the foreground and to the right land in the background and to the left.

Lessons from Fukushima: Prepare for the unlikely

An analysis of the 2011 nuclear accident reveals a need for more preparation, training, and protocols for responding to low-probability accidents.

grid of purple squares containing geometirc yellow shapes representing phonon stability boundaries with a diagnoal row of squares showing maps of the boundaries

A first-ever complete map for elastic strain engineering

New research by a team of MIT engineers offers guide for fine-tuning specific material properties

MIT Professor Anne White with arms folded leading on her left arm along a handrail in a hallway with glass walls on the right during the day

Anne White is one among faculty who teach MITx courses and lead cutting-edge research

Women at MIT have been impacting their fields since Ellen Swallow Richards, the first woman graduate of MIT, was appointed chemistry instructor in 1882. Richards was an industrial and environmental chemist who established the Woman’s Laboratory in 1876 to create better opportunities for the scientific education of women, opening future opportunities at MIT and beyond.

d-shaped high-temperature superconducting magnet inside an oval cryostat which is part of a magnet test stand in a lab at MIT

Tests show high-temperature superconducting magnets are ready for fusion

Detailed study of magnets built by MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems confirms they meet requirements for an economic, compact fusion power plant.

Rendering shows several layers, including a metallic block on bottom. Above this block are lattices of layered atoms. Above these lattices, a twist of energy has a two-sided arrow, with the top part emphasized.

Researchers harness 2D magnetic materials for energy-efficient computing

NSE’s Thanh Nguyen and Mingda Li with an MIT team precisely controlled an ultrathin magnet at room temperature, which could enable faster, more efficient processors and computer memories.

Associate Professor Michael Short on the right and postdoc Dr. Weiyue Zhou on the let working on a test chamber containing a metal in a lab with large instuments

Future nuclear power reactors could rely on molten salts — but what about corrosion?

NSE’s Associate Professor Michael Short and postdoc Dr. Weiyue Zhou have demonstrated that proton irradiation decreases the rate of corrosion in certain metal alloys. This is potentially good news for designers and builders of promising nuclear power reactors that rely on molten salts, which tend to be highly corrosive.

Male Professor Ericmoore Jossou, seated leaning on his left arm, right leg crossed over left on an orange sofa indoors, MIT

SPOTLIGHT: Ericmoore Jossou: Optimizing nuclear fuels for next-generation reactors

While working on nurturing scientific talent in his native Nigeria, Ericmoore Jossou is setting his sights on using materials science and computation to design robust nuclear components.

Male professor, Jacopo Buongiorno in hallway with glass windows

Jacopo Buongiorno elected to NAE

NSE’s Jacopo Buongiorno along with 15 from MIT, elected to National Academy of Engineering in 2024 are honored for significant contributions to engineering research, practice, and education

Illustration shows a Venn diagram of three overlapping circles, each with a colorful qubit represented as a circle with an arrow through it. Colorful lines connect the three. Other qubits fly around.

Technique could improve the sensitivity of quantum sensing devices

The method lets researchers identify and control larger numbers of atomic-scale defects, to build a bigger system of qubits.

Male postdoc, Guoqing Wang, in lab leaning on his right arm; green laser instrumentation set-up in the foreground to the left and wires hanging above, MIT

SPOTLIGHT: Guoqing Wang: Exploring quantum phenomena through an engineering perspective

Guoqing Wang has channeled a deep love of physics to the study of different aspects of quantum sciences.

Alumnus, Masashi Hirose facing camera, blurred steel architectural features to the right and background, MIT

SPOTLIGHT: Masashi Hirose: Democratizing Access to Quantum

A passion for quantum physics has led Masashi Hirose, an alumnus of MIT-NSE, to seek to revolutionize computing by creating a network of viable quantum computers.

Collage of news story images

2023 Highlights

Top NSE news stories from the last twelve months.