NSE - Nuclear Science & Engineering at MIT


Recent News

Revolutionizing computing through a network of quantum computers

NSE alum Masashi Hirose's early interest in quantum physics led him to MIT for PhD studies with Prof Paola Cappellaro, and then to launch NanoQT, Japan’s first quantum hardware-focused startup, fueling dreams of developing critical components for a quantum-based internet.

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.

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.

Madhumitha Ravichandran seated to the right against a wood walle with the text you dont have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great on a panel

NSE’s Madhumitha Ravichandran selected as MIT-Pillar AI Collective Fellowy

NSE PhD candidate, Madhumitha Ravichandran, is one of hree MIT students selected as an inaugural MIT-Pillar AI Collective Fellows. The graduate students will aim to commercialize innovations in AI, machine learning, and data science.

female with arms crossed standing on the right side of the photo inside a building at MIT with a brick wall to the right and steel structure to the left

SPOTLIGHT: Isabel Naranjo De Candido: Improving access to nuclear energy

Motivated by the need for a reliable and stable source of energy to fight climate change, NSE PhD candidate Isabel Naranjo De Candido is working on optimizing the construction and management of small modular reactors so they can be efficient in all stages of their lifecycle: building; operations and maintenance; and decommissioning.

Collage of news story images

2023 Highlights

Top NSE news stories from the last twelve months.

A simple white neural network in foreground is above four background textures: rough gold, wet plastic, a heat-map, and scratched metal.

MIT engineers develop a way to determine how the surfaces of materials behave

Prof Bilge Yildiz and colleagues devised a machine-learning-based method to investigate how materials behave at their surfaces. The approach could help in developing compounds or alloys for use as catalysts, semiconductors, or battery components.

USS Virginia — submarine patially submerged

Diving into nuclear submarines

Nuclear Science and Engineering Department creates course for Australian Submarine Agency. The three-week course covered a broad range of topics, including the basics of nuclear reactor theory and design, operations and safety, training, the operation of nuclear shipyards and more.

Artist’s concept of four domes comprised of spheres representing nanoparticles. Three of the domes have different colored particle beams shining down on them.

Team engineers nanoparticles using ion irradiation to advance clean energy and fuel conversion

The work by NSE’s Prof Bilge Yildiz and collaborators demonstrates control over key properties leading to better performance.

Rendering of a 3D crystal structure looks like a star made up of latticed cubes and pyramids.

Physicists trap electrons in a 3D crystal for the first time

The results, published by a team of MIT researchers including Prof Mingda Li, open the door to exploring superconductivity and other exotic electronic states in three-dimensional materials.

Dennis Whyte standing in large lab space at MIT with brick walls, staircase and balcony in background

Dennis Whyte Steps Down as Director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center

After building an organization notable for its growth and human-centered culture, Whyte will devote his full attention to teaching, engaging in cutting-edge fusion research, and pursuing entrepreneurial activities at NSE and the PSFC.

Rendering shows 3 parts as if on a grey table: a white model house on top; a fuel cell sandwiched in between two metal plates with spherical molecules floating around it.

Engineers develop an efficient process to make fuel from carbon dioxide

The approach by researchers at MIT and Harvard directly converts the greenhouse gas into formate, a solid fuel that can be stored indefinitely and could be used to heat homes or power industries.

Diablo Canyon nuclear powerplant, cooling towers and cluster of buildings that make up the facility, with blue sky and ocean in the background and grass in the forground

A new view on nuclear energy

Unique, three-day MIT class offers in-depth look at features and issues of nuclear energy

Jill Rahon in Army fatigues seated on a swivel chair in a lab with instuments and lab equipment behind her, and our of focus to the front left, MIT

SPOTLIGHT: Jill Rahon: Soaring high in the Army — and in research

After three deployments in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Jill Rahon is pursuing research that will help verify conformation of nuclear treaties.

Anne White in foreground with Robert Stoner in the background on stage, seated, seakig gesturing with arms, MIT

How to decarbonize the world, at scale

In her keynote at MITEI’s Annual Research Conference, Anne White stressed the urgency to “develop and scale low-carbon and zero-carbon solutions ... with a practical systems-based approach that considers efficiency, affordability, equity, and sustainability for how the world will meet its energy needs.”

Paula Cappellaro in black top angled facing left against a grey gradient background, MIT

Paola Cappellaro elected 2023 American Physical Society Fellow

Nominated by the Division of Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics, Professor Cappellaro was cited, “[f]or groundbreaking contributions to quantum control and quantum sensing with spin systems.”

Attendees of the NEA Rising Stars Workshop photographed with organizers, and guest speakers. Two rows standing, front row seated inside in fron of a wall with a multi-colored geometric pattern, MIT

Building a strong pipeline for the workforce of tomorrow

The inaugural edition of Global Forum Rising Stars hosted at MIT NSE united women from around the world through a series of networking and information-sharing workshops

Haowei Xu in a pale blue tshirt photographed against a stone wall, MIT

EVENT: Haowei Xu PhD’23 winds 2023 Del Favero Thesis Prize

Xu will deliver the Del Favero Thesis Prize Lecture on the topic of his PhD work — optical control over nuclear degrees of freedom.

Haruko Wainwright portrait with arms crossed against a bright white background, with blurry plant leaves in foreground

3 Questions: What should scientists and the public know about nuclear waste?

Professor Haruko Wainwright describes a new effort to communicate information about managing and disposing of spent fuel from nuclear reactors.

white box with silver cones and purple arrows inside the orange sphere and wavy lines stiking the top of the box, shown on a pruple background, MIT

Making more magnetism possible with topology

MIT’s Mingda Li, Nathan Drucker, Thanh Nguyen, and Phum Siriviboon show how topology can help create magnetism at higher temperatures

Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA photographed at a podium speaking

Rafael Mariano Grossi speaks about nuclear power’s role at a critical moment in history

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency addresses the world’s urgent energy and environmental challenges.

male faculty member seated in a hallway with windows along the right side, MIT

Jacopo Buongiorno elected 2023 NURETH Fellow

Established in 1980 by the Thermal Hydraulics Division of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), NURETH Fellows are appointed once every two years — Buongiorno is recognized for scholarly accomplishments and impact in the thermal-hydraulics field and for his exceptional contributions to NURETH conferences.

bespectacled male faculty member leaning against a whiteboard, MIT

Professor Emeritus Sidney Yip wins Monie A. Ferst Award

Established in 1977, the Sigma Xi’s Monie A. Ferst Award honors “science and engineering teachers who have inspired their students to significant research achievements”.

detail of quantum sensor instruemntation with green cast, MIT

Sensing and controlling microscopic spin density in materials

NSE’s Guoqing Wang, Paola Cappellaro and Ju Lishow that they may be able to develop new quantum sensors or quantum simulations by fine-tuning the spin density in some materials.

Headshot of Rafael Mariano Grossi, IAEA

EVENT: 2023 David J. Rose Lecture

Rafael Mariano Grossi, the IAEA’s Director General, will discuss the IAEA’s unique role, cutting across science, international security and development, and what it means amid today’s challenges, ranging from poverty, disease and hunger to energy insecurity, global warming and war.

detail of quantum sensor instruemntation with green cast, MIT

Cancelling noise for improving quantum devices

Postdoc Guoqing Wang, Prof. Paola Cappellaro, Prof Ju Li and a team of researchers develop protocol to extend life of quantum coherence; the method to achieve a 20-fold increase in the coherence times for nuclear-spin qubits.

Male standing in front of out of focus full wall graphic, MIT

Patrick Adrian receives prestigious Fellowship in High-Energy-Density Sciences

Adrian has been awarded the Director’s Postdoctoral Fellowship in High-Energy-Density Sciences from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to further his study of high-energy-density physics.

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

Bilge Yildiz selected as Fellow of The Electrochemical Society

Each year 15 renowned scientists and engineers are selected by their peers for advanced individual technological contributions to the fields of electrochemistry and solid state science and technology, and for service to ECS.

Female faculty member standing with arms folded in a hallway with windows on the right

VIDEO: Anne White explains fusion in 5 levels of difficulty

Fusion underpins some of the most basic processes in our universe and holds the promise of virtually limitless, clean, carbon-free energy. Professor Anne White was challenged to explain the nature of fusion to 5 different people; a child, a teen, a college student, a grad student, and an expert.

Seven people inside a traditional ger dwelling gathered for a khorkhog cookout

Powering the future in Mongolia

Through coursework, intercollegiate collaboration, and a site visit, MIT students from classes 22.S094 (Climate and Sustainability Systems: Decarbonizing Ulaanbaatar at Scale) and 21A.S01 (Anthro-Engineering: Decarbonization at the Million-Person Scale) fuse engineering and anthropology to propose innovative energy solutions.

Rachel Bielajew, MIT

Rachel Bielajew honored as one of 40 Graduate Women of Excellence at MIT in 2023

These impactful women were chosen for their leadership among their peers, their dedication to improving the MIT graduate student experience, their thoughtful and constructive feedback, and their ability to catalyze change.

female with arms crossed standing on the right side of the photo inside a building at MIT with a brick wall to the right and steel structure to the left

SPOTLIGHT: Optimizing construction and operation of nuclear energy facilities

Keen to accelerate the adoption of nuclear energy, Isabel Naranjo De Candido is working on methods to optimize construction and operation of production plants.

female leaning agains an architechtural column outdoors at MIT with left hand on hip

SPOTLIGHT: Winning over nuclear skeptics

Kaylee Cunningham might love nuclear engineering and computer science but recognizes that her training could be for naught if myths continue to plague the industry. The activist is committed to help &emdash; one TikTok at a time.