Neil E. Todreas, a nuclear engineer recognized internationally for his leadership in thermal-hydraulic design and reactor power safety, has been named the first KEPCO Professor of Nuclear Engineering at MIT.
KEPCO-the Korea Electric Power Co.-established the professorship with a $2-million endowment to support teaching and research in nuclear engineering and as a means of exchanging scientific and intellectual knowledge in this field with MIT. The announcement of the appointment was made by Provost Mark S. Wrighton.
Professor Todreas, who received the BS and MS in mechanical engineering from Cornell University (1958) and the PhD in nuclear engineering from MIT (1966), has been a member of the Department of Nuclear Engineering since 1970. From 1981-89, when he was head of the department, he initiated the department's thrust in the development of second-generation fission reactor concepts. Currently, together with Professor Michael Driscoll and students, he is developing a light water reactor concept based on passive safety characteristics. The concept does not require the injection of emergency coolant in the most severe design accident.
From 1958 until he joined the MIT faculty, except for his graduate years, he was a reactor engineer with the US Atomic Energy Commission. There he worked on the prototype versions of current reactor plants.
Professor Todreas has made important contributions in the areas of reactor heat transfer and fluid flow. He has written or been co-author of more than 80 publications plus a two-volume textbook published in 1990, which is widely used internationally for the study of reactor thermal analysis. For many years he has been the co-director of the MIT summer session in reactor safety which attracts engineers from throughout the world.
From 1983-88 he chaired an industry review group on the accident at Three Mile Island. In 1988 he was appointed the first chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Reactor Safety Research Committee and continues to be an active consultant to industry and the government on nuclear reactor design and safety.
Professor Todreas has been a member of the National Academy of Engineering since 1988 and has been recognized with "best paper" awards by the National Heat Transfer Conference (1987) and the American Nuclear Society's Thermal-Hydraulic Division (1987). In 1976 and 1980 he was chosen by students in nuclear engineering as the outstanding professor in the department. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Nuclear Society.
A version of this article appeared in the April 8, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 26).