This year’s Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching has been presented to MIT Class of ‘42 Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering Michael Short. Short is adept at making complex engineering subjects experiential and personal, while also encouraging students to apply their engineering skills to problems with real-world impact. He was recognized in 2017 with the Junior Bose Teaching Award.
“Professor Short’s ability to engage students in complex subjects — even virtually, amid a pandemic — is extraordinary,” says Anantha P. Chandrakasan, dean of the School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “His innovative and unique approach to nuclear science and engineering courses has empowered his students to not only understand, but grow to love complex subjects.”
Short’s research focuses on how materials interact with radiation, an important area of study for designing nuclear energy reactors and systems. His work mixes micro/nanoscale characterization, multiphysics modeling and simulation, and large-scale experiments. He currently focuses on new ways of quickly measuring radiation damage using lasers, down-selection of structural materials for advanced fission and fusion power, and the stored energy fingerprints of radiation damage to understand the impact to metals from reactor dosimetry to nuclear security and nonproliferation.
In the years since Short began at MIT as an undergraduate, he’s helped found three companies. In his time as a research scientist he’s also earned three patents. And he’s also redesigned two classes at the Institute — 22.033 (Nuclear Systems Design) and 22.01 (Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Ionizing Radiation) — with an emphasis on practical and humanitarian applications of engineering and nuclear science.
“Mike has demonstrated sustained teaching innovation and broad impact, along with transformative research vision and accomplishments,” says Anne White, head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) and a School of Engineering distinguished professor in engineering. “His students remark on his creativity, dedication, and his pure enthusiasm for education.”
Short has spent a lot of time at MIT; he received his BS in nuclear science and engineering and materials science and engineering from the Insitute in 2005, and went on to receive his MS in materials science and engineering and his PhD in nuclear science and engineering at MIT in 2010. After a postdoc, he joined the NSE faculty in 2013. Last year he was selected as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow. In 2016 he received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.
The Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching is given annually to a faculty member whose contributions to education have been characterized by dedication, care, and creativity. Established in 1990 by the School of Engineering, the award stands as a tribute to the late Amar Bose, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science and the founder of the Bose Corp., to recognize outstanding contributions to undergraduate education by members of its faculty.