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Benoit Forget named head of the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Expert in computational reactor physics to succeed Professor Anne White as department head.
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Benoit Forget leans against a blue tile wall outside, with an out-of-focus tree with green leaves in the background
Benoit Forget has been named the head of MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering.
Photo: Bryce Vickmark

Benoit Forget, the Korea Electric Power Professor of Nuclear Engineering, has been named the new head of the MIT Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), effective April 1.

“Ben’s substantial research contributions and dedication to his students are truly remarkable,” says Anantha Chandrakasan, dean of the MIT School of Engineering and the Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. “In particular, his leadership with regards to computational science and engineering activities have had a lasting impact on the NSE department, as well as the Institute as a whole. I look forward to welcoming Ben to the School of Engineering’s leadership team.”

Since 2019, Forget has served as associate head of NSE. His primary focus in that role has been on expanding computational science and engineering activities in the department and leading its engagement with the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. Forget has also served as co-chair of the Working Group on College Infrastructure for the MIT Schwarzman College of Computing, which provided an in-depth overview of MIT’s computing infrastructure needs.

A recognized leader in analytical and computational modeling, Forget is the founder of the MIT Computational Reactor Physics Group (CRPG), which he leads with professor of the practice emeritus Kord Smith. Forget and his team at CRPG have developed novel methods to simulate the complex physics at play within a nuclear reactor. Leveraging the use of modern computing architectures, these simulations could lead to optimized designs for safer, more efficient nuclear reactors.

Forget received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and master’s degree in energy engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal. After earning a PhD in nuclear engineering from Georgia Tech, he worked at Idaho National Laboratory as a nuclear engineer. He joined MIT’s faculty in 2008.

Forget succeeds Anne White, who has led NSE since 2019. White was named associate provost and associate vice president for research administration in November 2022.

“I am grateful to Anne for her tremendous leadership as head of NSE,” adds Chandrakasan. “Her focus on developing solutions for the betterment of humankind, as well has her commitment to fostering a strong sense of community, has had an indelible impact on the department.”

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