The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is looking to fast-track the development of practical fusion power.
Our Born to Engineer video featuring Kim Cave-Ayland looks at FUSION
In a recent blog post, the US Engineering powerhouse revealed more about how it had partnered with private company, Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), to carry out rapid, staged research leading to a new generation of fusion experiments and power plants based on advances in high-temperature superconductors.
Graduate student Caroline Sorensen explained how Engineers across disciplines at MIT are coming together to work towards Fusion; explaining that the “work [on Fusion] holds the possibility of making a huge impact on the world. This is exactly the kind of project that I came to MIT hoping to find”.
While plasma physics and magnet technology might hold the key to the science of a sustainable Fusion reaction MIT need a whole range to Engineers to tackle the real-world challenges of improving fusion plant design.
A visualization of the proposed SPARC tokamak experiment with CFS.
The final countdown to Fusion?
The news comes alongside MIT’s push to perfect the design and economics of compact fusion power plants.
MIT believes that recent advances in high-field magnets built alongside new high-temperature superconductors mean they are now close to a controlling fusion plasma to produce net energy output.
While Fusion tech has long held the promise of producing safe, abundant, carbon-free electricity but engineers have struggled to create and harness fusion reactions that produce net energy gain. Up to now, fusion reactions have taken more energy in to control them than they can produce.
The push to perfect Fusion will see MIT look to specialists in other disciplines (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, aero-astro) to work alongside existing nuclear engineers and plasma physicists.
The organisation believes the growing fusion ecosystem will only flourish which researchers across disciplines working together to achieve a mutual goal of fusion energy in time to make a difference to the worlds energy problems.