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Sarah Don: Building nuclear connections

Sarah Don says she never expected to land in a management role, but the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) alumna did just that a couple of years ago when she became assistant superintendent of the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NRL) and was promoted to superintendent last year. “The MIT reactor kick-started my career in nuclear engineering,” says Don '14, SM '14. “This role was a wonderful opportunity that came up a couple of years ago, and I've really embraced it.” In the demanding, …

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A new perspective on ancient materials inspires future innovation

Contemporary building materials are guaranteed for only about 100 years, yet structures built in Ancient Rome have survived for millennia. Questions about what accounts for this discrepancy in durability and resilience, and what engineers could learn from ancient technologies, are central to the research interests of Admir Masic, the Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT. “Ancient materials that have resisted degradation over time, …

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Siemens Plans to Cut Nearly 7,000 Jobs in Traditional Power Generation

Siemens announced massive cuts last week that would eliminate 2 percent of the industrial giant's workforce. Nearly all of the layoffs will come from its Power and Gas division, reducing labor on its power plant turbine business. “Renewables are putting other forms of power generation under increasing pressure,” Siemens management board member Lisa Davis

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An American in Paris

“Living here has been a lesson in the importance of bridges, whether between different concepts of nationalism and faith, or on a personal level, between different ways of communicating, working, or even eating,” says Elizabeth Dekeyser, an American in Paris who also happens to be an MIT doctoral candidate in political science. Moving to another country often sparks serious thinking about identity and belonging. This is doubly true for Dekeyser, who is on a multi-year research project investigating the ways Islam …

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Cholesterol helps flu virus escape through host cell’s membrane

After a flu virus infects a host cell and hijacks its inner workings to create copies of itself, these copies gather into viral buds that break free from the host cell to infect again. A new study from MIT now provides the clearest picture yet of how the buds are pinched off from the host cell membrane. Using a technique called solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, the MIT team found that two cholesterol molecules bind to a flu protein called M2 to sever the viral buds from their host. The …

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EV Archeology — Unearthing Key Artifacts From The Annals Of Electric Car History (Part 1)

Pop quiz: What American automaker brought a pure electric car to market in the 1990s? Even a fresh-faced neophyte to the world of EVs probably knows the answer. But wait. Here's another one: What automaker attempted to make a pure electric car in the 1960s, and again in the 1970s? Fewer may know the answer to that one. Final question: What automaker triggered a series of events in 1990 that led to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) passing a mandate requiring all major automakers to have no-emissions cars be a percentage …

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US Military Spending On Microgrids To Exceed $1 Billion In 2026, Predicts Navigant

As the world's single largest consumer of petroleum, the US Department of Defense is expected to double-down on deploying military microgrids to sustain its operations, with annual microgrid implementation spending expected to reach $1.4 billion in 2026, according to a new deep-dive by Navigant Research.

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Future Ford Escape plug-in, China vs US, more solar power, electric semis on wires: Today’s Car News

Today, we've got a different approach to electric trucks, a complicated combustion engine, more solar power, a plug-in future Ford, and some worries about U.S. competitiveness. All this and more on Green Car Reports. Over the weekend, as we do every seven days, we ran down last week's most important green-car stories. The Toyota Prius V hybrid...

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Is China making U.S. irrelevant to the future of automobiles?

The first automobile was invented in Germany in 1885 by Karl Benz, but it was the U.S. that led the building of the global 20th-century automobile industry. Through the turn of the current century, the U.S. new-vehicle market was the world's largest, and General Motors was for decades the world's largest car company. Neither of those is still the...

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Two MIT faculty elected 2017 AAAS Fellows

Two current MIT faculty members have been elected as fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The new fellows are among a group of 396 AAAS members elected by their peers in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science. This year's fellows will be honored at a ceremony on Feb. 17, 2018, at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas. Dorothy Hosler is …