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Joseph Minervini appointed as assistant director of Plasma Science and Fusion Center

International expert in fusion and magnet technology succeeds Peter Catto, who had served as assistant director since 2000

November 6, 2015 MIT News

Senior research engineer and division head Joseph Minervini, will serve as assistant director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC), effective Nov. 1. He joins PSFC leadership, including Professor Dennis Whyte (director), Martin Greenwald (deputy director), and Richard Temkin (associate director).

“Dr. Minervini brings internationally acknowledged expertise in fusion and magnet technology to the PSFC directorship,” Whyte says on the appointment. “I am very enthusiastic about working with Joe in developing a strategic plan for the PSFC that advances and incorporates new technologies critically needed by fusion, and particularly in the field of advanced magnets using high-temperature superconductors.”

Minervini received his PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1981. He has conducted research at PSFC since 1984, has led the Fusion Technology and Engineering division of the PSFC since 1995, and became a senior research engineer in 2000. His research has focused on advancing superconductor magnet technology for fusion, with over 125 peer-reviewed publications on the subject. In the 80s and 90s, Minervini led the development of magnet technology currently being used in the ITER fusion experiment. He holds a joint appointment as senior research engineer in the Deparment of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT.

A leader in his field, Minervini’s expertise in magnets is sought by a diverse set of research communities and projects including the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, the U.S. ITER Project Office, and the U.S. Large Hadron Collider Accelerator Research Program. Recently he served on the National Research Council Committee to “assess the current status and future direction of high magnetic field science in the United States.” Since 2012 he has serve on the editorial board of Superconductor Science and Technology. In 2013 Minervini was awarded the IEEE Council on Superconductivity Award for “continuing and sustained contributions in the field of applied superconductivity.”

Minervini succeeds Peter Catto, who had served as assistant director since 2000. Catto will continue to the lead the Plasma Theory Group at the PSFC. Says Dennis Whyte: “I want to acknowledge Peter’s outstanding contributions to the PSFC during his 15 years as assistant director and his continued scientific and programmatic leadership in plasma theory.”


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