Monica Pham: Advancing Nuclear Power and Empowering Girls

Published in MIT News on April 21, 2017, by Leda Zimmerman, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Sophomore researches fusion energy and promotes STEM opportunities for young women.

When she was 16, Monica Pham mapped out her future. “My chemistry teacher was talking about how atoms could generate unlimited power,” Pham recalls. “I asked her what kind of person worked in this field, and when she said a nuclear engineer, I decided that’s what I wanted to be.”

Today, as a college sophomore pursuing a degree in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE), Pham could not be happier with her decision. “That weird, defining moment in high school has worked out well for me, because with my interests in energy and engineering, NSE is a really great fit.”

In addition to her full plate of NSE classes, such as 22.01 (Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Ionizing Radiation) and 22.06 (Engineering of Nuclear Systems), Pham is engaged in research at the Collaboration for Science and Technology with Accelerators and Radiation (CSTAR), a joint laboratory of NSE and the Plasma Science and Fusion Center...

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