Brandon Sorbom

Postdoctoral Associate

617-258-6523

NW17-210

Biography

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Expected 2017
Doctor of Philosophy Candidate in Nuclear Science and Engineering with a focus on Fusion Engineering

Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California,  2010
Bachelor of Science with Highest Honors (Summa Cum Laude) in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics

Awards and honors

NRC Nuclear Engineering Graduate Fellowship, 2016, 2017
Commencement Speaker, Truman State University, 2016
NSE Outstanding Grader of the Year, 2014
MIT Thompson Memorial Fellowship 
Loyola Marymount Doolan Award for Outstanding Senior Engineer, 2010

Honor Societies

Alpha Sigma Nu, Alpha Nu Sigma, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi

Research

MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, 2010 – Present 

Graduate Research Assistant at CSTAR Accelerator Laboratory/Alcator C-Mod/MIT Nuclear Reactor Lab
Repaired and installed an RFQ accelerator as a diagnostic tool on MIT’s nuclear fusion tokamak and used it to perform ion beam analysis of plasma facing components inside the tokamak. Rebuilt major systems (ion source, high-voltage acceleration column, vacuum system) on DANTE tandem electrostatic accelerator. Irradiated high-temperature superconducting tapes in MIT’s research reactor to assess performance in neutron radiation fields. Designed, built and operated a temperature controlled target chamber to irradiate superconducting tapes using DANTE accelerator


ARC Reactor Design Group
Led a team of students and research scientists to design a compact, high-field fusion reactor design, culminating in a 28 page design review published in a peer-reviewed journal. Co-developed a C++ "wrapper" for MCNP to perform large-scale, parametric scans and assess the neutronics performance of 100’s of modified reactor designs. Performed thermal calculations to assess feasibility of fusion power core geometry and materials. Presented reactor design to the public at 3 MIT Energy Night events (2013-2015) and Harvard Energy Night (2012)

Loyola Marymount University2009 – 2010

Fusor Neutron Source Independent Research Project
Secured departmental lab space, equipment, and funding to design and build a Farnsworth-Hirsch demonstration fusion neutron source. Presented results of deuterium tests at the LMU Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Publications & Presentations

Sorbom, BN, J Ball, TR Palmer, FJ Mangiarotti, JM Sierchio, P Bonoli, C Kasten, DA Sutherland, HS Barnard, CB Haakonsen, J Goh, C Sung, and DG Whyte. ARC: A compact, high-field, fusion nuclear science facility and demonstration power plant with demountable magnets. Fusion Engineering and Design, 100:378–405, 2015.

Philip C Michael, Rui Vieira, Sorbom, Brandon N, Graham M Wright, William K Beck, David R Terry, Rick Leccacorvi, James H Irby, Joseph V Minervini, Earl S Marmar, et al. Development of rebco-based magnets for plasma physics research. IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, 27(4):1–5, 2016.

Zachary S Hartwig, Harold S Barnard, Sorbom, Brandon N, Richard C Lanza, Bruce Lipschultz, Peter W Stahle, and Dennis G Whyte. Fuel retention measurements in alcator c-mod using accelerator-based in situ materials surveillance. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 463:73–77, 2015.

Zachary S Hartwig, Harold S Barnard, Richard C Lanza, Sorbom, Brandon N, Peter W Stahle, and Dennis G Whyte. An in situ accelerator-based diagnostic for plasma-material interactions science on magnetic fusion devices. Review of Scientific Instruments, 84(12):123503, 2013.

Sorbom, BN, J Ball, TR Palmer, FJ Mangiarotti, JM Sierchio, P Bonoli, C Kasten, DA Sutherland, HS Barnard, CB Haakonsen, J Goh, C Sung, and DG Whyte. The engineering design of ARC: A compact, high field, fusion nuclear science facility and demonstration power plant. In 2015 IEEE 26th Symposium on Fusion Engineering (SOFE), pages 1–6. IEEE, 2015.

Sorbom, BN, J Ball, TR Palmer, FJ Mangiarotti, JM Sierchio, P Bonoli, C Kasten, DA Sutherland, HS Barnard, CB Haakonsen, J Goh, C Sung, and DG Whyte. ARC: A compact, high-field, disassemblable fusion nuclear science facility and demonstration power plant. In APS Meeting Abstracts, volume 1, page 8005P, 2014.

Media

Print/Online

A small, modular, efficient fusion plant (MIT News)

Brandon Sorbom: Designing a fusion future (PSFC)

A small, modular, efficient fusion plant (NSE)

Finally, Fusion Takes Small Steps Toward Reality (MIT Tech Review)

A Workable Fusion Reactor (MIT Tech Review)

Heck of a Class Project (New York Times)

Physicist to Give Commencement Address (Truman State)

 

Videos

All things nuclear (MIT School of Engineering)

I feel the need...the need for speed (NSE)

ARC: The Smaller, Faster, Cheaper Fusion Reactor (PSFC)