Dennis G. Whyte, MIT

Dennis G. Whyte

Hitachi America Professor of Engineering

Head, Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering

Director, Plasma Science and Fusion Center




A recognized leader in the field of fusion research using the magnetic confinement of plasmas for energy production on a faster, smaller, and more innovative path. Dennis is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, has over 300 publications, and is heavily involved as an educator. He is widely recognized for his themes of innovation and the need for speed and economic viability in fusion. He has served on panels for the National Academies, the U.S. government, and the Royal Society. As director of Plasma Science and Fusion Center he presents the Center’s vision to peer institutions and recruits faculty and scientists to the team. The core of the SPARC project was formed over eight years ago during a design course led by Dennis to challenge assumptions in fusion. Many of the ideas underpinning the high-field approach — including the use of HTS for high-field, demountable magnets, liquid blankets, and ARC — have been conceived of or significantly advanced in these courses. Dennis’ leadership as director of PSFC and department head of Nuclear Science and Engineering has been a key enabler for the SPARC project, providing the stature necessary to bring the institutional and outside support to the project.


Ph.D. U. Quebec 1993
M.Sc. U. Quebec 1989
B. Eng. U. Saskatchewan 1986


22.62 Fusion energy
22.63 Fusion Technology
22.01 Introduction to Nuclear Engineering and Ionizing Radiation


  • Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award
  • Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching
  • Fellow, American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics
  • Department of Energy Plasma Physics Junior Faculty Award

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