Nuno Loureiro to lead the Plasma Science and Fusion Center

March 22, 2024
Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research, 2013–2024 |

Dear colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Nuno Loureiro has accepted my invitation to lead the Plasma Science and Fusion Center as director, effective May 1, 2024.

Nuno takes up this role at a time of promise for the PSFC and for plasma physics and fusion broadly. The PSFC has experienced a period of growth and exciting technical advances under former director Dennis Whyte and interim director Earl Marmar. I am grateful to the members of the search committee, led by Jacopo Buongiorno, for their advice on this next important phase for the PSFC.

New director Nuno Loureiro

Professor of nuclear science and engineering and professor of physics, Nuno has been deputy director of the PSFC since 2022, with responsibility for the center’s computational and theoretical research as well as the graduate program. His own research interests address fundamental aspects of nonlinear plasma dynamics, such as turbulence, magnetic reconnection, and magnetic field generation and amplification, as well as confinement, stability, and transport in fusion plasmas. Most recently, his work has pioneered the development of quantum algorithms for the simulation of plasmas. Altogether, his research has contributed to the development of nuclear fusion as an energy source, the understanding of astrophysical phenomena, and the advancement of fundamental plasma physics. A fellow of the American Physical Society, Nuno has been recognized with awards for excellence in teaching and research.

I have great confidence in Nuno’s leadership as the PSFC continues to develop new insights in fundamental plasma and fusion science that will inform our understanding of the universe and eventually power our planet.

Outgoing interim director Earl Marmar

Following Dennis’ decision to return to research and teaching at the end of 2023, Earl generously stepped in and has ensured continuity during this transition period. A senior research scientist in the Department of Physics, Earl has been a fusion pioneer at MIT for several decades and a staunch advocate for the role of the PSFC in U.S. and international energy research. His leadership of the PSFC’s magnetic fusion experiments, including as head of the Alcator C-Mod project over its many years, has brought steady success to the program. Earl’s deep knowledge of the center’s activities and operations are a tremendous asset, and I am grateful for his service as interim director.

Please join me in thanking Earl and congratulating Nuno on his new role.


Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research