Alumnus Recognized With NSF's Highest Early-Career Honor

Ames, Iowa

Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE CSGF) alumnus Asegun Henry is one of three 2023 recipients of the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s highest early-career honor, the Alan T. Waterman Award which recognizes outstanding young science or engineering researchers.

Henry, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was chosen for his work in thermal science and engineering, including research on nanoscale heat transfer and high-temperature energy systems. He directs MIT’s Atomistic Simulation & Energy Research Group, which aims to harness heat transfer research for climate change mitigation. "Receiving this award is vindicating and will impact my career greatly as it helps validate that the advances we've pioneered really do register as major contributions, and I pride myself on the impact of my work," Henry said in an NSF release.

Henry and his team’s heat-transfer advancements include engineering a ceramic pump that circulated liquid tin at between 1,200 and 1,400 degrees Celsius for more 72 hours, a Guinness World Record.

The Waterman award includes a medal and a grant of $1 million over five years for research or advanced study in the science and engineering disciplines NSF supports.

Henry also founded the Thermal Battery Corporationto commercialize a low-cost, grid-scale rechargeable battery technology he and colleagues developed at MIT and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Henry was a 2005-2009 fellow and received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.

Image credit: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.