Asegun Henry, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the recipient of the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation. The award is the NSF’s highest honor for early-career researchers and provides funding for research in any science or engineering field.
Dr. Henry is the sixth MIT faculty member and only the second mechanical engineer to win the award in its 47-year history. He will receive $1 million over five years from the National Science Foundation to support his research.
Professor Henry has made breakthrough advances in nanoscale heat transfer and high-temperature energy systems. He directs the Atomistic Simulation and Energy Research Group at MIT, focusing on heat transfer at the atomic level. He and colleagues have led the development of several technological breakthroughs, setting a world record for the highest-temperature pump, using an all-ceramic mechanical pump to move liquid metal above 1,400 degrees Celsius.
“It has been challenging to push the field towards acceptance of new ideas, and it has been a path fraught with resistance and questioning of the validity of our results,” says Dr. Henry. “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.”
Dr. Henry holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Florida A&M University. He earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.