Assistant Research Scientist, Assistant Professor (Fall 2022)
3003 Michigan Memorial Phoenix Project
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- S.B. (2012) in Nuclear Science and Engineering, with a humanities concentration in French
- Ph.D. (2018) in Nuclear Science and Engineering.
- Ph.D. dissertation: “Epistemologies of safety: A comparative study of contemporary French and American reactor design practices”
Dr. Aditi Verma is interested in how nuclear technologies specifically and complex technologies broadly—and their institutional infrastructures—can be designed in more just, equitable, creative, and participatory ways that are epistemically inclusive of both lay and expert perspectives. To this end, she is interested in developing a more fundamental understanding of the early stages of the design process to improve design practice and pedagogy, and also improve the tools with which designers of complex systems work.
In her work, Dr. Verma focuses on three main research questions:
- How can a fundamental understanding of design be used to improve design practice, design tools, and engineering pedagogy?
- How can design processes be made more open and participatory such that epistemic plurality and inclusivity are achieved as part of the design process?
- How can insights from design research be applied to the designs of policies and institutions for the governance — both innovation and regulation — of nuclear technologies?
Dr. Aditi Verma joined NERS in the Fall of 2021 as an Assistant Research Scientist and will become an Assistant Dr. Verma joined NERS in the Fall of 2021 as an Assistant Research Scientist and will become an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2022. She will also support and interact with the Fastest Path team as a Faculty Associate. Verma is a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs’s Project on Managing the Atom, and former Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow at the Belfer Center where she was jointly appointed by the Project on Managing the Atom and the International Security Program. At MIT, she was a Burchard Scholar and a Kelly-Douglas Fellow.
Prior to her appointment at Harvard, Dr. Verma worked at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) in Paris where her work, endorsed and funded by policymakers from the NEA member countries, focused on bringing epistemologies from the humanities and social sciences to academic and practitioner nuclear engineering, thus broadening their epistemic core and helping nuclear engineers grapple with the ethical, moral, social, economic, and policy challenges created by the development and use of nuclear technologies. At the NEA, Verma also led the establishment of the Global Forum on Nuclear Education, Science, Technology and Policy.
Verma has also previously worked at the International Atomic Energy Agency, Framatome (formerly Areva), and the Center for the Study of Science, Technology and Policy.
Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship, Project on Managing the Atom and International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, 2020
Outstanding Student Service Award, MIT Department of Nuclear and Engineering, Spring 2015
Alpha Nu Sigma, Nuclear Engineering Academic Honor Society, inducted Spring 2011
Kelly-Douglas Fellowship, MIT School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences— 2011
Kelly-Douglas Fellowship, MIT School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences— 2010
Burchard Scholar, MIT School of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences —2010 – 2011
Aditi Verma. Guest-editor of special issue on “the Nuclear and Social Science Nexus: Challenges and Opportunities for Speaking Across the Disciplinary Divide” Nuclear Technology, September (2021) (link to introductory article; link to special issue)
Aditi Verma. “What can nuclear engineers learn from design studies? A review of the theory and evidence from contemporary American reactor design projects” Nuclear Engineering and Design, Volume 379, 111114. (2021) (link)
Aditi Verma & Denia Djokic. “Reimagining Nuclear Engineering” Issues in Science and Technology. Volume 32, No. 3. (Spring 2021) (link)
Aditi Verma, Ali Ahmad & Francesca Giovannini, “Nuclear Energy, ten years after Fukushima” Nature, Volume 591, March 5, (2021) (link)
Analysis and opinion
Aditi Verma. “Accidents, Paradoxes and the Epistemic Future of Nuclear Policy” Inkstick Media. March 11, (2021) (link)
Ali Ahmad, Aditi Verma & Francesca Giovannini. “Ten years after Fukushima: The experts examine lessons learned and forgotten” Guest-editors of a collection of expert commentaries. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. March 11 (2021) (link)
Katlyn M. Turner, Lauren J. Borja, Denia Djokić, Madicken Munk and Aditi Verma.“A Call for Antiracist Action and Accountability in the US Nuclear Community.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, August 24, (2020) (link)
Aditi Verma. “Institutional Requirements for the Growth of Nuclear Energy in India” India in Transition Series. Center for the Advanced Study of India. University of Pennsylvania. February (2016) (link)
Press and Media
“Towards equity and antiracism in nuclear policymaking” 2021 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference. (link) June (2021)
“A new future for Nuclear Power” A panel convened by Issues in Science and Technology and Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes. (link) June (2021)
“Leading Scientists and Catholic Leaders Call on President Biden to Work for a World Free of the Nuclear Threat”. (link) May 12, 2021
“The TPNW, Equity, and Transforming the Nuclear Community: An Interview with Nuclear Scholar Dr. Aditi Verma” Union of Concerned Scientists (link), January (2021)
Ploughshares Press the Button Podcast “Racism and Nuclear Weapons, Part II” with Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokic, and Aditi Verma (link) January(2021)
Ploughshares Press the Button Podcast “Racism and Nuclear Weapons, Part I” with Katlyn Turner, Denia Djokic, and Aditi Verma (link) January (2021)
Hypersonic hype and the ethics of emerging weapons technologies. Union of Concerned Scientists (link) December (2020)