Dennis Whyte is director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  (Photo: MIT)
Dennis Whyte is director of the Plasma Science and Fusion Center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (Photo: MIT)

Engineering grad Dennis Whyte wins USask Alumni Achievement Award

Whyte (BE'86 Engineering Physics) has spent his career pursuing the production of fusion energy.

Dennis Whyte’s scientific curiosity and determination began at an early age when his high school teacher commented that his idea to create nearly limitless energy through the fusing of two atoms was “too complicated.”

Not easily discouraged, Whyte has spent the last 35 years in pursuit of the production of fusion energy – a clean energy source that has the potential to provide a monumental breakthrough in the battle against climate change.

USask is honouring him with a 2022 Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. Winners, nominated by their peers, are selected for their significant accomplishments and contributions since graduating from USask. Seven alumni will be honoured this year. 

Whyte is an educator and mentor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), paying forward the mentorship he received from USask Professor Harvey Skarsgard (BE'49 Engineering Physics). Skarsgard changed the course of Whyte's life by connecting him with the Plasma Physics program at the University of Quebec, where he received his master’s degree.

Whyte has published more than 350 papers and is the director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. He is also the MIT Hitachi America Professor of Engineering, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and is a co-founder of Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a company whose mission is dedicated to delivering fusion power to the world.

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