IEEE Iowa-Illinois Section Tech Talk: Superconductor Technology for Science, Energy, and Medical Applications

#Superconductivity #superconductor #medical #applications #electrical #engineering.



Superconductivity was discovered in 1911 by Heike Kamerlingh Onnes at the University of Leiden. It took several decades to develop practical superconductors that could be applied effectively to scientific, energy, and medical devices. This long gestation period was due to the need to operate low-temperature superconductors (LTSs) under cryogenic conditions in liquid helium at temperatures near absolute zero.

The field of high-energy physics led the way through development of NbTi superconductors for high-field particle accelerator applications. This development allowed a new field of medical diagnostics to evolve: nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging. Higher field magnets for scientific and materials research followed with the development of Nb3Sn for NMR systems. This development was further enhanced by application to large-scale fusion magnets. Early attempts at applying LTSs to electric power applications had technical success but were not accepted in power grid use, primarily because of the need to operate in a liquid helium environment.

Now the new high-temperature superconductors (HTSs) are proving technically attractive for power industry applications as well as offering significant advantages for many large-scale applications.

In this talk, I will give an overview of these applications and provide examples of both LTS and HTS systems that are in use or under development.

  Date and Time




  • Date: 14 Sep 2022
  • Time: 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
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  • Starts 30 August 2022 12:00 AM
  • Ends 14 September 2022 05:30 PM
  • All times are (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)
  • No Admission Charge


Dr. Joseph V. Minervini Dr. Joseph V. Minervini


Joseph Minervini has played a leading role in the field of large-scale applications of superconductors for more than 35 years. He is now Chief Technology Officer for Novum Industria LLC, a startup company spun off from MIT with a colleague to commercialize advanced superconductor technology for energy, medical, and scientific applications. Prior to his retirement, he was Division Head for Magnets and Cryogenics and Assistant Director of the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, and also a Senior Research Scientist in the Dept. of Nuclear Science and Engineering.


His research interests include applied superconductivity, electromagnetics,  cryogenic heat transfer, supercritical helium fluid dynamics, and low temperature measurements. He has worked on magnet systems covering nearly every major application of large-scale superconductivity including fusion energy, magnetic levitation, energy storage, power generation and transmission, magnetic separation, high energy and nuclear physics, as well as medical applications. Dr. Minervini has over 130 publications in these technical fields. In 2013 he received the IEEE Council on Superconductivity (CSC) Award for Continuing and Sustained Contributions in the Field of Applied Superconductivity. He has also won the Award for Technical Excellence in Fusion Science and Engineering from the Fusion Engineering Division of the American Nuclear Society.

Among the technologies Novum Industria has under development are very high-field, highly compact, superconducting cyclotron accelerators for medical applications (proton and carbon radiotherapy, PET isotope production), for security applications (detection of special nuclear materials), and for laboratory research in nuclear physics. Novum Industria is also developing superconducting DC power distribution systems for data and telecommunication centers using High Temperature Superconductors (HTS) to increase power density and system efficiency.Dr. Minervini holds a B.S. Engineering degree from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, and the S.M. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and chairman of the Technical Awards Committee for the CSC. He is also a member of the APS, AAAS, and ANS.


Address:Novum Industria LLC, 215 Ayer Road, Box 919, Harvard, Massachusetts, United States

(IEEE membership is not required to attend; everyone interested is welcome!)