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Leslie Dewan

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Born in 1984, Leslie Dewan is an American entrepreneur and the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Transatomic Power. She is a 2002 graduate of The Winsor School in Boston and received her S.B. degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering in 2007. Dewan also later earned her Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from MIT in 2013.

Dewan is known as the co-founder of Transatomic Power in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2011, and she currently serves at the CEO. Transatomic Power is designing and developing a molten salt reactor that converts nuclear waste into electric power. The innovative design, which Dewan developed with a fellow MIT graduate, mixes nuclear material with molten salt to contain reactions and reduce both waste and the risk of a meltdown.

Dewan also formerly worked at Vecna Technologies and the Center for Materials Research and Ethnography.

In December 2012, Forbes magazine selected Dewan for their “30 Under 30” in Energy. In September 2013, MIT Technology Review recognized Dewan as one of “35 Innovators Under 35.” In December 2013, TIME magazine selected Dewan as one of the “30 People Under 30 Changing the World.”

While at MIT, she was awarded a Department of Energy Computational Science Graduate Fellowship and an MIT Presidential Fellowship.

Dewan is also a member of the American Nuclear Society and the Materials Research Society.

Companies and Investments

Transatomic Power (CEO, co-founder), Vecna Technologies (former robotics engineer & nuclear engineering consultant), Center for Materials Research and Ethnography (former principal researcher).

Lessons Learned

- Follow your passions. I had a passion for technology ever since I was a child, and this is why I have always excelled in my studies. If you have a passion, follow it. The only way to be truly successful is to do what you want.

- I am also driven to help people and improve their lives, which has enabled me to become pretty good at what I do.

- Be resilient and optimistic. This has allowed me to stay positive even when facing the biggest challenges. My current designs, for example, have not yet been approved by the government and it may be more than a decade before they are. Not once have I been discouraged though or wanted to give up. Instead, I’m continuing to improve my designs and promote my concept because I believe it could truly revolutionize the way nuclear reactors are built.

Inspiring Quotes

Leslie Dewan's Quotes

Nuclear waste is not really waste at all. It still has a tremendous amount of energy in it.

Leslie Dewan

Influential Books


MIT professors and advisers