Elsa Olivetti

Thomas Lord Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
BS, Engineering Science, University of Virginia, 2000
PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, 2007


(617) 253-0877


  • Energy
  • Manufacturing
  • Materials Processing
  • Materials Systems and Analysis


Professor Olivetti’s research focuses on improving the environmental and economic sustainability of materials in the context of rapid-expanding global demand. Her research addresses two major problems where solutions could yield significant environmental benefits:

  1. Improving the sustainability of materials through increased use of recycled and renewable materials, recycling-friendly material design, and intelligent waste disposition
  2. Understanding the implications of substitution, dematerialization and waste mining on materials markets.  Her research spans three levels of materials production: operational-level, industrial network-level and market-level strategies.
Ellen Swallow Richards, MIT’s first alumna, was the wife of Robert H. Richards, the first head of Course III.