Donald Baskin teaches 3.371/3.171/2.281 (Structural Materials and Manufacturing) to graduates and undergraduates. He also teaches a course on structural optimization and lightweighting, which involves designing vehicle structures with reduced mass to increase fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing safety or structural performance.

Before coming to MIT, Baskin worked in the international automotive industry where he spent time at the Mercedes-Benz Materials Research Lab in Ulm, Germany, and in body engineering release at Chrysler in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He held positions pertaining to every aspect of automotive body structure development—structural optimization, finite element analysis, structural materials development, product design release, tolerance strategy, and manufacturing. This resulted in Chrysler launching seven vehicles into high volume series production and Baskin publishing several referred journal articles and a book chapter on body structure lightweighting. 

After working in the automotive industry, Baskin worked in several startups in the Boston area including DMSE spinout Xtalic, which engineers highly corrosion- and wear-resistant coatings for electrical connectors. 

Baskin holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University and a BS in mechanical engineering from University of California, Irvine. Baskin’s graduate dissertation work focused on toughening and fracture mechanics of brittle materials such as ceramics. As an undergraduate, Baskin conducted research in the field of spray atomization processing of refractory structural alloys.