Professors Beach and Olivetti promoted
May 21, 2018
Professor Geoffrey Beach is promoted to Full Professor effective July 1, 2018. Professor Beach earned a B.S. in Physics at the California Institute of Technology (1997) and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, San Diego (2003). Prior to coming to MIT, he held a post-doc researching magnetization dynamics and spin-transfer torque in nanoscale magnetic structures at the University of Texas in Austin.
His group studies spin dynamics and spin-electronics in nanoscale magnetic materials and devices. They explore the fundamental underpinnings of new concepts in spin-based data storage, computation, and communications. Recently, his group has shown that an exotic kind of magnetic behavior discovered just a few years ago involving tiny disturbances in magnetic orientation called “skyrmions” holds great promise as a way of storing data--one that could overcome fundamental limits that might otherwise be signaling the end of “Moore’s Law,” which describes the consistent ongoing improvements in computation and data storage over recent decades.
Since he joined our faculty, Professor Beach has taught 3.23 Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties in the graduate core and, in the sophomore core curriculum, 3.022 Microstructural Evolution in Materials and 3.024 Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Properties in Materials.
Professor Elsa Olivetti has been promoted to Associate Professor effective July 1, 2018. Professor Olivetti joined DMSE as a faculty member in 2014. Since then, her research efforts, teaching, and scholarship activities have all made excellent additions to the department, and DMSE and MIT are greatly benefitting from her commitment to our students and curriculum.
Professor Olivetti’s studies how to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of materials in the context of rapidly-expanding global demand. As resources become scarcer, and global trade becomes even more common, the demand for her expertise increases. She has been published on a range of topics related to energy, recycling, and materials selection issues, including: minerals used in the computer industry, the cost-effectiveness of biodiesel, greenhouse gas emissions policy, and life-cycle assessments. She was named to the Atlantic Richfield Career Development Professorship last summer.
Professor Olivetti offers two key subjects in our curriculum: the undergraduate core course in materials processing and an elective course to undergraduate and graduate students in materials selection based on economic and environmental performance. In DMSE, we encourage our faculty to integrate content from their research programs in the courses they teach. Prof. Olivetti has initiated an effort to develop a coherent academic concentration to materials industry through our undergraduate committee, which would leverage existing offerings as well as expand to include an industry-focused seminar and project-based coursework.