News: Faculty

Will metal supplies limit battery expansion?

The dramatic rise in production of electric vehicles, coupled with expected growth in the use of grid-connected battery systems for storing electricity from renewable sources, raises a crucial question: Are there enough raw materials to enable significantly increased production of lithium-ion…   more

Making renewable power more viable for the grid

Wind and solar power are increasingly popular sources for renewable energy. But intermittency issues keep them from connecting widely to the U.S. grid: They require energy-storage systems that, at the cheapest, run about $100 per kilowatt hour and function only in certain locations. Now…   more

Why researchers should step out of the lab

Shreya Dave, Jeff Grossman, and their co-researchers Brent Keller PhD ’16 and Karen Golmer, innovator in residence at MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, have published an account of their experience with learning by stepping out of their labs, using their work on membranes as a…   more

Blood testing via sound waves may replace some tissue biopsies

Cells secrete nanoscale packets called exosomes that carry important messages from one part of the body to another. Scientists from MIT and other institutions have now devised a way to intercept these messages, which could be used to diagnose problems such as cancer or fetal abnormalities.…   more

Fast-moving magnetic particles could enable new form of data storage

New research from the Beach Group has shown that an exotic kind of magnetic behavior discovered just a few years ago 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 ongoing…   more

NEW.Mech 2017

NEW.Mech is a one-day workshop that aims to bring together the New England Mechanics community with an interest in exploring new directions in the mechanics of materials and structures, and to provide an opportunity to share the latest…   more

AFFOA offers special backpacks to class of 2021

The class of 2021 received a special welcoming gift from MIT this year: specially designed backpacks created by Yoel Fink's Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA). A unique code is woven into the fabric material of the backpack given to each first-year student. Unlike a QR code,…   more

Designing the Circular Economy

In the circular economy, waste is minimized through reuse, reducing resource consumption by regeneratively cycling economic, natural, and social capital. By reducing this connection between production and consumption, a more sustainable balance can be reached in light of increasing populations…   more

Materials Day Symposium 2017

Hosted annually by our friends at MPC, Materials Day includes a topical symposium followed by a student poster session. This year the symposium will be broad in scope and will involve primarily speakers from MIT. The theme will be Frontiers in Materials Research. Presentations will be given by speakers who represent MIT’s new generation of leaders in material research.   more

Krystyn Van Vliet named associate provost

Krystyn Van Vliet, an MIT professor in the departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering, with wide-ranging interests in research and innovation, has been named as the Institute’s new associate provost. She will assume this role on Sept. 1. Van Vliet succeeds…   more

Researchers clarify mystery about proposed battery material

Battery researchers agree that one of the most promising possibilities for future battery technology is the lithium-air (or lithium-oxygen) battery, which could provide three times as much power for a given weight as today’s leading technology, lithium-ion batteries. But tests of various…   more

Future Semiconductors Could be 'Photocopied' Using Graphene

Semiconductor chips of tomorrow could one day be manufactured by using a "photocopying" process on super-thin sheets of graphene, rather than using traditional silicon, according to research being conducted at MIT. The MIT research involves graphene, which are single-atom-thin sheets of…   more

Study suggests route to improving rechargeable lithium batteries

Most of today’s lithium-ion batteries, which power everything from cars to phones, use a liquid as the electrolyte between two electrodes. Using a solid electrolyte instead could offer major advantages for both safety and energy storage capacity, but attempts to do this have faced unexpected…   more

Converging on cancer at the nanoscale

This summer, the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT marks the first anniversary of the launch of the Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine. The Marble Center for Cancer Nanomedicine focuses on grand challenges in cancer detection, treatment, and monitoring that can…   more

A new way of extracting copper

MIT researchers have identified the proper temperature and chemical mixture to selectively separate pure copper and other metallic trace elements from sulfur-based minerals using molten electrolysis. This one-step, environmentally friendly process simplifies metal production and eliminates the…   more

Olivetti Group Publishes Paper in MURJ

DMSE's Olivetti Group makes an appearance in MURJ, the MIT Undergraduate Research Journal, for a paper titled Assessing the Criticality of Germanium as a Byproduct. Pg. 40-42 …   more

School of Engineering awards for 2017

Lorna Gibson, the Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and a professor of mechanical engineering, won the Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, given to a faculty member whose contributions have been characterized by dedication, care, and creativity. Mary…   more

Rob Macfarlane honored with NSF CAREER Award and ACS Unilever Award

Congratulations to Professor Rob Macfarlane, who was recently named the 2017 Unilever Award Winner for Outstanding Young Investigator in Colloid & Surfactant Science!  Professor Macfarlane was also named a 2017 NSF CAREER Award winner earlier this year for his proposal titled…   more

A noninvasive method for deep brain stimulation

Delivering an electrical current to a part of the brain involved in movement control has proven successful in treating many Parkinson’s disease patients. This approach, known as deep brain stimulation, requires implanting electrodes in the brain — a complex procedure that carries some risk to…   more

Taking Materials to Extremes

Lithium-air batteries are the Holy Grail in the worldwide quest for better batteries, because they can store energy at very high densities, at least in theory. On the downside, they suffer from high losses in energy conversion and other drawbacks. Ju Li’s MIT research group, however, has…   more