Elsa Olivetti has been named to the Atlantic Richfield Career Development Professorship. Professor Olivetti joined DMSE in 2014 as a tenure-track faculty member at the assistant professor level. Since then, her research efforts, teaching, and scholarship activities have integrated very well with our department, and DMSE and MIT are benefitting from her commitment to our students and curriculum.
Professor Olivetti’s research is fascinating to scientists, industrialists, economists, and lay people. She studies how to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of materials in the context of rapid-expanding global demand. As resources become scarcer, and global trade becomes even more common, her expertise is in demand. She has 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.
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. Dr. 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.