Transportation & Infrastructure

Roads, rails, planes, and buildings are all made of complex materials, with critical needs related to climate, weight, cost, and other factors. Our research includes projects from high-density energy storage for electrified airplanes to decarbonized cement production to high-performance alloys aerospace usage.


Lorna J. Gibson

Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Professor of Mechanical Engineering; MacVicar Fellow

Professor Gibson studies cellular solids from both natural and synthetic sources for uses ranging from construction to medicine.

James M. LeBeau

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Professor LeBeau connects structure to properties using electron microscopy and advanced data analytics to inform where defects and interfaces are and the chemical nature of those structures. This cutting-edge characterization approach informs behavior of ferroelectrics, semiconductors, materials for quantum computing, structural materials and energy storage.

Gregory B. Olson

Thermo-Calc Professor of the Practice

Professor Olson computationally designs and qualifies new materials grounded in science-based methods supported by genomic-level fundamental databases using a hierarchy of design models.

Christopher A. Schuh

Danae and Vasilis Salapatas Professor of Metallurgy; MacVicar Fellow

Professor Schuh studies structural materials, from fundamental scientific discovery through new material design. Recent projects include studying the micromechanics of particle adhesion with implications for additive manufacturing and creating new shape memory ceramics that could be used as micro-actuators for small autonomous robotics.

C. Cem Tasan

Thomas B. King Associate Professor of Metallurgy

Professor Tasan studies the microstructural mechanisms of metal deformation and failure using in-situ microscopy techniques, in order to design new alloys with superior property combinations.


A powerful new battery could give us electric planes that don’t pollute

Brightly colored molecular models line two walls of Yet-Ming Chiang’s office at MIT. Chiang, a materials science professor and serial battery entrepreneur, has spent much of his career studying how slightly different arrangements of those sticks and spheres add up to radically different outcomes…