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Major Programs

Following is a selection of MIT research programs reporting the highest levels of corporate research expenditure in FY2010.

MIT Energy Initiative

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), established in September 2006, is an Institute-wide initiative designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the needs of the future and to help build a bridge to that future by improving today's energy systems. The MITEI program includes research, education, campus energy management, and outreach activities that cover all areas of energy supply and demand, security and environmental impact.

Research at MITEI is spread across four major areas: 1) Innovations, 2)Transformations, 3) Global Systems, and 4) Tools.

 

Chemical Engineering

The chemical engineering community at MIT is responsible for countless scientific advances, including controlled drug delivery, which improves the body’s ability to combat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and depression. The department's recent contributions range from engineering a yeast strain capable of increasing the efficiency of ethanol production to building the most sensitive electronic detector of deadly gases ever made. Research in the Chemical Engineering Department focuses on fundamental knowledge and applied technologies in a number of important areas.

 

MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) studies this vast, compelling field in an effort to unlock the secrets of human intelligence, extend the functional capabilities of machines, and explore human/machine interactions. It applies that knowledge with a long-term lens to engineer innovative solutions with global impact.  CSAIL research is conducted by approximately 50 research groups organized into three high-level areas of focus: Artificial Intelligence, Systems, and Theory. Each group is composed of faculty PIs, any combination of graduate and undergraduate students, and post-docs, and research staff.

 

MIT Media Lab

The Media Lab is a place where the future is lived, not imagined. Its domain is applying unorthodox research approaches for envisioning the impact of emerging technologies on everyday life—technologies that promise to fundamentally transform our most basic notions of human capabilities. Unconstrained by traditional disciplines, Lab designers, engineers, artists, and scientists work atelier-style in close to 30 research groups conducting more than 300 projects that range from neuroengineering, to how children learn, to a stackable, electric car for tomorrow’s city. Lab researchers foster a unique culture of learning by doing, developing technologies that empower people of all ages, from all walks of life, in all societies, to design and invent new possibilities for themselves and their communities.

 

Mechanical Engineering

Research in the Mechanical Engineering Department may be broadly divided into seven so-called "thrust" areas including: 1) Mechanics: Modeling, Experimentation, & Computation, 2) Design, Manufacturing, & Product Development, 3) Controls, Instrumentation, & Robotics, 4) Energy Science & Engineering, 5) Ocean Science & Engineering, 6) Bioengineering, and 7) Micro & Nano Engineering.

 

Microsytems Technology Laboratories

Research activities at the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) span an extraordinarily broad set of activities. A unifying theme associated with MTL research projects is a system-level interest in micro- and nano technology. The MTL represents a research community, which brings together the experimentalist skilled in materials and technology at the micro and nano-levels jointly with circuits/systems researchers to realize visions for new systems that are enabled by the integration of these disciplines.

 

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT

The David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT (formerly known as the MIT Center for Cancer Research) was founded in 1974, and is one of seven National Cancer Institute-designated basic research centers. Its mission is to apply the tools of basic science and technology to determine how cancer is caused, progresses and responds to treatment.

The initial strategic research plan for the Koch Institute revolves around five target areas critical for rapid progress toward controlling cancer: 1) Nanotechnology Therapy, 2) Detection + Monitoring, 3) Metastasis, 4) Pathways + Resistance, and 5) Immune System.  Research and development in each of these target areas involves cross-disciplinary teams of faculty, students, and staff – and will also encompass collaborations with clinical centers and industry.

 

MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Researchers in MIT’s materials science and engineering department are concerned with the design, manufacture, and use of materials including metals, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and biomaterials, and with the environmental, health, economic, and manufacturing issues relating to those materials. They explore opportunities for entrepreneurship and venture capital to develop more efficient and cleaner materials for use in applications from non-toxic metallic coatings to nanomechanical medical diagnosis.

 

Leaders for Manufacturing and Productivity

The Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (LMP) is an interdepartmental laboratory in the School of Engineering with three major goals:

  • the development of the fundamental principles of manufacturing systems, processes, and machines
  • the application of those principles to the manufacturing enterprise
  • the education of engineering leaders.

 

Biological Engineering

MIT’s Biological Engineering Department (BE) is on the forefront of the emerging biology-based engineering discipline. BE researchers fuse engineering principles with the knowledge and tools of molecular life sciences in order to solve contemporary problems through the measurement, modeling, and rational manipulation of biological systems. The department prepares engineers and scientists to create biology-based technologies to benefit a range of diverse areas including human and environmental health, agriculture, manufacturing, and defense.

 

MIT Sloan School of Management

The MIT Sloan ecosystem supports a dynamic network of research groups concentrating on problems vital to today's world. Many of these research centers are interdisciplinary think tanks bringing together researchers from a range of fields to solve complex problems. Groups like the MIT Center for Digital Business and the MIT Entrepreneurship Center are writing the rules of the road for emerging businesses.

The common denominator of all these groups is that they're grounded in business and industry. Faculty and students work closely with leaders in the field to meet challenges that have a powerful impact on everyday business and everyday life. More than 100 organizations sponsor nearly $12 million in research every year at MIT Sloan. This highly productive collaboration fuels innovation, energizes the educational environment, and helps companies solve their greatest challenges.

 

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Established in 1958, the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) at MIT is one of the oldest nuclear science and engineering graduate programs in the country. Its broad research mission is the study of nuclear and radiation interactions and their applications to problems of beneficial interest to society. Research activities are spread across three basic areas: 1) Fission Engineering and Nuclear Energy, 2) Fusion and Plasma Physics, and 3) Nuclear Science and Technology

The department’s research activities are enhanced by the use of world-class experimental facilities located on campus, including: MITR-II, a 5-megawatt nuclear research reactor; Alcator C-Mod, a high field tokamak fusion device; multi-accelerator laboratory, focusing on medical and industrial applications; and multi-magnet nuclear magnetic resonance laboratory, focusing on medical imaging and quantum information processing.

 

Materials Processing Center

The goals of the Materials Processing Center are to unite the materials research community at MIT and to enhance Institute-industry interactions. Collaboration on research ventures, technology transfer, continuing education of industry personnel, and communication among industrial and governmental entitites are our priorities. The MPC Industry Collegium is a major vehicle for this collaboration. The MPC sponsors seminars and workshops, as well as a summer internship for talented undergraduates from universities across the US. We encourage interdisciplinary research collaborations and provide funds management assistance to faculty.

The Microphotonics Center is a center within the MPC that conducts collaborative research focused on advancing basic science and emerging technology in the specific materials area of integrated photonic systems. In 2000, the Microphotonics Center launched the Communications Technology Roadmap (CTR) program for photonics and optoelectronics.