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Karen Willcox

Professor, Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Co-Director, Center for Computational Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

E-mail: kwillcox@mit.edu
Office: Rm 33-412a (map)
Phone: (617) 253-3503


Karen E. Willcox is Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is also Co-Director of the MIT Center for Computational Engineering and formerly the Associate Head of the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Willcox holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and masters and PhD degrees from MIT. Before joining the faculty at MIT, she worked at Boeing Phantom Works with the Blended-Wing-Body aircraft design group. Her research at MIT has produced scalable methods for model reduction and new multifidelity formulations for design under uncertainty. These methods are widely applied in aircraft system design and environmental policy decision-making. She has co-authored more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and advised more than 40 graduate students, including 16 PhD students.

Willcox is Co-director of the Department of Energy DiaMonD Multifaceted Mathematics Capability Center and leads an Air Force MURI on optimal design of multi-physics systems. She is Associate Fellow of the AIAA and member of SIAM, ASEE and ASME. She has served in multiple leadership positions within AIAA and SIAM, including leadership roles in the SIAM Activity Group on Computational Science and Engineering and in the AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Technical Committee. She is Section Editor of SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing and Associate Editor of AIAA Journal.

In addition to her research pursuits, Willcox is active in education innovation. She is currently co-Chair of the MIT Online Education Policy Initiative and Chair of the MIT OpenCourseWare Faculty Advisory Board. She served as co-Chair of the Institute wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education. She is a recognized innovator in the U.S. education landscape, where she is a 2015 recipient of the First in the World Department of Education grant.

Willcox is the recipient of a SIAM SIGEST paper award, an AIAA best paper award, a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award, and the MIT Junior Bose Teaching Award.