Cambridge-MIT Institute

The Cambridge-MIT Institute (CMI)—the joint venture between MIT and the University of Cambridge in the UK—continues to develop. This past year, our undergraduate exchange program enabled more than 60 students from both MIT and Cambridge to study at the partner institution. The participants enjoyed the experience: Cambridge chemistry major Sean Parris says his UROP experience at MIT with the Buchwald Research Group helped him "look at the chemistry I learn and do in a very different light." Materials major Michelle Seitz says spending her junior year at Cambridge University was "amazing," and helped her learn more about both cultures.

Faculty members at the two institutions continue to work on joint curricula projects, and develop new courses to be taught at Cambridge. This included a 4th year module on 4I6 (Materials and Processes for MEMS) taught—using live video-conferencing via the internet—simultaneously to 25 graduate students at MIT, 7 at Cambridge and 13 in Singapore. It is believed that this is the first time a course has been offered for credit by three institutions on three continents simultaneously. Three new Master's programs, developed and delivered in collaboration with MIT faculty, got underway at Cambridge: the BioScience Enterprise, Engineering for Sustainable Development, and Technology Policy programs. A fourth—on Chemical Engineering Practice—was developed. MIT and Cambridge faculty continue to spend time at each other's institutions to progress research collaborations, and participate in workshops, on topics ranging from stem cell research and MEMS to a course for architects held at MIT in June 2003 on the natural ventilation of buildings.

CMI appointed two new executive directors to CMI in January 2003—myself and my colleague Professor Michael Kelly at Cambridge—to refine its strategy. Our strategic review resulted in a decision to focus CMI's efforts on ways of improving the knowledge exchange processes between university and industry in applied research. We therefore issued a Call for Proposals in April 2003, leading to the establishment of four Knowledge Integration Communities (KICs) in the areas of 'Silent' Aircraft; Pervasive Computing, Connected Worlds (the future of the internet); and Systems Biology.

Ed Crawley
Executive Director
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems

More information about the Cambridge-MIT Institute can be found on the web at


return to top
Table of Contents