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Images from DMSE, fall semester 2012. L E T T E R





Dear Friends, It is now 125 years since MIT revised its undergraduate curriculum and nucleated Course III as a Department. The subject matter at the center of Course III has evolved, along with its name, to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering we know today. But the underlying philosophy present at that nucleation point 125 years ago remains as strong as ever. From our founders’ concern with mining and metals, to our present broad activities that span materials both “soft” and “hard”, we have always striven to understand the raw building blocks of matter provided by Nature, and the pathways to transform them into engineered solid matter of benefit to hu-










mankind. We seek to bridge the false dichotomy of science and engineering, seamlessly fusing basic principles and applications as we design and realize new solids. The curriculum of 125 years ago was centered on such science and engineering fusion, achieved through a focus on hands-on education, where basic principles are learned and quickly reinforced in the laboratory. Through our history we have remained fastidiously committed to this idea, and the present DMSE curriculum is, indeed, laboratorycentric. From the moment that sophomores join the Department, they are immersed in laboratory activities that form the centerpiece of the student experience and are augmented by lectures—a model that persists through the core and into our capstone courses. With our recent growth in undergraduate enrollment, we have recommitted ourselves to this hands-on educational model in material ways. In the Summer 2012 newsletter I told you about our space renovations and equipment upgrade initiatives; with this writing I am pleased to introduce you to a number of new staff members who bring a wealth of experience to our teaching laboratories. Please meet Ike Feitler, Christopher Di Perna, and Franklin Hobbs on page 3. We are also exploring teaching efficiencies that can be gained through the use of online tools—imagine online content that includes a combination of text, video, and self-testing, all available 24 hours per day for students to study and learn at their own pace and on their own schedules, and reinforced by hands-on exercises and Socratic discussion with the faculty in the classroom. On page 5 you will find a description of our current experiments with such online tools through the “Semester From Anywhere” initiative led by Prof. Fitzgerald. The leaders of the coming revolution in manufacturing must deliver on the promise of science and engineering fusion, and by the time our students reach the capstone course of the curriculum (3.042), we rouse them to do so in a holistic sense. Student teams must conceive a materials product or a materials-centric solution to an engineering problem, appreciate market drivers and barriers to adoption of their concept, and iteratively make and test a prototype. The latest products of 3.042, seen on page 10, include innovations in green construction materials, biomedical devices, and emergency insulation. Reaching to

the graduate level, DMSE’s “MADMEC” competition in materials product design also embraces the holistic consideration of science, engineering, and market drivers; read about MADMEC on page 8. The science and engineering fusion that has always motivated our curriculum is also a centerpiece of the worldleading research of DMSE’s faculty, who are simultaneously scholars, inventors, and entrepreneurs. On pages 6 and 7 you will find two short stories that epitomize this fusion: one in which Prof. Darrell Irvine’s polymeric films offer a new direction for vaccine delivery, and another in which Prof. Geoff Beach demonstrates how the domain walls in a magnetic material can become micro “conveyor belts” for the manipulation of matter. The list of prominent faculty awards on pages 12 and 13 also reflects an overarching theme about the connection between deep thinking and practical impact. In DMSE we are proud to have a large and influential family of alumni and friends steeped in our culture and philosophy. In this, our 125th anniversary year, we would like to reconnect with all of the members of our family, to reflect and celebrate our history and chart our course for the future. On the last page of this newsletter you will find a brief description of our “DMSE History Wiki” project. If you have a memory of DMSE that you would like to share, we are asking everyone in our family to help us compile a definitive departmental history, by contributing some text or images to our wiki. We will also be reaching out to connect with alumni in other ways, and we look forward to hearing about your particular experience in fusing science, engineering, materials, and life. With best wishes for a prosperous 2013,

Chris Schuh 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Building 6-113 Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Around DMSE W .

D A V I D K I N G E R Y M E M O R I A L L E C T U R E We were proud and excited to welcome Dr. John W. Cahn to DMSE in November for the W. David Kingery Lecture. Dr. Cahn is an expert on thermodynamics and an influential thinker in the field of materials science and engineering and in related disciplines. Over the course of his career, he has been recognized with many awards and honors: just this year he received the Kyoto Prize, and he previously received the National Medal of Science and the Bower Prize.

His lecture, “Periodicity and Quasiperiodicity in Science and in the Arts,” was presented to a very full room of researchers and students from across MIT. The next day, Dr. Cahn led a small group in a discussion of his recent explorations of J. Willard Gibbs’ writings. Professor W. David Kingery, widely known as the “father of modern ceramics,” was a long-time faculty member in this department. He was interested in many aspects of ceramics, from properties and processing to their use in ancient cultures. His contributions to the field include many books, notably Introduction to Ceramics, establishing the MIT Glass Lab, and pioneering new applications for ceramics in modern technology. On his death in 2000, his friends and family established a fund to bring visitors to this department, and we are very pleased that his former colleague accepted the invitation to present this lecture. Dr. Rowland M. Cannon, ’66, Sc.D. ’75, was the first Kingery Memorial Lecturer. A P P O I N T M E N T S DMSE has been fortunate to add several new staffers in recent months. Notably, three new Technical Instructors have joined our ranks; they will be assisting in teaching lab subjects and in running shared facilities.



Isaac “Ike” Feitler, ’02, is a Technical Instructor who assists in laboratory teaching and management of several shared facilities and lab spaces. He has assumed some of the duties previously handled by Matt Humbert, who has given up his role as a DMSE employee

to become a DMSE graduate student. We thank Matt for his two years of hard work and welcome Ike back into the DMSE community! Christopher Di Perna, Technical Instructor, will be helping teach the undergraduate labs. Chris received his undergraduate degree from Harvard in Natural Science and a master’s degree in Biogeochemistry from the Graduate School of Oceanography, and he is working on the Ph.D. in Organic Biogeochemistry/Biology from University of Massachusetts. Chris has worked on developing analytical scientific instrumentation for in situ deepsea genetic and chemical analysis as well as a wind tunnel for biomechanics of insect flight. Franklin Hobbs, a January addition to the team of Technical Instructors, holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from Middlebury College. His interest in the crystallographic and mineralogical side of geology has allowed him to transition into the field of materials science. Franklin has had some experience already with DMSE, after having helped fill in as a TA for 3.014. He is looking forward to assisting the Department in teaching and the management of the LAM and other Course III facilities. Bruce Siegel joins MIT supporting DMSE after serving as a successful Development Officer working with the Chair and Faculty of the Mechanical & Industrial Engineering Department at Northeastern University. He has over twenty years of successful business development experience in the private sector including technology consulting, management, and research sales. He will be a great resource dedicated to DMSE development and alumni relations. We are very pleased that he has joined us.

Felice Frankel is a Research Scientist at MIT, with appointments in DMSE, CMSE, ChemE, and MechE. Felice is a well-known science photographer who has recently co-authored Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers, a pioneering book on using imagery to communicate science concepts. She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received many other awards and honors. We are pleased to have her working with our faculty and students.

D M S E I N T H E S P O T L I G H T In recent months, MIT’s homepage has featured several DMSE students. For an album of spotlights since 2008, see

A C T I V I T I E S Professor Lorna J. Gibson has brought her knowledge and understanding of the physical properties of wood and plants to the Arnold Arboretum. Last fall, she gave a talk there on the structure and properties of wood used in boat-building and contributed an article, “Inside Plants: An Engineer’s View of the Arnold Arboretum,” to Arnoldia, their magazine. These works for the general population have grown out of her research into the microscopic organization of plants and potential applications in new, bio-inspired materials.

Shannon Taylor is studying archaeological materials.

Arfa Aijazi is using materials to change the world.


Rachel A. Kemper, DMSE Communications Coordinator



Marc Harpin, Rhumba


Arlington Lithograph


Many thanks to those who contributed time, photography support, and text, including Matt Humbert, Ike Feitler, Garrett Lau, Felice Frankel, Angelita Mireles, Steven Palkovic, Patrick Ernst, Melanie Miller, Mike Tarkanian, Uwe Bauer, Liz

Tongjai Chookajorn and Heather Murdoch work on tungsten.

Rapoport, Peter DeMuth, and Eric Thorsen.





Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Join us on LinkedIn MIT Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) Add us on Google+ MIT Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE)

Shuang Tang with Prof. Millie Dresselhaus.

Academics S E M E S T E R F R O M A N Y W H E R E As technological advances have changed communication, they have also changed the way students and educators use communication in academic coursework. This is particularly true at MIT, and several Institute programs take advantage of these advances. For many years, MIT’s OpenCourseWare has been a major resource for online learning, by providing MIT lectures, handouts, and assignments to the general public. In 2012, edX and MITx began to offer online classes, including 3.091 Introduction to Solid State Chemistry, with a certificate of completion. At the same time, there are more ways for students to further their study off-campus: Internships, overseas exchanges, and greater opportunities for independent study. Last year, Ian Waitz, Dean of Engineering, challenged departments to develop new programs that will provide outside learning opportunities to students. DMSE has responded with a pilot program called the Semester from Anywhere, set to roll out in spring 2013. Professor Gene Fitzgerald, head of the program, describes it as a chance for students “to do anything, anywhere in the world,” while still completing their degree requirements. Because the Course III curriculum is sequential and subjects have specific prerequisites, our students may have difficulty participating in an abroad program or pursuing other interests, whether academic or extracurricular. A student enrolled in the Semester from Anywhere will be able to complete an abroad program and learn a language intensively, work in an internship facility, or continue development of a MADMEC project, without fear of missing a Course III requirement.



The re-imagined subjects will be built around a library of pre-recorded “concept” material offered online for students to watch at their own speed, as many times as necessary. Concepts are currently being recorded on tablets using Camtasia. Professor Fitzgerald emphasizes that the recorded material will not be faculty in front of a blackboard lecturing to a camera for almost an hour, but will follow the model of the very popular Khan Academy, in which concepts are broken down and demonstrated for approximately five minutes with opportunities to demon-

strate learning. Recent studies have determined that as little as 4% of material heard in lecture is retained and students actually learn through individual study of notes and supplementary material. In addition to the online material, students will have scheduled intense interactions with faculty and classmates through Skype, chat, or whatever technology is appropriate. Depending on the subject, these interactions may be like an MIT recitation, like office hours, or like student presentations. DMSE has experience with this kind of distance learning: in the Singapore-MIT Alliance, started in 1998, MIT faculty taught students from the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University. For many of the subjects, lectures were given remotely and beamed to a classroom in Singapore and others were recorded to be watched by students on their own time. The “hybrid” learning model of the Semester from Anywhere will integrate three or four hours of recorded concepts with one or two hours of interactive time each week, similar to the traditional MIT ratio of lecture to recitation. This model works well with up to forty or fifty students, which is a little less than the enrollment of one undergraduate class. The initial three subjects in the program are 3.044 Materials Processing, taught by Professor Chris Schuh; 3.15 Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Materials and Devices, taught by Professor Caroline Ross; and 3.086 Innovation and Commercialization of Materials Technology, taught by Professor Fitzgerald. More subjects will be added to the online offerings in future semesters and the educational material will later be part of Course III’s MITx offerings. Professor Fitzgerald is excited about the potential of this new program, as it will give students more individualized attention and feedback from the faculty while giving faculty time to interact more deeply with students and thereby understand how well they are learning the material. He encourages students to sign up but warns that, “right now, Semester from Anywhere is restricted to the Planet Earth, internet access required.”

Research Highlights B I O M E D I C A L : V A C C I N E S A paper in the Jan. 27 online issue of Nature Materials describes a new type of vaccine-delivery film that holds promise for improving the effectiveness of DNA vaccines. If such vaccines could be successfully delivered to humans, they could overcome not only the safety risks of using viruses to vaccinate against diseases such as HIV, but they would also be more stable, making it possible to ship and store them at room temperature. This type of vaccine delivery would also eliminate the need to inject vaccines by syringe, says Prof. Darrell Irvine. “You just apply the patch for a few minutes, take it off and it leaves behind these thin polymer films embedded in the skin.” The research team took a different approach to delivering DNA to the skin, creating a patch made of many layers of polymers embedded with the DNA vaccine. These polymer films are implanted under the skin using microneedles that penetrate about half a millimeter into the skin—deep enough to deliver the DNA to immune cells in the epidermis, but not deep enough to cause pain in the nerve endings of the dermis. Once under the skin, the films degrade as they come in contact with water, releasing the vaccine over days or weeks. As the film breaks apart, the DNA strands become tangled up with pieces of the polymer, which protect the DNA and help it get inside cells. The researchers can control the amount of DNA delivered by tuning the number of polymer layers. They can also

control the rate of delivery by altering how hydrophobic the film is. DNA injected on its own is usually broken down very quickly, before the immune system can generate a memory response. When the DNA is released over time, the immune system has more time to interact with it, boosting the vaccine’s effectiveness. The polymer film also includes an adjuvant—a molecule that helps to boost the immune response. In this case, the adjuvant consists of strands of RNA that resemble viral RNA, which provokes inflammation and recruits immune cells to the area. In tests with mice, the researchers found that the immune response induced by the DNA-delivering film was as good as or better than that achieved with electroporation. To test whether the vaccine might enable more efficient cellular DNA uptake in primates, a polymer film carrying DNA that codes for a light-producing reporter protein was applied to macaque skin samples cultured in the lab. In skin treated with the film, DNA was easily detectable, while DNA injected alone was quickly broken down. “The hope is that that’s an indication that this will translate to large animals and hopefully humans,” Irvine says. The researchers now plan to perform further tests in nonhuman primates before undertaking possible tests in humans. If successful, the vaccine-delivering patch could potentially be used to deliver vaccines for many different diseases, because the DNA sequence can be easily swapped out depending on the disease being targeted. “If you’re making a protein vaccine, every protein has its little quirks, and there are manufacturing issues that have to be solved to scale it up to humans. If you had a DNA platform, the DNA is going to behave the same no matter what antigen it’s encoding,” Irvine says.

Professor Irvine of DMSE and Professor Paula Hammond of Chemical Engineering are the senior authors of the Nature Materials paper. The An optical photograph and scanning electron micrograph of a polymer microneedle lead author of the paper is Peter DeMuth, a gradarray patch. Each array (~1 cm diam.) is covered with almost 100 microscopic coni- uate student in Biological Engineering.

cal needles less than 0.5 mm in length. When the patch is applied to the skin, these microneedles can safely and painlessly create microscopic channels in the outer skin layers which can serve as conduits for the passage of otherwise impermeant materials such as vaccines. Images courtesy Peter DeMuth/Wellcome Trust.

—Anne Trafton, News Office

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to learn more about activities taking place in DMSE please visit

M I C R O M A N I P U L AT I O N : M A G N E T I C S In a paper published in Applied Physics Letters, Prof. Geoff Beach and graduate student Elizabeth Rapoport described their development of a technique for creating magnetic tracks on a microchip surface, and rapidly transporting beads along those tracks. (The technology required is similar to that used to read and write magnetic data on a computer’s hard disk.) An operational device using this new approach would consist of a small reservoir above the tracks, where the liquid containing the magnetic beads and the biological sample would be placed. Magnetic fields applied to the tracks generate boundaries of magnetization direction, called magnetic domain walls. Near these domain walls, whose positions can be shifted along the track, are extremely strong local magnetic fields. “We can use the magnetic domain walls to capture and transport the beads along the tracks,” Prof. Beach says. Thus, rather than pumping the fluid and particles through chanMagnetic bead on track. Video: nels, as in today’s microfluidic devices, the particles would be controlled entirely magnetically. In the researchers’ most recent paper, published in the journal Lab on a Chip, the team along with then undergraduate student Daniel Montana show that once a bead is captured, a magnetic field can be used to shake it back and forth. Then, the researchers measure how fast the bead moves as they change the frequency of the oscillation. “The resonant frequency is a function of the bead size,” Rapoport says—and could be used to reveal whether the bead has grown in size through attachment to a target biomolecule.



Besides being potentially quicker and requiring a far smaller biological sample to produce a result, such a device would be more flexible than existing chip-based biomedical tests, the researchers say. While most such devices are specifically designed to detect one particular kind of protein or disease agent, this new device could be used for a wide variety of different tests, simply by inserting a fresh batch of fluid containing beads coated with the appropriate reactant. After the test, the material could be flushed

out, and the same chip used for a completely different test by inserting a different type of magnetic beads. “You’d just use it, wash it off, and use it again,” Rapoport says. The dozens of types of magnetic beads commercially available can be coated to react with many different biological materials, Beach explains, so such a test device could have enormous flexibility. The MIT team has not yet used the system to detect biological molecules. Rather, they used magnetic beads of different sizes to demonstrate that their system is capable of detecting size differences corresponding to those between particles that are bound to biological molecules and those that are not. Having succeeded in this proof of concept, the researchers’ next step will be to repeat the experiment using biological samples. “We now have all the elements required to make a sensing device,” Beach says. Next, they will combine the pieces in an operational device and demonstrate its performance.

—David Chandler, News Office

Elizabeth Rapoport designed and machined a custom quadrupole electromagnet for her experimental set up. Using the electromagnetic field simulation software MagNet, she first determined the optimum design to produce a high field, low gradient magnet. Once the design was finalized, she used an electrical discharge machine (EDM) to cut the pieces from iron powder core rings. The entire assembly was then housed in a non-magnetic frame consisting of Macor and acrylic, cut with the water jet and laser cutter, respectively.

Events M A D M E C In its sixth year, the MADMEC competition is now an established part of the Department and MIT. Students, faculty, staff, and sponsors look forward to the final presentations to learn what inspiring innovations the student teams have developed. A joint venture between DMSE, Saint Gobain, BP, and the Dow Chemical Company, MADMEC challenges teams of students to design and build prototypes that address a variety of energy, environmental, or habitat issues through the use of materials science. The primary intent of this contest is to engage students in prototyping, design and device fabrication, while demonstrating the materials engineer’s role in developing new solutions to environmental and energy challenges. Good ideas, designs, and prototypes are the main emphasis of the contest.

The First Prize, $10,000, went to SolarStack for their semi-transparent solar concentrators. Steven Shimizu, Garrett Lau, Wyatt Ubellacker, Kevin Hsiue, and Rishabh Jain developed a window pane that directs light to solar collectors in the window frame. After experimenting with several materials SolarStack prototype. Solar cells and architectures, surround an acrylic pane cut they chose a milled with channels to direct the light. acrylic sheet. Mike Tarkanian praised their “creative and new design.” Cloud Capture, the team comprised of Wenhao Sun, Timothy Milakovich, Kunal Mukherjee, and Red A. Ransil, received the Second Prize of $6,000. They developed a means to generate electricity in a steam condenser more efficiently; a condenser made of a material with alternating hydrophilic and hydrophobic properties will return water to the system more quickly.

SolarStack with their prototype. “MADMEC gives MIT students the opportunity to shape the future of energy and environmental issues, and gives them a chance to get their ‘hands dirty’ applying the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom,” said Mike Tarkanian, DMSE Lecturer and MADMEC advisor. This year’s seven teams used many materials technologies, including those that direct light, that gather moisture from the atmosphere, and that reflect IR—all as the first step to addressing a different environmental or energy challenge. In a MADMEC first, Atomic Robotic’s passive solar panel tracker cited Heliotrope’s patent (2008 MADMEC winners) in their literature search.

Cloud Capture with their award certificate. The Third Prize of $4,000 was presented to elixIR, Mehmet C. Onbaşlı, Neelkanth Bardhan, Aravind Krishnamoorthy, and Priyank Kumar. This team created a coating that is both optically transparent and IR reflective. They envision its use on automobiles, allowing a vehicle to stay 5°C cooler, and thereby using less air conditioning


Learn more about MADMEC at

novel applications of materials research and incorporate materials science solutions in a creative manner. “This was the best MADMEC so far,” said Mike Tarkanian. “All the teams had innovative ideas and they worked very hard iterating and refining their prototypes. I’m looking forward to the next competition.”

elixIR with one of their prototypes and award. and less fuel. They have a provisional patent and are excited about continuing their development work. Over the course of the summer, the teams participate in “Design Events,” in which they must use a kit of material and a piece of equipment to address a challenge. This year’s challenges were building a set of gears to pull the most weight possible up a 6-foot ramp, to build a cantilever to withstand the most torque, and to create a platform to hold the most small rubber balls off the floor. Winning teams of each “Design Event” receive $500; Chloroplastic (Ahmed Al-Obeidi, Uwe Bauer, and Elizabeth Rapoport) won two events and tied with Electrochlode Technicorp (Max Mann, Sarah Don, and Oz Agar) for the third. Teams receive $1000 funding to build their prototypes. All intellectual property generated during the contest is owned by the inventors. Successful contest entries leverage advanced or



Design Challenge: Cut a 1/4" thick, 1' square piece of aluminum to hold the maximum number of 1" diameter rubber balls.

F P O P : D I S C O V E R D M S E For the fourth year, a team of Course III undergraduates organized and hosted an FPOP session. FPOP, Freshman Pre-Orientation Program, welcomes first-year students to MIT with a six-day introduction to MIT culture and the Boston area. In DMSE’s program, current students have created several busy days of activities, including materials science demos of superconductors, silly putty, and liquid nitrogen ice cream; blacksmithing; glassblowing; research talks by Professors Angela Belcher, YetMing Chiang, Yoel Garrett Lau demonstrating Fink, and Don Sadsuperconducting materials to an oway; sailing on the FPOP participant, . Charles; scavenger hunts through Boston; and a lot of great food. Thanks again to Marisa Jasso, Garrett Lau, and all the SUMS students who have worked so hard on this program over the past few years.

FPOP 2012

Curriculum 3.042, Materials Project Laboratory, is the capstone design subject for Course III juniors and seniors. This required subject is offered both fall and spring semesters and currently meets the Institute’s Communications Intensive subject requirement within the student’s major (CI-M). Enrollment is limited to 25 to allow students better access to equipment and teaching staff. Traditionally, 3.042 has been focused on materials processing, development, and prototyping, as a capstone to the previous lecture and laboratory subjects. In this subject, student project teams design and fabricate a working prototype using materials processing technologies (e.g., Solidworks 3-D design software, computer numerical controlled mills, injection molding, thermoforming, investment casting, powder processing, three-dimensional printing, or physical vapor deposition) appropriate for the materials and device of interest. The subject aims to teach the use of fundamentals of materials science in a practical application, while understanding the balance of design, processing, performance, and cost. There is an emphasis on teamwork, project management, communication, and computer skills, with extensive hands-on work using student and MIT laboratory shops. The teams document and report their progress and final results. The subject became a required part of the Course III curriculum in the early 1980s (it was originally known as 3.082); at that time, the curriculum was revised to reflect a broad approach to teaching and learning about materials and this subject added a processing component to the “science” and “engineering” subjects. Professors YetMing Chiang, Gene Fitzgerald, Linn Hobbs, Ned Thomas, and Dave Roylance have been some of the many dedicated instructors. For several years, during the fall semester, 3.042 teams competed to build the most powerful solar cell, using organic or inorganic technologies. In recent years, DMSE has hired lecturers and technical instructors who work closely with the teams, advising on equipment usage, experimental design, and feasibility. As a result, the projects are stronger and the students have a richer experience. This fall, four teams presented their projects to an enthusiastic audience of other Course III students, staff, and faculty. The teams’ abstracts follow.

B L A N K E T S T A T E M E N T Enhanced emergency blankets: Arfa Aijazi, Hailey Kopp, James McKinney, Marianna See

Hailey Kopp (left) and Arfa Aijazi (right) demonstrating their team’s blanket, with the help of a friend. With hundreds of natural disasters each year, affecting millions of victims worldwide, emergency response blankets are necessary. Current technology, however, depends on thick and heavy wool blankets that are costly to ship and do not prevent all forms of heat loss. Linus has been developed as a superior replacement for current emergency response blankets. It protects against both radiative and conductive heat loss, and has a much lower shipping volume, thus decreasing shipping costs exponentially. Linus is an inflatable emergency response blanket made of metalized poly(ethylene) terephthalate. With the implementation of a unique channel design, the user is able to orally inflate Linus to provide proper insulation. On the basis of dimensions, thermal properties, cost, and mechanical properties, Linus is a significant upgrade from the current products available on the market. F L Y T A S H T I C F O U R Fly ash bricks: Alicia Cochran, David Tse, Helen Yang, Evelyn Zuniga Fly ash is a by-product of coal that has cementitious properties that were utilized to develop bricks for structural applications. The goal is to produce a 99% fly ash brick which meets industrial standards, reduces energy con-

J A M S P L I N T Emergency splint using granular jamming: Melanie Adams, Zara Karuman, Ernesto Martinez, Shannon Taylor

Prototype of fly ash bricks. sumption by 90%, and decreases manufacturing costs by 20% in comparison to fired clay bricks, as proposed by the literature. Using a mixture of fly ash, water, bamboo fibers, and air entrainment agents, we developed a brick with a compressive strength of 26 ± 2.4 MPa and a saturation coefficient of 0.52 ± 0.05, which meet industry standards. The fly ash bricks are also 35% less expensive than fired clay bricks. Our principal challenges include determining the optimal composition of the brick, optimizing the production method, and producing a scaled up prototype with consistent properties adhering to industry standards. T H E A S H K I C K E R S Fly ash tiles: David Miranda-Nieves, Amanda Olender, Alexandra Sailsman, Jaclyn Schein Fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion, is produced at 110 million metric tons per year in the United States and largely lies in landfills. The AshKickers have successfully developed a method for producing floor and wall tiles made of 100% fly ash without firing. This novel approach both recycles waste material and reduces the energy associated with ceramic tile firing by 99%. 10


Mike Tarkanian, Lecturer for 3.042, tests a prototype.

David Miranda-Nieves is a willing test subject for Jam Splint’s prototype. Proper immobilization of broken bones helps reduce patient pain and prevent further injury during transport. We have designed a Jam Splint that can work on any body part, is cheaper than, and performs as well as current universal splints by taking advantage of a transition in granular material behavior known as jamming. Jamming is a phenomenon in which the local packing density of the grains increases beyond a critical value, inducing rigidity. Several factors influence a material’s ability to jam, including yield strength of each grain, coefficient of friction, morphology, and particle size distribution. After characterizing several granular materials based on these factors, we have chosen to use salt as the filler material for the Jam Splint, which is different from other similar style splints that use polystyrene foam beads. Jam Splint is made of a welded polyurethane sheet and a valve through which air can be evacuated using a vacuum pump. The initial flexibility of the unjammed splint allows the splint to conform to the injury. After the air has been evacuated, the splint becomes rigid, causing the limb to become immobilized.

Awards and Honors F A C U L T Y H O N O R S Professor Geoff Beach is a recipient of the Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented by MIT’s School of Engineering. This award recognizes excellence in teaching and is presented each year to the outstanding contributor to education from among the School of Engineering faculty members who are being proposed for promotion to associate professor without tenure. Professor Beach teaches 3.23 Electrical, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials in the graduate core and, in the sophomore core curriculum, 3.022 Microstructural Evolution in Materials and 3.024 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials.

their industry or field of science and are recipients nominated by Wolfram employees and selected by a panel of Wolfram technology experts. Wolfram recognizes Prof. Carter’s use of Mathematica in the classroom and in his research.

Professor Carter receives the Wolfram Innovator Award from Stephen Wolfram.

Dean Ian Waitz presents Prof. Beach with the Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professor Angela Belcher is the winner of the Boston Museum of Science Walker Prize. The Walker Prize was established in 1864 by Dr. William Johnson Walker, one of the most eminent surgeons of his era and a generous benefactor of the Boston Society of Natural History, the Museum’s founding organization. This special award was established to recognize work in the field of natural history. In the 1960s, the Walker Prize guidelines were broadened to recognize “meritorious published scientific investigation and discovery” in any scientific field. The recipient must be a noted scientist, professor, or researcher who is a superb science communicator via the written word and is well known for superlative work in her/his field. The awardee is presented with an honorarium and a seated dinner held at the Museum. Professor Craig Carter was a recipient of a Wolfram Innovator Award, presented by Stephen Wolfram at the 2012 Wolfram Technology Conference. The awards honor individuals who have made significant contributions to

Professor Yet-Ming Chiang received the Energy and the Environment Innovation Award, presented by The Economist. Nominations for the award come from the general public, and judges determine the awardees based on revenue generated by their innovation, the innovation’s economic impact on a specific good cause or society in general, the effect their work has had on the marketplace, and the impact their innovation has had on a new type of science or technology. The Economist cited Prof. Chiang’s work with lithium ion batteries. During the ACS Fall 2012 National Meeting, the inaugural Nano Letters Young Investigator Lecture was given by lectureship winner, Professor Silvija Gradečak. The Nano Letters Young Investigator Lecture is co-sponsored by Nano Letters and the ACS Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry. The Nano Letters Young Investigator Lectureship was established to honor the contributions of a young investigator who has made major impacts on the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology. Nominations were accepted for candidates from amongst early-career researchers of any nationality from academia, industry, or national laboratories. Professor Darrell Irvine was elected a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society. BMES Fellows are honored for exceptional achievements and experience in the field of biomedical engineering.

tled, “Harder, Cheaper, Greener: Design of Stable Nanocrystalline Coatings,” in which he discussed his research in producing hard-surface coatings through electrodeposition of nanoscale alloys. Satoru Emori, current grad student, was the dessert speaker.

Professor Don Sadoway’s TED talk last spring has brought a great deal of media attention to his lab and to our field. In October, he visited The Colbert Report where he met Stephen Colbert and discussed battery technology, world peace, and grilled cheese. See Professor Caroline Ross will be a member of the 2013 class of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellows in recognition of her “contributions to synthesis and characterization of nanoscale structures and films for magnetic and magneto-optical devices.” Professor Ken Russell has received an Alumni Achievement Award from Carnegie Mellon University. The citation reads: “Kenneth C. Russell worked as a full-time faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for more than four decades and now holds the title professor emeritus of metallurgy and nuclear engineering. He served as his department’s graduate registration officer for more than 20 years, where he mentored several students who have become CMU faculty members. This American Society for Materials fellow is best known for his research on nucleation. The papers that he published in this area, even those from decades ago, are still cited many times each year in new publications.” The Japan Institute of Copper has presented an award and Certificate of Commendation to Professor Chris Schuh and his collaborators for their paper, “Generation of Special Boundaries for Copper Alloys.” The citation recognizes the paper’s significant contribution to progress and development of technologies in copper and copper alloys. Dr. Koichi Kita and Dr. Kenichi Yaguchi, two of the paper’s coauthors, were visiting scientists in DMSE.



As a featured dinner speaker for the ASM Boston Chapter September meeting, Professor Schuh gave a talk enti-

Professor Subra Suresh, who is currently serving as director of the National Science Foundation, will receive the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science for “for outstanding contributions to our understanding of the mechanical behavior of materials in applications ranging from large structures down to the atomic level. This research also showed how deformation of biological cells can be linked to human disease.” He will receive the award in April. Professor Harry Tuller will receive the Helmholtz International Fellow Award. This award was created to foster research cooperation, and Fellows are invited to visit and perform research at a Helmholtz Research Centre; Prof. Tuller will spend some time at the Helmholtz-Center Berlin for Materials and Energy. G R A D U AT E S T U D E N T AWA R D S Elizabeth Rapoport and Uwe Bauer, of Professor Geoff Beach’s group, were two of the five finalists for the Best Student Presentation Award at the 12th Joint International Magnetics Conference (Intermag)—MMM Conference. Uwe Bauer was the Grand Prize winner. Last year, Satoru Emori, another member of the Beach Group, was awarded the Student Best Presentation Award at the 2012 Intermag Conference. Nancy Twu, a third-year graduate student in Professor Gerd Ceder’s group, was appointed a Fellow of the first Joint US–Africa Materials Institute (JUAMI) on Materials for Sustainable Energy, held in December 2012 in Addis Ababa. She is working on lithium ion batteries. A L U M N I N E W S In December, Bruce Sohn, ’83, visited the MIT Energy Club to present a talk on “Solar’s Strategic Value.” Mr. Sohn, formerly a senior executive at Intel and Fluidic Energy and President of First Solar, now leads a consulting firm that provides strategy and management advice to high-tech, clean-tech, and energy industries. During his tenure, First Solar became the largest photovoltaic module manufacturer, project developer, and builder of utility-scale power plants in the world.

Donors Paul H. Adler SM ’81 Ariya Akthakul SM ’98, PhD ’03※ Benjamin C. Allen SM ’54, ScD ’57※ Samuel M. Allen SM ’71, PhD ’75※ Steven Allen SM ’51, ScD ’59※† Ronald E. Allred ScD ’83※ Carl J. Altstetter ScD ’58 Linda J. Anthony, PhD SM ’76, PhD ’80※ Frank F. Aplan ScD ’57 Arthur H. Aronson ’58※ Charles P. Ashdown PhD ’84※ James C. Baker PhD ’70 Shuba Balasubramanian SM ’96 Chester L. Balestra ’66, ScD ’71※ Max Batres ’96 Renato G. Bautista SM ’57 Simon C. Bellemare PhD ’06 David F. Bliss SM ’81 Gabriel Bochi PhD ’95 Valerie Jordan Booden ’95※ Yuttanant Boonyongmaneerat PhD ’06 J. Robert Booth ScD ’72※ H. Kent Bowen PhD ’71※ James F. Bredt ’82, SM ’87, PhD ’95 William E. Brower, Jr. PhD ’69※ Caryl B. Brown SM ’95※ Paul E. Brown ’56, SM ’57, ScD ’61※ Robert L. Brown SM ’61, ScD ’64 Susan Ipri Brown SM ’95※ T. David Burleigh SM ’80, PhD ’85 Pavel Bystricky PhD ’97※ John C. Campbell SM ’57※ Gary M. Carinci PhD ’89 Douglas J. Carlson ScD ’89※ Bonny J. Schwenke Carmicino ’86※ George R. Caskey, Jr. SM ’52, PhD ’69※† Lynn L. Chalfoun SM ’96 Peter Chang PhD ’92※ Anil R. Chaudhry SM ’83 Andrew Chen SM ’91, PhD ’95※ Katherine C. Chen PhD ’96※ Ying Chen PhD ’08 June F. Cheng ’99, SM ’00 Chung-Yi Chiang PhD ’08 Yi-Hung Chiao ScD ’86 Brymer H. Chin ’74※ Grace Chin Jayne Chin Michael P. Chin ’86, SM ’87 Patrick K. Chin ’85※ David R. Chipman ’49, ScD ’55※ Manoj K. Choudhary ScD ’80※ Edison C. Chu SM ’96

Amy Chu ’89, SM ’90 Kuo Chin Chuang PhD ’65※ Yong-Chae Chung PhD ’95 Harold R. Clark PhD ’82※ Aliki K. Collins PhD ’87※ Joel A. Conwicke PhD ’69※ Normand D. Corbin SM ’82※ Jason Costantino Jeanne L. Courter PhD ’81※ David C. Cranmer SM ’78, PhD ’81※ Jianyi Cui PhD ’07 Shannon L. Dahl ’99※ Vivek R. Dave SM ’91, PhD ’95 Daniel B. Dawson SM ’67, ScD ’73※ Mark R. De Guire PhD ’87※ David H. Deyoung PhD ’81 Irene R. Dhosi Carl L. Dohrman PhD ’08 Alfred L. Donlevy SM ’63※ Dow Chemical Company Dow Chemical Company Foundation ※ Joseph M. Driear ScD ’80※ Michael A. Drzewinski ScD ’86 David C. Dunand PhD ’91※ Yoshio Ebisu SM ’75 Andreas T. Echtermeyer SM ’85, PhD ’88※ George Economos SM ’51, ScD ’54※† Jonathan Mark Edward MNG ’08 Frances P. Elliott※ Alan T. English SM ’60, PhD ’63※ Exxon Mobil Corporation※ David J. Fanger SM ’96※ Ali M. Farah ScD ’96 Michael J. Fasolka PhD ’00 Robert S. Feigelson SM ’61※ August Ferretti NON ’59※ Davis S. Fields, Jr. SM ’54, ScD ’57※ Marc A. Finot ScD ’96※ Elmer S. Fitzsimmons ScD ’50 Paul M. Fleishman SM ’82 Frederick B. Fletcher ScD ’72※ Robert A. Frank ’83, SM ’85, ScD ’89※ Robert L. Freed PhD ’78※ Douglas W. Fuerstenau ScD ’53※ Harry H. Fujimoto ’74, SM ’78, PhD ’82 Rosendo Fuquen Molano ME ’73, SM ’73, ScD ’82 Robert J. Furlong, Jr. SM ’77※ Terry J. Garino PhD ’87 Charles J. Gasdaska SM ’78, PhD ’86 John J. Gassner, Jr. ScD ’85 Frank W. Gayle ScD ’85※ Max E. Gellert ’48※† Stanley H. Gelles ’52, SM ’54, ScD ’57※ Ralph G. Gilliland PhD ’68※ Emilio Giraldez Paredes PhD ’86※

Stacy Holander Gleixner ’92※ Andrew John Gmitter SM ’08 Daniel S. Gnanamuthu MTE ’72※ Joseph I. Goldstein ’60, SM ’62, ScD ’64※ David S. Gollob SM ’80 Cuiling Gong SM ’96, PhD ’99 Lori M. Goodenough SM ’02 Robert S. Goodof ’72, SM ’73※ Frank E. Goodwin SM ’76, ScD ’79 Taras Z. Gorishnyy PhD ’07※ Christine Govern ’96※ David M. Goy SM ’86※ Dodd H. Grande SM ’83, PhD ’87※ Amy R. Grayson ’97, PhD ’03※ Jonathon J. Grayson ’97※ Mark L. Green PhD ’88 Martin L. Green PhD ’78※ Manohar S. Grewal ScD ’72※ Honglin Guo PhD ’98※ Raymond M. Hakim PhD ’68※ Carol A. Handwerker ’77, SM ’78, ScD ’83 Steven S. Hansen ’73, SM ’75, ScD ’78※ Yaowu Hao PhD ’03 Adam S. Helfant ’85※ Benjamin Hellweg ’97, SM ’00 Gregory J. Hildeman ScD ’78※ David C. Hill ’68, SM ’69, PhD ’70※ Allon I. Hochbaum ’03 Dale V. Hodson ’79 Eric Richards Homer PhD ’10 Charles R. Houska ’51, SM ’54, ScD ’57※ Simone Peterson Hruda SM ’87, PhD ’92※ Peter Yaw-Ming Hsieh SM ’99※ Huey-Shin Hsu ScD ’82 Hao Hu ’04, MNG ’11 Lily Huang ’88, SM ’89 Gordon Hunter ’80, SM ’81, PhD ’84※ Intel Corporation ※ Jack & Pauline Freeman Foundation Mark H. Jhon ’01※ Timothy V. Johnson ScD ’87 David M. Jonas PhD ’92 Tamala R. Jonas SM ’89, PhD ’93 Harold Kahn PhD ’92 Debra L. Kaiser ScD ’85※ Karsten August Kallevig ’99※ Junichi Kaneko SM ’65, ScD ’67※ Theodoulos Z. Kattamis SM ’63, ScD ’65※ Allan P. Katz ’69※ Robert Nathan Katz ’61, PhD ’69※

Thomas E. Kazior PhD ’82※ George A. Keig ScD ’66 Ashish S. Kelkar SM ’01 Joan E. Kertz SM ’01 Jack Keverian ’50, SM ’51, ScD ’54 Satbir S. Khanuja PhD ’96 Heinz Killias PhD ’64※ Yong-Kil Kim PhD ’88※ Christopher G. King ’82※ James D. Klein ScD ’84 Gerald A. Knorovsky ScD ’77※ David B. Knorr SM ’77, ScD ’81※ Iwao Kohatsu PhD ’71※ Joseph P. Krajc ’69 Laura Lynn Beecroft Kramer ’91※ Steve A. Kramer PhD ’94 George Krauss SM ’58, ScD ’61※ Richard C. Krutenat PhD ’65 David M. Kundrat ScD ’80 Charles R. Kurkjian ScD ’55 Melody M.H. Kuroda ’98, SM ’01 Raymond K. F. Lam ScD ’88※ Thomas Andrew Langdo PhD ’01 Harold R. Larson ScD ’67※ Felix Lau SM ’01※ David E. Laughlin PhD ’73 Michael R. Lebo PhD ’71 Arthur K. Lee SM ’80, PhD ’84 Doris L. Lee ’94 Lidia H. Lee PhD ’84※ Minjoo Lawrence Lee PhD ’03 Jennifer A. Lewis ScD ’91 Kathy Hsinjung Li ’05, MNG ’06※ Qiong Li SM ’88※ Yawen Li PhD ’05 Matthew R. Libera SM ’83, ScD ’87 Jenny A. Lichter ’04, PhD ’09※ Lightspeed Venture Partners Pimpa Limthongkul PhD ’02 Ching-Te Lin SM ’96, PhD ’98※ Der-Gao Lin PhD ’87 Minfa Lin ScD ’90※ Pinyen Lin PhD ’90※ Roger J. Lin MNG ’03 Ulf H. Lindborg ScD ’65※ Scott Joseph Litzelman PhD ’09 Herbert W. Lloyd SM ’52※ Isabel K. Lloyd PhD ’80※ Mary L. Lubin ※ Michael D. Lubin ’52, PhD ’67※ Charles E. Lyman PhD ’74※ John P. Lynch, Jr. ’52※ Elizabeth Spurr Lyons PhD ’07 Bruce A. MacDonald SM ’61, PhD ’64※ Anne Hynes Maginn SM ’79 Christopher P. Manning ’97


MIT and DMSE thank our generous donors for their support of Course III during the fiscal year ending in June 2012. Gifts can be made by visiting



Louis J. Martel ’56 Thomas O. Mason PhD ’77※ Lawrence J. Masur SM ’82, PhD ’88※ Pracheeshwar S. Mathur SM ’68, ScD ’72 Douglas M. Matson PhD ’96 Satoru Matsuo PhD ’93※ John E. Matz SM ’93, ScD ’99 Blythe E. McCarthy ’87, SM ’88 Robert L. McCormick SM ’82, PhD ’85※ May Chin McGrew ※ Michael E. McHenry PhD ’88 Joanna M. McKittrick PhD ’88 Michael McNallan ’70, SM ’74, PhD ’77※ Stephen A. Metz ’67, PhD ’70※ Arthur B. Michael ScD ’52※ Reid A. Mickelsen ScD ’63※ Gary A. Miller ’60, SM ’61, ScD ’65※ Sanjiv Mittal ScD ’83 Thomas P. Moffat ScD ’89※ William G. Morris SM ’63, ScD ’65※ Samuel K. Nash SM ’48, ScD ’51※ David L. Ngau ’97※ Trinh Tran Nguyen PhD ’06※ Carlos A. Nocetti MTE ’74, SM ’74※ Henry J. Nusbaum PhD ’77※ Solar C. Olugebefola ’99, PhD ’07 J.I. Orbegozo SM ’65※ Albert E. Paladino, Jr. ScD ’62※ Tae-Soon Park PhD ’02 Woonsup Park PhD ’88※ Neil E. Paton PhD ’69 Jeffrey C. Payne SM ’06 George W. Pearsall ScD ’61 Richard W. Pekala SM ’83, ScD ’84 Regis M. N. Pelloux SM ’56, ScD ’58※ Albert F. Peterson SM ’57 Bradley William Peterson PhD ’06 Alfonso Pinella SM ’66※ Richard F. Polich SM ’65 Alan W. Postlethwaite SM ’49※ Roger Wayne Powell PhD ’74 Paul K. Predecki SM ’61, PhD ’64 William R. Prindle ScD ’55※ Svante Prochazka SM ’68※ Daniel T. Quillin ’89※ David V. Ragone ’51, SM ’52, ScD ’53※ Joe Raguso SM ’91※ Krishna Rajan ScD ’78 Richard A. Rawe SM ’58※

Ranjan Ray ScD ’69※ David J. Reed ScD ’77 Christine M. Reif ’84※ Maureen T.F. Reitman ’90, ScD ’93※ William H. Rhodes ScD ’65※ Albert D. Richards SM ’83, ScD ’86, SM ’86 Roxanne Richards S CH ’86 Tilghman Lee Rittenhouse SM ’99 Martin D. Robbins SM ’56※ McDonald Robinson ScD ’67※ StJulien P. Rosemond ’09 Alan R. Rosenfield ’53, SM ’55, ScD ’59※ Katherine C. Ruhl S. ML ’67 Robert C. Ruhl PhD ’67※ Scott Ivan Rushfeldt MNG ’05 Anil K. Sachdev ScD ’77※ Sajan Saini PhD ’04 Saint-Gobain Ceramics & Plastics※ Mark Sakai SM ’05 Srikanth B. Samavedam PhD ’98※ K.K. Sankaran PhD ’78※ Catherine Marie Bambenek Santini PhD ’02 Tiffany Suzanne Santos ’02, PhD ’07 Elliot M. Schwartz ’89, PhD ’95 George K. Schwenke SM ’96※ Edward O. Shaffer PhD ’95 Ronald S. Shemenski PhD ’69 Andrew M. Sherman ’67, PhD ’72※ Hua C. Shi Akihiko Shibutani SM ’77 Bruce M. Shields SM ’52※ Marian Bamford Smith NON ’59※ Philip P. Soo PhD ’00 Carl D. Sorensen PhD ’85※ Daniel Knight Sparacin PhD ’06 David B. Spencer ScD ’71※ Barbara H. Spreng S ’65 EE Douglas C. Spreng ’65※ Edward S. Sproles, Jr. ScD ’76※ Edward T. Stephenson, Jr. SM ’56※ Alan W. Swanson PhD ’72※ Douglas J. Swenson ’87 Joy Szekely※ Rajappa Tadepalli SM ’02, PhD ’07 Andrew R. Takahashi ’99, SM ’07 Yin S. Tang Peter Tarassoff ScD ’62※ Alexander Ryan Taussig SM ’07

L O R D F O U N D A T I O N Professor Silvija Gradečak, the current Thomas Lord Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, joined our faculty in 2006 and was promoted to Associate Professor this past summer. Her research focuses on nano-photonics and electronics and is based on the synthesis, characterization Silvija Gradečak and integration of low-dimensional systems. By taking advantage of unique material properties on a nanoscale, she explores novel optoelectronic applications such as nanoscale light-emitting sources, single photon sources, or nanowire lasers. The Lord Foundation of Massachusetts has long been a good friend to MIT and to DMSE. They support one senior and one junior faculty position and recently helped renovate and equip the Laboratory for Engineering Materials. We are grateful for their past support and look forward to a continued relationship. John A. Timoshenko ’64 Bethany M. Tomerlin ’12 Ellen S. Tormey PhD ’82※ Paul L. Tremblay SM ’83 Surekha Trivedi ’96, SM ’99※ Philip A. Trussell ’56※ Sha-Li Tsai S. ML ’96※ Chi-Yuan A. Tsao PhD ’90※ John C. Turn, Jr. PhD ’79※ Douglas John Twisselmann PhD ’01 Ibrahim Ucok ScD ’91 Johannes M. Uys ScD ’59※ Leo F.P. Van Swam SM ’70, ScD ’73 Pamela Bowren Vandiver SM ’83, PhD ’85 Thomas Vasilos ScD ’54 Robert H. Walat ’93 David M. Walter ’84※ Lorraine C. Wang ’97※ Michael J. Wargo ’73, ScD ’82※ John S. Waugh ScD ’60※ Leslie S. Weinman PhD ’71※ Janine J. Weins PhD ’70 David O. Welch SM ’62※ Eric Werwa PhD ’97※ Bruce W. Wessels PhD ’73※ Jack H. Westbrook ScD ’49

Thomas R. White ’69※ Peter S. Whitney PhD ’86 Mark A. Wolf ’86, SM ’87 Brian S. Wolkenberg SM ’00※ John E. Woodilla, Jr. ’58, PhD ’67※ Jeryl K. Wright ScD ’73※ Eric John Wu PhD ’02 Jirong Xiao ScD ’90 Thomas A. Yager PhD ’80※ Juichiro Yamaguchi SM ’86※ Man F. Yan ’70, ScD ’76※ Tri-Rung Yew SM ’87, PhD ’90※ Euijoon Yoon PhD ’90※ James Andrew Yurko PhD ’01 Nicole S. Zacharia ’01, PhD ’07 Juris Zagarins MTE ’83※ Lirong Zeng PhD ’08 Song Zhao PhD ’97 Weixian Zhong MNG ’10 Denys Zhuo ’11 Michael C. Zody ’90, SM ’94※ Emmanuel N. Zulueta SM ’80※ ※ 1861 Circle. † Deceased this






In 2011, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding charter, MIT held lectures, symposia, a campuswide open house, exhibitions, and other festivities. However, there are many significant dates in MIT’s history, and DMSE plans to mark some of the approaching anniversaries related to the teaching of metallurgy and materials science at MIT. MIT first held classes in 1865, and mining and its related discipline of metallurgy were some of the first areas of study at MIT; in fact, six of the fourteen graduating students in 1868 received degrees from what is now Course III. In 1888, MIT’s faculty undertook an extensive revision of the Mining Engineering curriculum, and the department was renamed Mining Engineering and Metallurgy, with Professor Robert H. Richards as its Head. In 1916, MIT moved from Boston to Cambridge, into the buildings now known as the Main Group, and the Department first set up labs and offices in Building 8.

2013 will be the 125th anniversary of the curriculum revision that resulted in the formation of the Department of Mining Engineering and Metallurgy. Many consider this to be the “official” start of DMSE even though the roots of the field were present at the institute from MIT’s founding. 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the first classes held at MIT. MIT is planning to mark the centennial of the Main Group Buildings in 2016. As highly visible occupants of the Infinite Corridor, DMSE will have a prominent place in the festivities. To celebrate the history and stories of our Department, we plan to reissue the history written in 1988 by Professor Michael Bever, with additional sections to bring it up to the present. We are asking the help of our alumni, emeriti, and friends so that this history will reflect Course III’s rich history of innovation and excellence as well as the personal stories of those who make up our community. To participate, please visit a wiki at or send an email to

Structure Winter 2013  

Newsletter for DMSE alumni and friends

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