School of Engineering Newsletter - Winter 2016

Winter 2016


When you make something, the lessons stick for life. Every day our students are applying the tools, technology, and rigorous engineering that create successful ideas, products, and innovations.



Dean Ian Waitz

As you read about all of our makers and their impact, please let us know how you are making the world a better and more interesting place.

MIT has more than 130,000 square feet of hand-on workshops and "maker spaces" across the campus (with even more to come). We design, prototype, and invent the future of technology one project at a time—have a look at what these students have done. Only at MIT do we need a “Czar" to oversee all of this activity.

At the School of Engineering, the things we build—from genetic circuits to electrically driven shockwaves for water desalination—cross disciplines and departments, and in some cases, fuse them together. Advances in 3D printing (3DP was invented here), nanofabrication, robotics, and other technologies have enabled such innovations, but it’s the people who are at the heart of this movement.

Ian A. Waitz
Dean of Engineering

Molecule makers

Introducing students to engineering design at the molecular level

Brad Olsen

The MIT economy

What is our entrepreneurial impact?

Killian Court

Power delivery

From nuclear science and engineering to the U.S. Navy

Covert communications

What are your apps hiding?

MIT researchers have shown that some phone apps engage in “covert communication.” “There might be a very good reason for this covert communication. We are not trying to say that it has to be eliminated. We’re just saying the user needs to be informed,” says Julia Rubin, a postdoc in MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Illustration: Jose-Luis Olivares/MIT

Open mind

Homeschooled with MIT online courses at 5, accepted to MIT at 15

“MIT has been my middle school, my high school, my entire education,” says freshman Ahaan Rungta. Photo: M. Scott Brauer

Band-Aid with superpowers

Can sense temperature, light up, and deliver medicine

A new stretchy hydrogel can be embedded with various electronics. Here, a sheet of hydrogel is bonded to a matrix of polymer islands (red) that can encapsulate electronic components such as semiconductor chips, LED lights, and temperature sensors.


MIT team invents efficient process for water desalination

X-ray vision

Not just for comic books anymore

Xray vision

Design biology

James Collins is creating genetic circuits with novel functions

James Collins Photo: Lillie Paquette/School of Engineering

Maker Network