November/December 2022

Dear members of the MIT community and friends,

As I write to you, I can’t help but remark on the speed with which another semester has come and gone. Reflecting on all that we’ve accomplished this past year, I feel incredibly lucky to be part of such a dedicated and passionate community of students, staff, faculty, and alumni. Our work as engineers is always undertaken with an eye toward the horizon, energized by our collective mission to help create a better world.

With 2023 almost upon us, it’s exciting to consider how the work done at MIT this year will shape the future. Our researchers have conducted groundbreaking studies that offer solutions on issues ranging from clean energy to mitigating the spread of diseases. Many of these breakthroughs have the potential to improve the health of the planet, and people, for generations to come.

The impact our community has on the future can also be seen in our classrooms and labs. Faculty and teaching staff continue to find new and innovative approaches to teaching students fundamental engineering concepts. Alumni often take time out of their busy schedules to speak with graduating seniors about their career paths. Administrative staff support students in countless ways as they work towards completing their degrees. These individual efforts may seem small, but they enable us to educate the next generation of engineering leaders, who will someday develop transformative solutions, systems, and products.

With this eye toward the future, I’ve curated a selection of articles that give me hope for all that will come in the next year and beyond. In this issue of The Infinite, you’ll learn about the education of future naval leaders as well as our new program that provides opportunities for postdocs to gain professional skills in entrepreneurship, engineering leadership, and academia. You’ll also be introduced to a group of alumni taking their passion for research to the next level, meet a professor working to make nuclear energy more affordable, and have the opportunity to catch up on some of the latest groundbreaking research from our amazing community.

Here’s to another year full of compelling discoveries and remarkable breakthroughs! Until then, I wish you and yours a most wonderful holiday season.


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Anantha P. Chandrakasan

Dean, MIT School of Engineering
Vannevar Bush Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

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School of Engineering unveils new postdoctoral fellowship program

The recently launched MIT Postdoctoral Fellowship Program for Engineering Excellence supports postdoctoral scholars from underrepresented backgrounds in engineering fields.

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Educating future naval leaders

In mechanical engineering class 2.702, naval officers and other graduate students get hands-on experience in project management skills that will be central to their future careers.

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From LGO to PhD

For some MIT Leaders for Global Operations graduates, including Audrey Bazerghi SM ’20 MBA ’20, Deishin Lee ’90 SM ’92, and Jimmy Smith SM ’18 MBA ’18, a research passion becomes a full-time career.

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Keeping indoor humidity levels at a “sweet spot” may reduce spread of Covid-19

A new study led by Associate Professor Lydia Bourouiba links very dry and very humid indoor environments with worse Covid-19 outcomes.

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Looking beyond “technology for technology’s sake”

Whether building robots or helping to lead the National Society of Black Engineers, aerospace engineering major and NEET student Austen Roberson is thinking about the social implications of his field.

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Reversing the charge

A new study from a team at MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering and the MIT Energy Initiative shows how battery power from electric vehicles to the grid could open a fast lane to a net-zero future.

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Pursuing a practical approach to research

Professor Koroush Shirvan of MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering pursues avenues to lower the costs of nuclear energy.

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Molecules found in mucus could prevent cholera infection

MIT researchers led by Professor Katharina Ribbeck of MIT’s Department of Biological Engineering have identified protective molecules that may offer a new way to treat cholera, which spreads through contaminated water.