Industry News

MIT School of Engineering

  • MIT team places second in 2019 NASA BIG Idea Challenge
    An MIT student team took second place for its design of a multilevel greenhouse to be used on Mars in NASA’s 2019 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge last month.  Each year, NASA holds the BIG Idea competition in its search for innovative and futuristic ideas. This year’s challenge invited universities across the United States to submit designs for a sustainable, cost-effective, and efficient method of supplying food to astronauts during future crewed explorations of Mars. Dartmouth College was awarded first place in this year’s closely contested challenge. “This was definitely a full-team success,” says team leader Eric Hinterman, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro). The team had contributions from 10 undergraduates and graduate students from across MIT departments. ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-20
  • Amnahir Peña-Alcántara named 2019 Knight-Hennessy Scholar
    MIT senior Amnahir Peña-Alcántara, from the Bronx, New York, has been selected as one of this year’s 69 Knight-Hennessy Scholars. After graduating in June with a bachelor of science in materials science and engineering, Peña-Alcántara will begin PhD studies this fall at Stanford University School of Engineering. She aspires to create affordable, wearable-technology clothing that offers sustainable solutions to environmental and public health issues. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, now in its second year, funds the full cost of graduate education at Stanford University and aims to develop future interdisciplinary global leaders committed to tackling the world’s most complex challenges. For its 2019 cohort, the program received over 4,400 applications from students around the world. Scholars are selected based on their academic excellence, independence of thought, ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-20
  • MIT and U.S. Air Force sign agreement to launch AI Accelerator
    MIT and the U.S. Air Force have signed an agreement to launch a new program designed to make fundamental advances in artificial intelligence that could improve Air Force operations while also addressing broader societal needs. The effort, known as the MIT-Air Force AI Accelerator, will leverage the expertise and resources of MIT and the Air Force to conduct fundamental research directed at enabling rapid prototyping, scaling, and application of AI algorithms and systems. The Air Force plans to invest approximately $15 million per year as it builds upon its five-decade relationship with MIT. The collaboration is expected to support at least 10 MIT research projects addressing challenges that are important to both the Air Force and society more broadly, such as disaster response and medical ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-20
  • Merging machine learning and the life sciences
    Anna Sappington’s first moments of fame came when she was a young girl, living in a home so full of pets she calls it a zoo. She grew up on the Chesapeake Bay, surrounded by a lush environment teeming with wildlife, and her father was an environmental scientist. One day, when she found a frog in a skip laurel bush, she named him Skippy and built him a habitat. Later on, she and Skippy appeared on the Animal Planet TV special “What’s to Love About Weird Pets?” Now a senior majoring in computer science and molecular biology, Sappington has been chosen for another prestigious honor: She’s one of five MIT students selected this year to be Marshall Scholars. She chose to study computer science because ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-19
  • Steering fusion’s “D-turn”
    Trying to duplicate the power of the sun for energy production on earth has challenged fusion researchers for decades. One path to endless carbon-free energy has focused on heating and confining plasma fuel in tokamaks, which use magnetic fields to keep the turbulent plasma circulating within a doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber and away from the walls. Fusion researchers have favored contouring these tokamak plasmas into a triangular or D shape, with the curvature of the D stretching away from the center of the doughnut, which allows plasma to withstand the intense pressures inside the device better than a circular shape. Led by research scientists Alessandro Marinoni of MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC) and Max Austin, of the University of Texas at Austin, researchers at the DIII-D ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-17
  • Manipulating atoms one at a time with an electron beam
    The ultimate degree of control for engineering would be the ability to create and manipulate materials at the most basic level, fabricating devices atom by atom with precise control. Now, scientists at MIT, the University of Vienna, and several other institutions have taken a step in that direction, developing a method that can reposition atoms with a highly focused electron beam and control their exact location and bonding orientation. The finding could ultimately lead to new ways of making quantum computing devices or sensors, and usher in a new age of “atomic engineering,” they say. The advance is described today in the journal Science Advances, in a paper by MIT professor of nuclear science and engineering Ju Li, graduate student Cong Su, Professor Toma Susi ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-17
  • Solution for remotely monitoring oil wells wins MIT $100K
    The winner of Wednesday’s MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition was a startup helping oil well owners remotely monitor and control the pumping of their wells, increasing production while reducing equipment failures and cutting methane emissions. Acoustic Wells, a team including two MIT postdocs, was awarded the grand prize after eight finalist teams pitched their projects to judges and hundreds of attendees at Kresge Auditorium. T-var EdTech, a company developing phonics-based devices that help children learn to read, earned the $10,000 audience choice prize. The MIT $100K, MIT’s largest entrepreneurship competition, celebrated its 30th anniversary this year and featured talks from $100K co-founder Peter Mui ’82 and MassChallenge founder John Harthorne MBA ’07, who won the $100K grand prize in 2007. Mui reflected on how much the ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-17
  • Eleven MIT students accept 2019 Fulbright Fellowships
    Eleven MIT graduating seniors and current graduate students have been named winners in the 2019-2020 Fulbright U.S. Student Fellowship Program. In addition to the 11 students accepting their awards, three applicants from MIT were selected as finalists but decided to decline their grants. MIT’s newest Fulbright Students will engage in independent research and English teaching assignments in Brazil, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, Taiwan, and Senegal. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the mission of Fulbright is to promote cultural exchange, increase mutual understanding, and build lasting relationships among people of the world. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers grants in over 140 countries. The MIT students were supported in the application process by the Presidential Committee on Distinguished ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-16
  • Virtual reality game simulates experiences with race
    Video games that use virtual reality to create immersive experiences have become increasingly popular for entertainment and for research. However, the representation of race in these simulations is often shallow — and fails to go beyond physical appearance attributes like skin color.  For a more lived, embodied experience in the virtual world, MIT researchers have developed a new computational model that captures how individuals might have been taught to think about race in their upbringing. The new model of racial and ethnic socialization, presented at the AAAI 2019 Spring Symposium, has the potential to not only enhance video game simulations, but also to facilitate training for teachers and students who might encounter racial issues in the classroom. “As video game developers, we have the ability ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-16
  • A new era in 3-D printing
    In the mid-15th century, a new technology that would change the course of history was invented. Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, with its movable type, promoted the dissemination of information and ideas that is widely recognized as a major contributing factor for the Renaissance. Over 500 years later, a new type of printing was invented in the labs of MIT. Emanuel Sachs, professor of mechanical engineering, invented a process known as binder jet printing. In binder jet printing, an inkjet printhead selectively drops a liquid binder material into a powder bed — creating a three-dimensional object layer by layer. Sachs coined a new name for this process: 3-D printing. “My father was a publisher and my mother was an editor,” explains Sachs. “Growing up, my father ... read more
    Source: MIT News – School of EngineeringPublished on 2019-05-16

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