Newsletter, December, 2012


    MIT Materials News that Matters

    December 2012
    MIT DomeThe staff of the MPC would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season! Thank you for all the support you've given the Materials Processing Center this past year!


    MIT, Materials Processing Center


    Faculty Highlight

    Retooling for Innovation
    Gene Fitzgerald


    The breakdown of the information age innovation pipeline that fueled American economic growth after World War II demands a retooling of relationships between business, government and academia to achieve new fundamental innovations, contends Eugene A. Fitzgerald, the Merton C. Flemings-SMA Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. He is co-author of "Inside Innovation - How the Right Approach Can Move Ideas from R&D to Market - and Get the Economy Moving." Read more



    Innovation Interface

    Learning to Ask the Right Question

    MIT graduate students Tim Milakovich, left, and Brian Pearson.

    MIT graduate students Tim Milakovich and Brian Pearson are completing a yearlong research project for a Fortune 500 networking and communications company through the "Innovation Interface", a joint MIT-Cornell project. Although the details of the project remain confidential, they are asking the right questions. "The innovation was quite broad, basically we were told to look at anything that could conceivably be possible to get a certain functionality, so it's not limited to the traditional conventional methods, said Tim Milakovich, a 25-year-old doctoral candidate in materials science.

    Read more


    Semester From Anywhere
    MIT Materials Science and Engineering


    Three materials science and engineering courses being offered remotely this spring for the MIT Materials Science and Engineering majors who are currently in their junior year. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to online learning at MIT, which is home to MIT OpenCourseWare, MITx, Edx and more than a decade of remote learning experience. Read more

    Making a Useful Device
    MIT Germanium Laser Work Continues

    Dr. Jurgen MichelJURGEN MICHEL

    After successfully demonstrating the first germanium (Ge) laser monolithically integrated on silicon substrates, principal investigator Dr. Jurgen Michel is working on more sophisticated device designs. Key goals are: improve Chemical Mechanical Polishing for planarization; increase phosphorus doping in germanium; and reduce threshold current needed to produce lasing. Michel also is working to improve the electrical contact to the germanium.

    Read more
    Harnessing Solar Energy
    Novel thermoelectric approach yields results
    Nenad Miljkovic (left) and Evelyn Wang of Mechanical Engineering
    Nenad Miljkovic and Evelyn Wang of Mechanical Engineering.
    Photo: Dominick Reuter

    MIT researchers have designed an efficient, potentially low-cost system that will use the sun's energy to produce electricity and hot water or steam simultaneously. Their design is based on a conventional solar thermal system but incorporates special features that make it more efficient and flexible. For example, it uses evaporation, condensation, and gravity to move the captured heat to the point of consumption - no need for an energy-consuming pump. It generates electricity using a solid-state technology that converts the captured solar energy directly to electricity with no moving parts. And depending on the materials used, the heat output can range from low-temperature water for household use to high-temperature process heat for industrial applications such as aluminum smelting. The researchers are now building a prototype of their system.

    Read more from the MIT News Office.

    In This Issue
    Professor Gene Fitzgerald
    Innovation Interface
    Semester from Anywhere
    Germanium Laser
    Harnessing Solar Energy
    Quick Links

    Summmer Scholars
    Deadline Approaching


    Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Summer Scholars Program. The program has brought hundreds of the best science and engineering undergraduates from across the country, to conduct graduate-level materials research.

    The deadline is

    February13, 2013

    Summer Scholar Ethan Cotrill, an Ohio University chemistry major, worked under Professor Michael Cima on Development of Siloxane-based O2 Sensitive Materials at MIT.

    Yildiz Wins Award

    Yildiz awardMIT Professor Bilge Yildiz, left, was presented the Charles W. Tobias Young Investigator Award at the Electrochemical Society meeting this fall in Hawaii. Established in 2003 by the Electrochemical Society (ECS), the biennial Tobias Award recognizes outstanding scientific or engineering work in fundamental or applied electrochemistry or solid-state science and technology by a young scientist or engineer. Yildiz is Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT and Principal Investigator for the Laboratory for Electrochemical Interfaces at MIT.


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    About MPC

    The goals of the Materials Processing Center are to unite the materials research community at MIT and to enhance Institute-industry interactions. Collaboration on research ventures, technology transfer, continuing education of industry personnel, and communication among industrial and governmental entities are our priorities. The MPC Industry Collegium is a major vehicle for this collaboration. The MPC sponsors seminars and workshops, as well as a summer internship for talented undergraduates from universities across the U.S. We encourage interdisciplinary research collaborations and provide funds management assistance to faculty.


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