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Researchers decode molecule that gives living tissues their flexibility October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

The stretchiness that allows living tissues to expand, contract, stretch, and bend throughout a lifetime is the result of a protein molecule called tropoelastin. Remarkably, this molecule can be stretched to eight times its length and always returns back to its original size.

Now, for the first time, researchers have decoded the molecular structure of this complex molecule, as well as the details of what can go wrong with its structure in various genetically driven diseases.

Oral Buyukozturk receives George W. Housner Medal for Structural Control and Monitoring October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

For his fundamental contributions and innovations in infrastructure mechanics and sustainability, MIT Professor Oral Buyukozturk of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) was named the recipient of the 2018 George W. Housner Medal for Structural Control and Monitoring from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Magnetic 3-D-printed structures crawl, roll, jump, and play catch October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

MIT engineers have created soft, 3-D-printed structures whose movements can be controlled with a wave of a magnet, much like marionettes without the strings.

The menagerie of structures that can be magnetically manipulated includes a smooth ring that wrinkles up, a long tube that squeezes shut, a sheet that folds itself, and a spider-like “grabber” that can crawl, roll, jump, and snap together fast enough to catch a passing ball. It can even be directed to wrap itself around a small pill and carry it across a table.

QS ranks MIT the world’s No. 1 university for 2018-19 October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

For the seventh year in a row MIT has topped the QS World University Rankings, which were announced today.

A celebration of community and research accomplishments October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Before members of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Class of 2018 don their caps and gowns and process down Killian Court, the department came together to celebrate the graduates, the winners of departmental awards, and the conclusion of another academic year at the CEE Senior Celebration and Awards Banquet on May 17.

How many people can China feed? October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Tiziana Smith has had her mind on water for years. The San Antonio native learned about the importance of preserving the city’s water resources in grade school — and has used that knowledge as a springboard into her research at MIT.

Spotlight on engineering staff October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

The MIT School of Engineering hosted its 18th annual Infinite Mile Awards ceremony on May 24, to recognize and reward members of the school’s administrative, support, service, and sponsored research staff whose work is of the highest caliber. The awards support the Institute’s and the School of Engineering’s objectives for excellence.

J-WAFS awards over $1.3 million in fourth round of seed grant funding October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Today, the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) at MIT announced the award of over $1.3 million in research funding through its seed grant program, now in its fourth year. These grants, which are available to the MIT community, are the cornerstone of MIT’s Institute-wide effort to catalyze solutions-oriented research in water and food systems that target the safety and resilience of the world’s vital resources. 

A passion for service October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Tchelet Segev loves walking down the Infinite Corridor, the tenth of a mile stretch of hallway connecting MIT’s main campus buildings. It is a chance to see friends and professors, and it has the quintessential active and engaged MIT vibe that she will miss after graduating this spring.

New theory describes intricacies of a splashing droplet October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

As a single raindrop falls to the ground, it can splash back up in a crown-like sheet, spraying smaller droplets from its rim before sinking back to the surface — all in the blink of an eye.

Now researchers at MIT have found a way to track the thickness of a droplet’s rim as it splashes up from a variety of surfaces. This incredibly specific measurement, they say, is key to predicting the number, size, and speed of smaller droplets that can be ejected from the rim, into the air.

Showcasing the results of students' real-world research October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Dozens of MIT undergraduate and graduate students unveiled the results of extensive research projects during the high-energy SuperUROP Showcase and Masterworks poster sessions at MIT’s Stata Center in late April.

Solving global business problems with data analytics October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

David Simchi-Levi is a professor of engineering systems with appointments at the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at MIT. His research focuses on developing and implementing robust and efficient techniques for supply chains and revenue management.

Bright lights, global impact October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

The halls of Building 1 filled with the savory scent of movie theater popcorn as students eagerly entered the auditorium, some grabbing boxes of candy on the way to their seats.

It wasn’t a scene from the opening night of a blockbuster hit, but from the fifth annual Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Video Competition.

Networking to foster new ideas October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

From transportation systems and sustainable infrastructure to climate variability and atmospheric pollution, there was no lack of diversity in the research showcased at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Research Night, a fun and casual networking event for CEE community members on April 24.

Tata Center adds eight new projects to its 2018-2019 portfolio October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

The MIT Tata Center for Technology and Design recently announced eight new projects for the academic year 2018-2019 that will be supported through its annual seed fund. These projects were shortlisted after an exhaustive review and awarded on the basis of their potential impact on the developing world.

The center received close to 70 inspiring proposals that will put the MIT community’s wealth of knowledge and creativity to work for the world’s disadvantaged communities.

With The Herman Project, home bakers become citizen scientists October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Researchers from MIT are taking their microbial research out of the lab and into the kitchen.

Their new Herman Project modernizes a longstanding tradition, with a digital network that tracks the evolution of sourdough starters as they are shared by home bakers around the world. By crowdsourcing information from the project’s participants, the researchers, based in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), are investigating how the starters’ microbial communities change in different conditions and environments.

Professor Joseph Sussman, expert in complex engineering systems and revered mentor, dies at 79 October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Retired MIT Professor Joseph Sussman passed away on Tuesday, March 20, at the age of 79 following a long illness. An MIT alumnus and professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), Sussman is fondly remembered for his dedication to his students and to the MIT community.

School of Engineering first quarter 2018 awards October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

Members of the MIT engineering faculty receive many awards in recognition of their scholarship, service, and overall excellence. Every quarter, the School of Engineering publicly recognizes their achievements by highlighting the honors, prizes, and medals won by faculty working in our academic departments, labs, and centers.

The following awards were given from January through March, 2018. Submissions for future listings are welcome at any time.

With buildings and infrastructure, it pays to take a life-cycle perspective October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

In the face of limited funding to address massive infrastructure needs, and with climate action at top of mind, it is more important than ever for engineers, designers, and policy makers to understand the full economic and environmental costs of infrastructure project decisions — and not just impacts relating to material choice or from initial construction, but the impacts of choices across the entire life cycle of a project.

A machine-learning approach to inventory-constrained dynamic pricing October 29, 2018 - 2:50pm

In 1933, William R. Thompson published an article on a Bayesian model-based algorithm that would ultimately become known as Thompson sampling. This heuristic was largely ignored by the academic community until recently, when it became the subject of intense study, thanks in part to internet companies that successfully implemented it for online ad display.

Thompson sampling chooses actions for addressing the exploration-exploitation in the multiarmed bandit problem to maximize performance and continually learn, acquiring new information to improve future performance.