For Immediate Release

Introducing the Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) at MIT

Materials Processing Center, Center for Materials Science and Engineering, merger brings together formidable resources for advancing next-generation materials.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, OCTOBER 10, 2017 - The Materials Processing Center and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, which together serve more than 150 MIT engineering and science researchers, announce today October 10, 2017 their merger as the MIT Materials Research Laboratory.

The MIT Materials Research Laboratory [MRL] encompasses research on energy conversion and storage; quantum materials; spintronics; photonics; metals; integrated microsystems; materials sustainability; solid-state ionics; complex oxide electronic properties; biogels; and functional fibers. "These are all interdisciplinary topics in which materials play a critical role," says MIT MRL Director Carl V. Thompson, who is the Stavros Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. "The focus is on scientific discovery and how to design and make materials that lead to systems that have improved performance or that enable new approaches to existing problems."

The partnership joins the Materials Processing Center's wide diversity of materials research, funded by industry, foundations and government agencies, and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering's basic science, educational outreach and shared experimental facilities that are funded under the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center [NSF-MRSEC] program.

"The merger of these two successful centers will streamline the organization of materials research on campus in a manner that will enhance the ability for effective collaboration," notes Maria Zuber, Vice President for Research at MIT and the E. A. Griswold Professor of Geophysics. The new center will report to Zuber.

Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Geoffrey S.D. Beach has been appointed as co-director of the MIT MRL and principal investigator for the NSF-MRSEC, succeeding TDK Professor of Polymer Materials Science and Engineering Michael F. Rubner, who is retiring after 16 years as CMSE director.

The MIT MRL will work hand-in-hand with MIT.nano, the central research facility being built in the heart of the MIT campus due to open in June 2018. "We look forward to working with them not only as an important partner, but as a good next door neighbor," Thompson says. MRL headquarters will be on the 2nd floor of building 13 at MIT.