The Center for Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) at MIT is one of a nation-wide network of Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). We have been part of the MRSEC program since 1994.
In November 2014, CMSE was awarded a new grant from the NSF to continue as part of the MRSEC program. This grant will provide up to six years of funding for CMSE research and education programs as well as for shared experimental facilities operations.
CMSE has a special mission: to foster collaborative interdisciplinary research and education in the fundamental science of materials and in the engineering of materials for specific applications. CMSE not only promotes collaboration among MIT faculty trained in different disciplines, but also between MIT researchers and the researchers of other universities, industry, and government and nonprofit laboratories. Collaborative research is encouraged through several mechanisms: Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs), Initiative Projects, Shared Experimental Facilities (SEFs), and Outreach Programs.
The Center serves the broader MIT materials community, comprising approximately 160 faculty members from 13 different departments, labs, and centers, plus visiting scientists, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The Center is supported by an administrative staff that includes a director, assistant director, education officer, financial administrator, facilities and safety coordinator, and two administrative assistants.
CMSE enjoys a number of extremely effective and well-established mechanisms for knowledge and technology transfer to industry. The many excellent CMSE supported graduate students and post-docs who leave MIT to work in industry represent an important vehicle for knowledge transfer. By emphasizing team-based, interdisciplinary research within our IRG groups, students and post-docs are trained in a mode that is critically important to meeting the complex, fast-moving challenges of industry.
CMSE works in concert with a number of MIT industrial programs and centers to facilitate the transfer of the fundamental knowledge generated within the program to industry. MIT's Materials Processing Center (MPC) and Industrial Liaison Program (ILP), for example, work cooperatively to connect industry to the research carried out within our MRSEC program. Read more about Industrial Outreach activities in our current annual report.