Research in Computational Engineering at MIT

Computational engineering plays an increasingly important role in economic competitiveness, national security, environmental stewardship, and public safety. Indeed, computational engineering is central to all engineering endeavors — from the development of appropriate mathematical models to the prediction of mechanical, electrical, chemical, and biological phenomena to the design of complex natural and engineered systems. Computational engineering has now reached the stage in which further progress — to reach full potential as a pervasive enabling technology — requires the development of new interdisciplinary education and research models.

Our computational engineering focus is on building computational tools for engineering problems: the development of new computational tools that are more efficient, more robust, or more capable; and the informed application of existing computational tools — in concert with modeling, experimental, and “analytical” approaches — to address particular engineering problems and questions. Here computational tool is defined to connote both the underlying formulation of the numerical approach — described in mathematical terms — and a software embodiment of the numerical approach — code implemented in a specific programming language and perhaps for a particular architecture.

Our research projects are focused on several major methodology themes and several major applications themes. The methodology themes are M1 High Performance Computation and Computational Foundations; M2 Multiscale, Multiphysics, Multifidelity Simulations; M3 Computational Design, Optimization, and Control; M4 Integration of Data and Simulation, and M5 Computational Geometry and Scientific Visualization.

The applications themes are A1 Materials & Manufacturing; A2 Nano/Micro Systems; A3 Biological & Biomedical Processes/Systems; and A4 Infrastructure Systems & Services; A5 Energy; A6 Environment; and A7 Transportation.