Bradley D. Olsen

Research Interests

block copolymers, soft condensed matter physics, protein-based materials, bioelectronics


Ph.D., University of California Berkeley, 2007

S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003


Honors and Awards

American Physical Society (APS) Fellow, 2023

Fulbright Amazonia Scholar, 2023

Alexander and I. Michael (1960) Kasser Chair in Chemical Engineering, 2021

ACS Macro Letters/Biomacromolecules/Macromolecules Young Investigator Award, 2021

MIT OGE’s Committed to Caring Honor, 2019

AIChE Owens Corning Early Career Award, 2019

American Physical Society, Dillon Medal, 2018

Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry, 2017

ACS Polymer Division Fellow, 2016

AIChE – Allan P. Colburn Award, 2015

DuPont Young Professor Award, 2015

Camille Dreyfus-Teacher Scholar, 2015

ACS Herman F. Mark Young Scholar, 2015

Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Chemistry, 2014

NSF Career Grant, 2013

AFOSR award, 2012

NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 2008-2009

Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, 2008-2009

Hertz Fellow, 2003-2007

Tau Beta Pi Fellow, 2003-2004

Sigma Xi, 2003

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, 2002

Akshar Wunnava, ’14, ’15

Why did you decide on Course X for your undergrad?

The three big reasons that led me to choose Course X were research, skill set, and the department itself.

After conducting research on climate modeling in high school, I came to MIT with the intent of focusing on energy studies. I found that Course X had several professors conducting research relevant to a wide array of energy applications (virus batteries/solar cells, energy storage, carbon capture and sequestration, enhanced oil/gas recovery, etc.). So no matter which sector of energy I wished to focus on down the road, I knew chemical engineering would not only be applicable, but also highly useful.

In my first year, I participated in a UROP in the Strano Lab on thermopower waves. This experience exposed me to how chemical engineering concepts can be applied to study a system. In particular, I felt that chemical engineering provides the technical know-how to focus on solving problems at the molecular scale, while maintaining an overall systems-level view of how all the pieces fit together in a process. This is an approach that is very useful not just in chemical engineering, but in any industry or field.

Through my UROP, I also found out about Monday-afternoon research seminars where I learned more about research in chemical engineering, and also got a better feel for how the department is structured. The size of the ChemE Department was just right for me – not so big that it’s easy to get lost or hard to develop a rapport with professors, but at the same time, not so small that you feel limited in the opportunities the department has to offer. Since each undergrad class (~50-70 students) takes all the core classes together, I felt that the structure would really allow me to develop a core group of peers and lifelong friends.

…and I never once regretted my decision!

What attracted you to 10-ENG?

My main goal when I came to MIT was to learn as much as I could about energy, which I knew would require an interdisciplinary approach. I learned about energy economics and policy through majoring in Course XIV (Economics) and minoring in Public Policy. When it came to developing a technical skill-set, I knew that I liked the way chemical engineers think about problems. However, I would be lying if I said only chemical engineers had a unique perspective. Since solving the energy crisis of our day is going to require diversity of thought, I wanted to interact with and learn from my peers in different departments as well. When I learned about 10-ENG, I thought it presented an interesting opportunity to take classes in other departments and learn about how our friends in MechE, MatSci, or Physics (and others) solve problems and think about energy. I jumped at the opportunity and was the first student to sign up for 10-ENG. Of course, I concentrated in Energy Studies, which had the added benefit of being advised by Prof. Robert Armstrong, the Director of the MIT Energy Initiative.

For anyone interested in Energy Studies, I highly recommend looking into the Energy Minor as well (

How was your experience in designing your own program?

I am extremely satisfied with the 10-ENG program I designed for myself, with help from my advisor. Since I was a part of the inaugural class of 10-ENG, the department was also figuring out how the program should be structured. The electives offered within each concentration were quite varied and numerous. For example, within the Energy concentration, I took classes from global change science to electrochemical energy storage to the Physics of Energy (I highly recommend this one!). Since there were so many courses that I was interested in, it was not difficult to schedule in enough classes to fulfill the requirements without conflicts. The only difficult part was choosing only 6-7 classes out of all the options. The advising for 10-ENG is very good, because the areas of expertise of all the advisors are closely aligned with the interests of the students. I was able to talk to Prof. Armstrong very openly not only about which classes I wanted to take, but also about my research and career ambitions.

What are you doing now? Did 10-ENG help you with your career or personal growth?

10-ENG helped me expand my network of peers who were interested in energy beyond just Course X. Through these friendships, I became quite involved with the MIT Energy Club and eventually served as one of its Co-Presidents. Through these experiences and from mentorship from Prof. Armstrong, I also worked on two start-ups during my time at MIT. The first aimed to develop bacterial batteries for off-grid lighting applications in Indian villages, which involved working closely with biological engineers. The second was developing bicycle-powered battery chargers for use in LED lanterns in off-grid Indian villages, which involved working with mechanical and electrical engineers.

After finishing my undergrad in 2014, I stayed an additional year for the Masters in Chemical Engineering Practice (mainly because I just wan not’t ready to leave MIT or Course X!). This was a phenomenal program and the industrial component in the end really showed me how valuable it was to have diversity of thought. In the real world, you are no longer working with only chemical engineers. So, it is advantageous to be able to communicate effectively with engineers from different disciplines, for which I think 10-ENG prepares you well.

After my time at MIT, I wanted to combine all of the skills I had learned from engineering to economics and policy, but still wanted to explore the energy industry as a whole. So, I decided to start my career in consulting at McKinsey & Company, in their Houston office.

Do you think 10-ENG would be beneficial for MIT and Course X undergrads?

I think 10-ENG and flexible degree programs in general add a lot to MIT and offer a lot of benefits for undergrads. First, it allows for cross-pollination of knowledge across the engineering disciplines. Meeting other students across the Institute is possibly one of the best learning experiences at MIT. Second, if you know you are interested in a particular field, like energy, environmental science, biomedical sciences, or materials science, then 10-ENG would allow you to develop expertise in that area, more so than would the regular degree program. Especially with the accreditation of 10-ENG, there really is no downside to 10-ENG if you are passionate about your concentration.

Do you have any other thoughts about your personal 10-ENG path or the program in general?

One of the most common questions people ask about 10-ENG is the designation of the degree. The regular Course X SB degree reads “Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering”, while the 10-ENG degree reads “Bachelor of Science in Engineering as recommended by the Department of Chemical Engineering”. I’ll be honest – this was one of my major concerns when I was considering the program. However, after talking to numerous professors and employers themselves, I can safely say that no one really bothers with the name of the degree. They care about what classes you take and what you learn. For example, if you are a 10-ENG student concentrating in Energy Studies, then your academic course work is more suited to the needs of an employer in the energy industry. So, it really is an advantage when it comes to finding jobs within your concentration.

The second thing I hear about 10-ENG is that it is a way to get out of taking some of the Course X requirements. If this is the case, one should think hard about why he/she is Course X in the first place. 10-ENG is right for only those students who are passionate about their concentration and are fairly certain that they want to pursue either work or further studies in that concentration. In this situation, 10-ENG can be an extremely rewarding and enriching experience. Choosing 10-ENG was by far one of the most impactful academic decisions I have made and I am quite thankful the program was created.

Bobby Satcher, ’86, ’93

Operating in orbit
Bobby Satcher recounts his experience as the first orthopedic surgeon in space.
Read more
MIT News: June 3, 2010

Astronaut and orthopedic surgeon Bobby Satcher tweets his NASA mission
The shuttle Atlantis brought seven astronauts including Robert Satcher ’86, PhD ’93, an orthopedic surgeon who tweeted through space, back to Earth on Nov. 27, after a 11-day NASA mission to stock the International Space Station.
Read more
MIT News: November 30, 2009

Kenneth A. Smith

Research Interests

fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer


Sc.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1962

S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1959

S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1958


Honors and Awards

National Academy of Engineering, 1983

Professional Progress Award, AIChE, 1981

Clark K. Colton

Research Interests

biomedical engineering, biochemical engineering, mass transfer


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1969

B.ChE., Cornell University, 1964


Honors and Awards

Gambro AB Award, International Society of Blood Purification, 1986

Curtis W. McGraw Research Award, American Society for Engineering Education, 1980

Allan P. Colburn Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1977

Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award, 1972

Charles L. Cooney

Research Interests

biochemical engineering


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970

S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1967

B.S., University of Pennsylvania, 1966


Honors and Awards

Honoris Causa by Ramon Llull University in Barcelona, 2012

Dieter & Inga Koehn Lecture, 2010

Fellow of the American Chemical Society, 2009

Founding Fellow, American Institute for Medical & Biological Engineering, 1992

Institute of Biotechnological Studies, 1989 Gold Medal

James Van Lannen Award for Distinguished Service to the Division of Microbial & Biochemical Technology of the American Chemical Society, 1985

Food, Pharmaceutical & Bioengineering Division Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, 1983.

Becten-Dickenson Award lecturer, American Society for Microbiology, 1977

Listed in Who’s Who in Frontiers of Science & Technology

Listed in American Men of Science

Sigma Xi

Robert S. Langer

Research Interests

drug delivery, biomaterials, tissue engineering, biotechnology, immobilized enzymes, biomedical engineering


Sc.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1974

B.S., Cornell University, 1970


Honors and Awards

Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research, 2023

Balzan Prize, 2022

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biology and Biomedicine, 2022

Maurice-Marie Janot Award, 2020

Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences, 2019

Number 1, Master of the Bench, Medicine Maker “Power List”, 2018

Kabiller Prize in Nanoscience and Nanomedicine, 2017

Number 1, Master of the Bench, Medicine Maker “Power List”, 2017

Honorary Doctor of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 2016

World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds list, Thomson Reuters, 2016

Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, 2015

Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year, 2015

Kyoto Prize, 2014

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, 2013

Israel’s Wolf Prize in Chemistry, 2013

National Medal of Technology and Innovation, 2013

Elected to National Academy of Inventors, 2012

Wilhelm Exner Medal, 2012

Perkin Medal, 2012

Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, 2011

American Chemical Society Fellows, 2011

Millennium Technology Prize, 2008

Max Planck Research Award, 2008

Prince of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research, 2008

AIChE Founders Award, 2008

Chemistry of Materials Award (American Chemical Society), 2007

Herman F. Mark Award (ACS), 2007

United States National Medal of Science, 2006

National Inventors Hall of Fame, 2006

Dan David Prize in Materials Science, 2005

Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomed Research, 2005

General Motors Kettering Prize for Cancer Research, 2004

Heinz Award for Technology, Economy and Employment, 2003

Harvey Prize in Science and Technology and Human Health, 2003

John Fritz Award, 2003

Charles Stark Draper Prize, 2002

Dickson Prize for Science, 2002

Lemelson-MIT Prize for Invention and Innovation, 1998

Gairdner Foundation International Award, 1996

William Walker Award (AIChE), 1996

Elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 1992

Elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 1992

Stine Award in Materials Science and Engineering (AIChE), 1991

Professional Progress Award (AIChE), 1990

Elected to the Inst. of Medicine of the NAS, 1989

Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Award (AIChE), 1986