The MIT Material Sciences Laboratory (MSL) works with corporate, government, academic, and industrial consortia to improve manufacturing processes. MSL develops tools during the early stage of product design to collect early indications of competitiveness and identifies areas in need of additional research and development. MSL develops quantitative tools to calculate direct manufacturing costs, total lifecycle costs, and sustainability factors. MSL helps determine the best potential materials to use in any given project before large investments are made in product design and manufacture.

MSL methodologies include:

  • Technical Cost Modeling
  • Life Cycle Cost and Emissions Tracking
  • Decision Analysis Techniques
  • Systems Dynamics Modeling
  • Systems Cost Modeling

MSL researchers seek to understand and assess different candidate materials, process technologies, and the economic and non-economic consequences of each alternative. In the automotive industry MSL has examined structural materials, assembly issues, and electronics and powertrain issues. Additional projects include contributions to the electronics and photonics industries, including electronics recycling and opto-electronic devices. 


Joel Clark
Faculty Director, Materials Systems Laboratory 

Richard Roth
Director, Materials Systems Laboratory 

Frank Field, III
Research Director, Engineering Systems
Director of Education, Technology and Policy Program