Principal Investigator


Elsa Olivetti

Associate Dean, MIT School of Engineering; Jerry McAfee Professor in Engineering; Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Office: 8-403, email: elsao [at] mit [dot] edu

PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, 2007
BS, Engineering Science, University of Virginia, 2000

Professor Olivetti’s research focuses on improving the environmental and economic sustainability of materials in the context of rapid-expanding global demand. She has a particular passion for visiting manufacturing and recycling facilities as well as studying complex systems problems through a lens of materials science. If she can couple that with rock climbing and bike touring, all the better!

Statement on Inclusion

We renounce racism and discrimination in all forms. Elsa values individuals’ contributions to our community, as well as     our science and engineering. We are continuously learning how to best foster a culture where individuals hold themselves and each other accountable in thoughtful ways to treat others with respect and courtesy, irrespective of  such factors as race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, disability, age, or national origin. Elsa seeks to cultivate an  overall climate in which group members are welcome, respected, and are able to develop to their individual potential,  thereby creating a community that can do the same.


Research Staff

Kevin Huang

Research Scientist, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, 2015
MS, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2007
BS, Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, 2006

Office: 8-403; email: kjhuang [at] mit [dot] edu

Alongside others in the group, Kevin works toward the development of a machine learning platform to predict synthetic routes for new, desired materials. Additionally, Kevin investigates how such synthesis processes in the lab scale to industrial manufacturing capacities in order to identity processes and materials that may be commercially viable at wide deployment. Previously, Kevin studied the composition, structure, and performance of nanocrystal bulk heterojunction photovoltaic devices. And during his PhD, Kevin completed a minor in the Technology & Policy Program, for which he studied the attributes and predictors of venture capital investment in emerging energy technology companies.

Postdoctoral Associates

Soroush Mahjoubi

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

PhD, Civil Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, 2023
MS, Civil Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, 2017
BS, Civil Engineering, Kharazmi University, 2014

Office: E19-695; email: mahjoubi [at] mit [dot] edu

Soroush serves as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Olivetti Group and the Concrete Sustainability Hub (CSHub) at MIT. He currently focuses on improving the embodied emissions associated with cement-based products by leveraging data analytics, machine learning, optimization, and experimental investigations. His works span from the development of alternative binders to intricate mix designs and comprehensive in-situ performance evaluations. His PhD research primarily focused on material property prediction, material characterization, and discovery of chemical reactions of materials, especially cementitious composites, by using machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing (NLP) techniques. He also did research on the AI-integrated design of low-carbon ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) and engineered cementitious composites (ECC).

Yixi Tian

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

PhD, Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, 2022
MS, Earth and Environmental Engineering, Columbia University, 2018
BE, Environmental Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, 2016

Office: 13-5005; email: yixitian [at] mit [dot] edu

Yixi is involved in several projects studying materials processing, urban mining, and sustainable waste management based on the circular economy. During her PhD, Yixi developed experimental research to study the characterization, stabilization, and utilization of Waste-to-Energy (WTE) residues in civil engineering applications. With the Olivetti group, Yixi focuses on industrial residues (e.g., WTE residues, steel slag, mining tailings, etc.), including the beneficial uses of cement/concrete materials and the recovery of valuable metals. The research aims to optimize the processes to achieve commercial viability that is also environmentally acceptable. Outside of research, she likes street photography, dance choreography, and exploring restaurants in cities.


Vineeth Venugopal

Postdoctoral Associate, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

PhD, Materials Engineering, Brown University, 2018
MS, Materials Engineering, Brown University, 2014
Integrated Dual Degree, Ceramic Engineering, Indian University of Technology, BHU, 2010

Office: 8-403; email: vineethv [at] mit [dot] edu

Vineeth works on extracting information from scientific literature using Natural Language Processing (NLP). The autonomous processing of material science texts (papers, textbooks, patents, handbooks) helps in compiling databases of material properties, synthesis steps, characterization data, and legacy information. In turn, these databases lead to the prediction of new materials, discovery of new synthesis routes, and the development of improved device structures. The outcome of these efforts is the rapid screening of materials that have new and useful functionalities, improved environmental footprints, and reduced cost. Besides his work on NLP, he is a science writer and he publishes articles on various topics for the educated layperson.

Graduate Students


Jacqueline Baidoo

PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
BS Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2019
BS Chemistry, Xavier University of Louisiana, 2019
BA Physics, Xavier University of Louisiana, 2019

Office: 8-403; email: jbaidoo [at] mit [dot] edu

As the environmental and societal goals of the general public tend to clash with the economic benchmarks of the institutions we create, there’s value in aligning interests for a more just and humane society with institutional capability and willingness for change. Jacqueline’s interests lie in applying computational tools such as optimization and machine learning to address the misaligned interests of underserved communities in fields including energy storage, energy infrastructure, and transportation. Her first step towards this will be in the development of a probabilistic decision-informing model to assess paper recycling within the pulp and paper industry. Along with these goals, Jaqueline enjoys singing, learning languages, and staggering her morning alarms so she can wake up knowing it’s okay to go right back to sleep.

Anagha Belavadi S

PhD Student, Materials Science and Engineering
BTech Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, IIT Madras, 2022

Office: 8-419; email: anaghabs [at] mit [dot] edu

Anagha works on environmental assessment of electronics, specifically focusing on computing devices, including CMOS-based memory and processors. She is also focused on developing the Product Attribute to Impact Algorithm (PAIA) tool. Her aim as a researchers is to solve real-world problems, and hopes to make significant progress in achieving that through this work. In her free time, she enjoys watching TV, cooking, and baking. She also enjoys practicing Indian classical music and dance.

Marilena Bellonia

SM Student, Technology and Policy
BS Management Science and Technology, Athens University of Economics and Business, 2020

email: marvelo7 [at] mit [dot] edu

Marilena works between the Olivetti Group and the Manufacturing at MIT working group to help understand the influence manufacturing firms’ structure, technology adoption and economic dynamics have on their competitiveness. Her research covers questions around the future of production, innovation and growth, supply chains, workforce skill development and Industrial policy. She is also interested in Artificial Intelligence, Data and Internet Policy. In her spare time, Marilena enjoys playing tennis and painting.

Karan Bhuwalka

PhD Student,  Mechanical Engineering
SM, Technology Policy, SM Computer Science, MIT, 2021
BTech Metallurgy and Materials Science, ITT, IIT Bombay, 2018

email: bhuwalka [at] mit [dot] edu

The smooth adoption of renewable energy technologies will be dependent on the availability of many critical metals. To meet the large additional demand for critical materials, it is vital to scale up mineral supply in an environmentally responsible way while maintaining low materials costs for key technologies. Karan’s research models the economics of key battery minerals and studies how technology innovation and environmental policy can increase the supply of necessary materials in a sustainable manner. He also has experience in modeling the economics of the plastic recycling system to identify strategies to increase the displacement of virgin plastics. Karan enjoys eating good food, playing tennis, and listening to Taylor Swift.

Isabel Diersen

PhD Student, Materials Science and Engineering
BA Chemistry and Physics (Secondary in Computer Science), Harvard University, 2022

Office 8-403; email: idiersen [at] mit [dot] edu

Isabel’s research studies methods to facilitate the development of sustainable technologies with machine learning, statistics, and economic modeling. Her current work designs environmental and economic solutions to energy and technology demands by analyzing materials markets models. When away from her computer, Isabel enjoys writing short stories, watching movies, and practicing mixed martial arts.

Yifei Duan

SM Student, Technology & Policy Program
BE Environmental Engineering (with minor in Applied Computer Science), Tsinghua University, 2022

Office: 8-403; email: duanyf99 [at] mit [dot] edu

Yifei’s general research interests lie in the intersection of computational analysis and sustainability. During his time with the Olivetti Group, he is working on “AI/Machine Learning for Sustainable Concrete Design”. The project makes use of industrial datasets and literature resources, and works towards optimal concrete mix design (climate impacts and economic costs), informed by machine learning algorithms and techniques that also draw from domain knowledge. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, watching movies and TV series, painting, playing badminton, and visiting art museums.

Oksana Makarova

PhD Candidate, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, Harvard University
MS Applied Physics, Harvard University, 2022
BS Applied Physics, Purdue University, 2019
BE Electrical Engineering, Purdue University, 2019

Office: 8-419; email: oksanama [at] mit [dot] edu

Global waste production is continuing to increase at alarming rates as the economies keep on growing. Oksana’s general area of interest is adapting circular economy ideas in an industrial setting through modeling and data analysis motivated by economic and policy concepts. Her current work focuses on the effective recovery of metals from industrial waste. Oksana enjoys spending her free time at home with her cats, usually reading, doing yoga, or developing new vegan baking recipes.

Luca Montanelli

PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
BS Materials Science and Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), 2017
MSc Materials Science and Engineering, EPFL, 2020

Office: 8-403; email: montanel [at] mit [dot] edu

Materials informatics is a budding field integrating materials and computational sciences into one cohesive framework. Luca’s thesis will contribute to the growing research in this field by incorporating domain knowledge in computational methods, looking specifically at aluminum alloys. He is excited to explore novel ways of approaching both sciences that can promote a more technologically advanced and sustainable world. Day to day, Luca enjoys cultural history, heraldry, and endlessly browsing Google Maps and Wikipedia, as well as consuming cheese, chocolate and tea.

Mrigi Munjal

PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
B. Tech with Honors, Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science, IIT Bombay, 2021

Office: 8-419; email: mrigi [at] mit [dot] edu

Mrigi’s research will focus on assessing materials barriers to scaling of solid-state sodium/sodium-ion batteries in terms of how processes in the lab scale to manufacturing processes, using techniques such as techno-economic analysis, machine learning techniques like keyphrase extraction, and discussions with relevant equipment suppliers. Outside of research, Mrigi can be found practicing several languages or playing table tennis and pickleball.

Aleyna Beste Ozhan

PhD Student, Materials Science and Engineering
BS Materials Science and Nano Engineering, Sabanci University, 2021
BS Computer Science and Engineering, Sabanci University, 2022

Office: 8-403; email: ozhan [at] mit [dot] edu

Aleyna Beste works at the intersection of computer science and materials science, with a primary focus on advancing sustainable material solutions. Her research involves extracting data from scientific literature and employing feature engineering and data science techniques to construct organized datasets. These datasets then form the basis for machine learning models aimed at predicting and improving specific material properties, with a particular emphasis on cement systems. Apart from her academic pursuits, she plays basketball, engages in amateur photography, and enjoys reading detective and science fiction novels.

Elton Pan

PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
B.S., Chemistry, Imperial College, London, 2020

Office: 8-419; email: eltonpan [at] mit [dot] edu

At the nexus of machine learning, data science, and materials informatics, Elton’s research focuses on the development and application of machine learning algorithms (natural language processing and generative models) for accelerating materials discovery and synthesis. Outside of research, Elton loves bouldering, working out, and watching sunsets.

Abigail Randall

SM Student, Technology & Policy Program
BS Environmental Science, University of Michigan, 2020

Office: E19-695; email: randalla [at] mit [dot] edu

Abigail works between the Olivetti Group and the Material Systems Laboratory to help identify possible disruptions to critical materials supply chains for electric vehicles. This includes analysis of the economic and policy considerations for these disruption scenarios. Her work focuses on every stage of the supply chain, from mining through vehicle production. Abigail is also interested in renewable energy, electrification, and environmental impacts research. Outside of research, Abigail enjoys cooking, skiing, watching reality TV, and reading.


Basuhi Ravi

PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
B. Tech with Honors in Engineering Physics, IIT Bombay, 2018

Office: 8-403; email: basuhi [at] mit [dot] edu

Today, plastics are indispensable to consumers and industries alike, proving to be one of the most useful materials in modern society. However, their end-of-life fate has been under environmental scrutiny for a while, and the resources lost due to landfilling of waste plastics, often after a brief use, have become a recent concern. Recycling of post-consumer plastics is both an environmental solution and an economic opportunity, but its effectiveness in simultaneously redirecting recoverable resources while avoiding environmental impact involves investigating recycling systems, their technological capacity and the secondary markets for recycled outputs. In this context, Basuhi works towards understanding the relative costs and benefits of the various end-of-life options for all plastic waste generated in the U.S. Apart from her work, she likes to spend time reading, cooking and baking.

Sophie Coppieters ‘t Wallant

PhD Student in Materials Science and Engineering
BA Chemical Physics, Wellesley College, 2021

Office: 13-5005; email: scoppiet [at] mit [dot] edu

Supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) offer the opportunity to curb the carbon footprint of cement by substituting lower-footprint materials into cement blends. Sophie is interested in understanding how the chemical properties and kinetic reactivity of various industrial waste materials impact the feasibility of using these materials as SCMs. Their current project explores waste materials from mining processes as a case study to investigate the impacts of crystallinity, chemical composition, and dissolution and hydration kinetics on the SCM potential of these materials. Outside of research, Sophie enjoys trail running, spending time with friends and their dogs, and going to the beach regardless of the weather.

Group Alumni

  • John Ryter, Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering, 2018-2023
  • Tunahan Aytas, Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering, 2018-2023
  • Allison Bell, SM Technology & Policy Program, 2022-2023
  • Christopher Karpovich, SM in Materials Science & Engineering, 2020-2023
  • Mahmoud Ramadan, SM Technology & Policy Program, SM Mechanical Engineering, 2022-2023
  • Brooks Clingman, SM in Materials Science & Engineering, 2020-2022
  • Eunseo (Dana) Choi, SM in Technology & Policy, SM in Computer Science, 2019-2022
  • Thorben Prein, Visiting Student, 2022
  • Yeqi (Faust) Shi, Postdoctoral Associate, 2022
  • Kai Gong, Postdoctoral Associate, 2020-2022
  • Olivia Pfeiffer, SM in Technology & Policy, 2019-2022
  • Zachary Jensen, Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering, 2017-2021
  • Brian Traynor, Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering, 2016-2021
  • Jonathan Krones, Visiting Scholar, 2016-2021
  • Rubayyat Mahbub, Postdoctoral Associate, 2019-2021
  • Aubrey Toland, Project Assistant, 2020
  • Alexander Denmark, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2019-2020
  • Ciara Mulcahy, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2019-2020
  • Hugo Uvegi, Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering, 2015-2020
  • Xinkai Fu, Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering, 2014-2019
  • Josh Dennison, SM in Technology & Policy, 2017-2019
  • Alexander Van Grootel, SM in Technology & Policy, SM in Computer Science, 2017-2019
  • Edward Kim, Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, 2014-2018
  • Bassal Tarabay, Visiting Student, 2018
  • Jiyoun Chang, Postdoctoral Associate, 2015-2018
  • Piyush Chaunsali, Postdoctoral Associate, 2015-2018
  • Jocelyn Newhouse, Postdoctoral Associate, 2014-2015
  • Stian Ueland, Postdoctoral Associate, 2014-2015
  • Weitong Liu, SM in Technology & Policy, 2015-2017
  • María Alcaraz Ochoa, SM in Technology & Policy, 2014-2016
  • Patrick Ford, SM in Technology & Policy, 2014-2016
  • Elinor Pennicott, Visiting Student, 2014-2015
  • Adriano Polli, Visiting Student, 2016
  • Nagisa Tadjfar, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2016-2017
  • Rachel Osmundsen, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2017
  • Victoria Gong, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2016
  • Caroline Liu, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2015-2016
  • Sara Matthews, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2016
  • Alex Tomala, Undergraduate Research Assistant, 2016