Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Steven Barrett is the Raymond L. Bisplinghoff Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the Director of the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment and leads the MIT Electric Aircraft Initiative. Steven is also a Visiting Professor at University College London. From 2012 to 2015 he was Associate Director of the Partnership for Air Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction (PARTNER) — a 12 university Center of Excellence sponsored by FAA, NASA, DOD, EPA and Transport Canada, with participants from 50 industry and government organizations. Before joining MIT in 2010 he was a university lecturer at Cambridge University, where he completed his undergraduate and graduate degrees in aerospace engineering.
The main goal of Steven’s research is to advance understanding of the environmental impacts of aviation, and to develop technological, fuel-based and regulatory strategies to mitigate these impacts. His research includes work to improve understanding of the climate impacts of aviation emissions, assess the environmental and economic feasibility of biofuels, develop and evaluate electric aircraft propulsion technologies, and quantify the air pollution impacts of ground transportation. He has written approximately 70 archival journal publications and is current or former supervisor of more than 40 graduate theses. Steven’s current teaching at MIT includes the undergraduate jet and rocket propulsion course, and a graduate-level course on aerospace, energy, and the environment. He has contributed to STEM outreach activities since 2003.
Since their invention more than 100 years ago, airplanes have been moved through the air by the spinning surfaces of propellers or turbines. But watching science fiction movies like the Star Wars, Star Trek and Back to the...