Prof. Steven Barrett

EducationSteven Barrett

  • BA MEng, Engineering, Cambridge University, 2006 (exchange student at MIT 2004-5)
  • PhD, Engineering, Cambridge University, 2009 (visiting graduate student at MIT 2006-7)

Field: Aerospace, Energy and the Environment

Lab Role: Director

Direct Contact Info:, +1 (617) 452-2550
Assistant’s Contact Info (Ms. Melanie Burliss):, +1 (617) 253-2727

I am an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Finmeccanica Professor of Engineering, and Director of the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From 2012-2015 I 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 I was on the faculty at Cambridge University, where I helped to setup the Energy Efficient Cities Initiative. I am also part of the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences, and the SMART Center for Environmental Sensing and Modeling.

The main goal of the research I work on is to advance understanding of the environmental impacts of aviation, and to develop technological, fuel-based and regulatory strategies to mitigate these impacts. A current focus is assessing the lifecycle environmental impacts of biofuel production and use in aviation. I also work on other areas related to aerospace, energy and the environment — atmospheric modeling, propulsion, and quantifying the environmental impacts of other sectors of the economy – particularly ground transportation. I have served as an independent expert on green aviation, and on several advisory committees related to aviation and the environment, and emissions mitigation. I currently teach MIT courses on jet and rocket propulsion and the environmental impacts of aviation, and previously taught the graduate gas turbines course. I am an advisor for first year MIT undergraduates (as well as upper-level AeroAstro students) and, since 2002, have contributed to STEM outreach activities. I come from London and partly grew up in the Scottish Highlands.

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