Who we are

The Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment is a research lab in the MIT Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics. The team is interdisciplinary, covering expertise in Aeronautical, Mechanical and Chemical Engineering, Atmospheric Science and Economics.

Please find our team here.


What we do

For more than two decades, LAE and its predecessors at MIT have developed methods that help understand and quantify the environmental impacts of aviation and of cognate industries (e.g. transportation and energy).

In addition, LAE researchers apply their methods to quantify the costs and benefits of operational, regulatory and technological mitigation options to reduce these impacts. The LAE team also assesses and develops novel technologies that help reduce the environmental footprint of aviation.

The team is focused on the following fields:



Modeling of the historical, current and future climate impacts of aviation, including contrails.

Air Quality

Analysis of air quality impacts and mitigation options for aviation and other sectors – from local to global scale.


Quantification of the environmental impacts and economic feasibility of different fuels, including alternative fuels.


Development of novel technologies that help mitigate aviation’s environmental impacts.


In our publications, you can find detailed insights into past studies and their results.

To learn about our work on electric aircraft, please also visit MIT’s Electric Aircraft Initiative website.