Brian L. Wardle

Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Director, necstlab and Nano-engineered Composite Aerospace Structures Consortium
My research focuses on bulk nanostructured materials, particularly nanoengineered hierarchical advanced composites with enhanced mechanical properties, with recent extensions towards multiple types of multifunctionality.

Contact Info

Office Phone






Administrative Contact

Gabrielle C Hoyte

Financial Contact

Claudia A Forero-Sloan

Specialization and Research Interests

Nano-engineered composites, composite and layered materials; hybrid nanocomposite systems; MEMS power devices and energy harvesting; structural health monitoring systems; active materials and devices; finite-element modeling; structural response and testing; buckling mechanics

Teaching Interests

Structural Mechanics (16.20), Mechanics of Heterogeneous Media (16.223), Materials and Processes for Microelectromechanical Devices and Systems (16.288J), (16.62X) Experimental Projects Capstone


Brian L. Wardle is Full Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, with a joint appointment in Mechanical Engineering, where his work focuses on materials and structures. He received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 1992 and completed S.M. and Ph.D. work at MIT in the Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1995 and 1998, respectively. After four years at the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. as an Associate and Engagement Manager, Prof. Wardle joined the faculty of MIT in 2003. His research interests are in the areas of nanoengineered advanced composites, bulk nanostructured materials, carbon-based material synthesis, mechanics of additively manufactured structures, power-MEMS devices (fuel cells and energy harvesters), multifunctional materials, and other structure and materials topics.

Prof. Wardle is the Founder and Director of the necstlab research group and MIT’s Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace STructures (NECST) industry Consortium. Prof. Wardle is active in the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies (ISN), MIT Materials Research Laboratory (MRL), and the Microsystems Technology Laboratory (MTL), and MIT.nano communities at MIT. His research focuses on bulk nanostructured materials, particularly nanoengineered hierarchical advanced composites with enhanced mechanical properties, with recent extensions towards multiple types of multifunctionality. Highlights from recent work include conception and fabrication of aligned carbon nanotubes (CNT) nanoengineered composite laminate architectures, development and realization of a nanostructured aerovehicle ice protection system, discovery of a new class of oxide catalysts for carbon nanotube (CNT) synthesis, creation of novel carbon matrix nanocomposites, and co-invention of out-of-oven manufacturing of advanced composite laminates. Past work includes nonlinear design and operation of thermomechanically stable ultra-thin fuel cells operating in the postbuckling regime, and development and experimental verification of a design tool for optimal-power MEMS energy harvesters. Prof. Wardle has authored over 100 journal articles, given more than 80 invited talks, holds ~25 patents with ~50 others pending that have been licensed by small and large companies, and was the principal and technical Founder of n12 Technologies. Professor Wardle’s educational activities cover experimentation and modeling of materials and structures.

Academic Degrees

B.S., 1992, The Pennsylvania State University S.M., 1995, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ph.D., 1998, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Society Memberships

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Materials Research Society, American Chemical Society, American Society of Composites, International Committee on Composite Materials

Positions Held at MIT

Boeing Assistant Professor, 2003-2006; Assistant Professor, 2006-2008; Charles Stark Draper Assistant Professor, 2008-2009; Associate Professor, 2009-present

Positions Held outside MIT

Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company, 1999-2003

Please do not contact me regarding summer internship or visiting student positions. We currently have no open positions. We also cannot respond to inquiries regarding student, postdoc, or visiting professor positions due to the volume of unsolicited requests.

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