Daniel E. Hastings

MIT Vice Chancellor (interim)
Cecil (1923) and Ida Green Professor in Education
I have seen every episode and/or movie of Star Trek, Stargate, and Star Wars that has ever been made.

Contact Info

Office Phone




Administrative Contact

Frances Marrone

Financial Contact

Miroslava Parsons

Specialization and Research Interests

My research spans laser material interactions, fusion plasma physics, spacecraft plasma environment interactions, space plasma thrusters, and space systems analysis and design. I am also interested in  advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at MIT.

Teaching Interests

Throughout my MIT tenure, I have taught courses in space environment interactions, rocket propulsion, advanced space power and propulsion systems, space policy and space systems engineering.

Academic Degrees

B.A., 1976, Oxford University; S.M., 1978, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D., 1980, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Positions Held at MIT

Associate Department Head for Research, 1993-1996; Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1993-present; Professor, Engineering Systems, 2000-2015; Director, Technology and Policy Program, 2000 – 2003; Associate Director & Co-Director, Engineering Systems Division, 2000-2004; Director, Engineering Systems Division, 2004-2005; Dean for Undergraduate Education, 2006-2013; Chief Executive Officer and Director Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, 2014-2018, Aeronautics and Astronautics Department Head, 2019-2023, Associate Dean of Engineering for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, School of Engineering, 2021-2023, Institute Community and Equity Officer (interim), 2023 – 2024, Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement (interim), 2023 – 2024.

Positions Held outside MIT

Chief Scientist of the Air Force, 1997-1999; NRC Government Industry University Roundtable, 2000-2003; Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 1993-1997 and 2000-2009; Chair, Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 2002-2005; Chair, Johns Hopkins Univ. Applied Physics Lab S&T Advisory Panel, 2001-2010; NASA Advisory Council, 2001-2003; National Science Board, 2002-2008; National Academy of Engineering, Committee of the Engineer 2020, 2001-2006; Draper Corporation, 2006-2019; Board of Trustees of Aerospace Corp, 2000-2009, 2010-2019, 2020-present; Intelligence Science Board, 2010-2013; NRC Air Force Studies Board, 2011-2019; AAAS Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy, 2008-2013; Blue Origin Advisory Board, 2020-present; Universities Space Research Association (USRA) Board, 2021-present; NASEM Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences Board 2019-present. Defense Science Board (2022-present); User Advisory Group for the National Space Council (2023-present); AIAA President Elect (2023-present).

Featured Story

Daniel Hastings and Maria Yang appointed associate deans of engineering
Faculty members will help to advance educational initiatives and strategy within the MIT School of Engineering.
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Awards & Honors

Honorary Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Member, National Academy of Engineering
Gordon Billard Award, MIT
Exceptional Service Award, U.S Air Force
International Council on System Engineering Fellow
Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award, AIAA
Academician (fellow), International Astronautical Federation
National Guard Bureau Eagle Award
Air Force Distinguished Civilian Award

Key publications