Dava J. Newman

Director, MIT Media Lab
Apollo Program Professor
To celebrate International Women's Day in 2019, Barbie rocked a BioSuit™ of her own when Mattel Portugal honored me with "Astronaut Barbie," inspired by my work as part of their Barbie scientist series.

Contact Info

Office Phone





Social Media:

Administrative Contact (Non-AeroAstro)

Maria Auday

Financial Contact

Quentin Alexander

Specialization and Research Interests

Aerospace biomedical engineering: biomechanics, control, and dynamics; human factors; engineering systems and design; space policy

Teaching Interests

Introduction to Aerospace and Design, exploration, space biomedical engineering, leadership development

Academic Degrees

B.S., 1986, University of Notre Dame (Aerospace Engineering) S.M., 1989, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Aeronautics & Astronautics) S.M., 1989, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Technology and Policy) Ph.D., 1992, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Aero. Biomed. Engineering)

Society Memberships

American Association of University Women, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts, Aerospace Medical Association, American Society for Engineering Education, International Society of Biomechanics, Sigma Xi, The International Research Honor Society, Society of Women Engineers, Space Studies Institute, Union of Concerned Scientists

Positions Held at MIT

Charles Stark Draper Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1993-1995; Assistant Professor, 1995-1998; Harvard–MIT HST Affiliate Faculty, 1995-Present; Associate Professor, 1998-2000; MIT Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow, 2000; Director, Technology and Policy Program, 2003-2105; Engineering Systems Div., Joint Faculty, 2003-2004; Professor 2004-present, Engineering Systems Division, Dual Faculty, 2004-present; House Master: Baker House 2005-2015; Director, MIT Media Lab 2021-

Positions Held outside MIT

NASA Deputy Administrator, 2015-2017

Featured Story

Dava Newman named director of MIT Media Lab
Visionary astronautics researcher, explorer, and expert on human adaptation to space will lead the Institute’s world-renowned research center.
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Awards & Honors

Honored at International Women's Day with a Dr. Dava Newman Barbie space doll, Mattel
Lowell Thomas Award–Explorer’s Club
Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Jeffries Aerospace Medicine and Life Sciences Research Award, AIAA
Leadership Award, Women in Aerospace
NASA Distinguished Service Medal
National Capital Section's Barry M. Goldwater Education Award, AIAA
Henry L. Taylor Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Aerospace Human Factors, Aerospace Medical Association
Metropolitan Museum of Art Super Heroes: Fashion and Fantasy
Best Inventions of the Year, Time Magazine
MIT Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow