Ian A. Waitz

MIT Vice President for Research
Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
MacVicar Faculty Fellow
As MIT's Vice President for Research, Waitz is the Institute’s senior research officer and has overall responsibility for research administration and policy at the Institute.

Contact Info

Office Phone





Financial Officer

Jennifer Leith

Specialization and Research Interests

Propulsion, fluid mechanics, combustion, aeroacoustics, environmental effects, microengines


Ian A. Waitz is the Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Vice President for Research at MIT. Vice President Waitz is the Institute’s senior research officer and has overall responsibility for research administration and policy at the Institute. He sets MIT’s strategic research direction, fosters an outstanding research environment for faculty, students, and staff, and enables major multidisciplinary research initiatives. The Vice President for Research is responsible for research integrity and compliance and plays a central role in the Institute’s research relationships with the federal government, industry, and other sponsors. Vice President Waitz oversees MIT Lincoln Laboratory and more than a dozen interdisciplinary research laboratories and centers.

Waitz has been on the faculty at MIT since 1991. He has served as head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as dean of the School of Engineering, and most recently, from 2017 to 2024, as MIT’s vice chancellor for undergraduate and graduate education. While leading the Office of the Vice Chancellor, Waitz re-envisioned the first-year undergraduate academic experience, expanded undergraduate advising and financial aid, and increased support and professional development opportunities for graduate students. He also led MIT’s response to graduate student unionization. As dean of the School of Engineering from 2011 to 2017, Waitz enhanced the school’s ability to attract and support exceptional students and faculty, launched the MIT-wide Institute for Data, Systems, and Society and the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science, fostered innovation and entrepreneurship among students and faculty, and advanced programs for residential and online learning.

Waitz’s early research led to advances in gas turbine engines, fluid mechanics, combustion, and acoustics. However, his most significant contributions have related to the modeling and evaluation of climate, air quality, and noise impacts of aviation, along with the assessment of technological, operational, and policy options for mitigating these impacts. These efforts have led to more rigorous evaluations of environmental policy and technology. His current research aims to reduce the climate impacts of aviation.

Waitz received his BS in 1986 from the Pennsylvania State University, his MS in 1988 from the George Washington University, and his PhD in 1991 from the California Institute of Technology. He has engaged widely with U.S. and international government and industry throughout his career. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and has been recognized by multiple awards for teaching and research, including MIT’s MacVicar Fellowship.