The 2023 MIT Japan Conference will feature future trends of research at MIT and highlight advances in key areas, including advanced materials, healthcare technologies, infrastructure, energy, and management. Attendees will have the opportunity for continued in-depth discussions with faculty speakers and MIT Startup Exchange startups during both lunch and an evening networking reception.
ALL DATES/ TIMES LISTED BELOW ARE JAPAN STANDARD TIME (GMT +9)
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John Roberts has been Executive Director of MIT Corporate Relations (Interim) since February 2022. He obtained his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at MIT and returned to the university after a 20-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, joining the MIT Industrial Liaison Program (ILP) in 2013. Prior to his return, John worked at small, medium, and large companies, holding positions that allowed him to exploit his passions in synthetic chemistry, project leadership, and alliance management while growing his responsibilities for managing others, ultimately as a department head. As a program director at MIT, John built a portfolio of ILP member companies, mostly in the pharmaceutical industry and headquartered in Japan, connecting them to engagement opportunities in the MIT community. Soon after returning to MIT, John began to lead a group of program directors with a combined portfolio of 60-80 global companies. In his current role, John oversees MIT Corporate Relations which houses ILP and MIT Startup Exchange.
Steve Palmer is a Director within MIT’s Office of Corporate Relations. Steven comes to OCR with many years of experience building relationships, advancing diplomacy, and seeking new business initiatives in both the public and private sectors. He has spent his career highlighting and translating technological issues for policy makers, engineers, analysts, and business leaders. Steven has worked in government, industry, and academia in the U.S. and abroad. He is also an Executive Coach at MIT Sloan and Harvard Business School. Steven earned his Bachelor of Science at Northeastern University, and his M.B.A. at MIT Sloan where he was in the Fellows Program for Innovation and Global Leadership.
George Barbastathis received the Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1993 from the National Technical University of Athens and the MSc and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1994 and 1997, respectively, from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech.) After post-doctoral work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he joined the faculty at MIT in 1999, where he is now Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He has worked or held visiting appointments at Harvard University, the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) Centre, the National University of Singapore, and the University of Michigan – Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. His research interests are three-dimensional and spectral imaging; phase estimation; and gradient index optics theory and implementation with subwavelength-patterned dielectrics. He is member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In 2010 he was elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA).
If you point your camera to a scene, and the camera registers nothing meaningful—does it mean that nothing was really there? Hardly! Even if a human observer cannot detect and interpret it, much information may still have been recorded in the pixels. How, then, should one capture and decode it to reveal the hidden scene?
With my research group, we have decoded several challenging scenes with important applications for industry. For example, we have peeked inside integrated circuits non-invasively to work out if their manufactured topology matches the design file; quantified mechanical effects in the retinal fibrous structures and vasculature to forecast glaucoma progression; and measured the particle size distribution in drying powders toward early detection of undesired agglomeration events.
In all these cases, even the most advanced state-of-the-art imaging methods cannot capture the relevant phenomena with sufficient fidelity or economy. It is a unique feature of our work that physical models are explicitly weaved into data-driven models. Thus, our algorithms perform well in test cases, and are also interpretable and resilient. We have also demonstrated significant savings: for example, reduction by two orders of magnitude in total scanning and computation time.
Funding acknowledgments: Parts of this work were funded by the United States Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA); Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF); and by Takeda Development Centre Americas, Inc. (successor in interest to Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
Jinhua Zhao is the Professor of Cities and Transportation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prof. Zhao integrates behavioral and computational thinking to decarbonize the world’s mobility system.
Prof. Zhao founded the MIT Mobility Initiative, coalescing the Institute’s efforts on transportation research, education, entrepreneurship, and engagement. He hosts the MIT Mobility Forum, highlighting transportation innovation from MIT and across the globe.
Prof. Zhao directs the JTL Urban Mobility Lab and Transit Lab, leading long-term collaborations with transportation authorities and operators worldwide and enabling cross-culture learning between cities in North America, Asia, and Europe.
Prof. Zhao leads the program “Mens, Manus, and Machina (M3S): How AI Impacts the Future of Work and Future of Learning” at the Singapore MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART).
He is the co-founder and chief scientist for TRAM.Global, a mobility decarbonization venture.
He brings behavioral science and transportation technology together to shape travel behavior, design mobility systems, and reform urban policies. He develops computational methods to sense, predict, nudge, and regulate travel behavior and designs multimodal mobility systems that integrate automated and shared mobility with public transport. He sees transportation as a language to describe a person, characterize a city, and understand an institution and establishes the behavioral foundation for transportation systems and policies.
The transportation world is booming but in flux: the industry is being reshuffled, communities and cities are often confused and anxious about their mobility future, and the ecosystem pressure is daunting. Mobility is in the midst of profound transformation with an unprecedented combination of new technologies: autonomy, electrification, connectivity, and AI, meeting new evolving priorities: decarbonization, public health, and social justice.
In this talk, Prof. Zhao sharply focuses on two forces that drive the mobility future: behavior and computation. Behaviorally he investigates is travel social? is travel emotional? and is travel perceptual? He uses a behavioral lens to examine mobility technologies and translates business decisions into a set of behavioral inquiries. Every single organization or company exists to change someone's behavior. Computationally, he brings the cutting-edge AI and machine learning methods to sense, predict, nudge and regulate travel behavior. He demonstrates the power of bringing behavioral and computational thinking together, in order to make mobility services predictive, individualized, and experimental. He will illustrate how to design multimodal mobility systems that integrate shared and autonomous services with public transit.
Professor Smith's research focuses on the rational design, synthesis, and characterization of polymers and porous materials for applications in energy-efficient separations, energy storage, and catalysis.
Nearly 80% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions comes from electricity, heat, and transportation energy consumption, and from byproducts of industrial processes. To reduce this footprint while still meeting societal needs, sustainable energy sources and low-energy industrial processes are required. This presentation will focus on one technology gap in this area – developing and applying membranes to separate and capture gases. A market overview will be presented on current and emerging applications, followed by a discussion of membrane separation theory and general research and commercialization directions for materials development. A particular emphasis will be placed on (1) polymeric materials and (2) porous crystalline materials known as metal–organic frameworks (MOFs). In addition to describing current research directions, a segment of this talk will focus on a commercial membrane spinout from the Smith lab seeking to decarbonize the chemical and energy industry.
Stephen Conant is the Vice President for Commercial at VEIR, leading the company’s effort to introduce a new, innovative transmission technology to the market. Prior to joining VEIR, Steve was a Partner at Anbaric Development Partners, a developer of high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission projects, including submarine projects to support offshore wind development. Steve has expertise in site acquisition and environmental permitting and has managed multi-discipline teams for the development of electric transmission projects. Steve’s energy career includes electricity market price forecasting and environmental due diligence on major energy infrastructure projects. Earlier in his career he worked in the public sector as an environmental regulator and as the District Director for a United States Congressman. A fourth-generation resident of Lowell, Massachusetts, Steve is the founder of the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust, one of the few non-profit urban land trusts in the United States. In 2021 he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni of his alma mater Lowell High School for his work in environmental conservation.
Nick Mannarino received a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Cooper Union and a Masters in Chemical Engineering Practice from MIT. During Nick’s time at MIT he worked on the regenerative properties of carbon capture materials at the University of Pisa in Italy, a lifecycle assessment of biomass as a carbon source for pig iron production at Tecnored (a division of Vale) in Brazil, and process modeling for the manufacturing of aluminum at Emirates Global Aluminium in the UAE.
Upon graduating from MIT, Nick spent 5 years in R&D on the Beverage Process Engineering team at PepsiCo. On this team, Nick developed new beverage processing technologies (e.g., product batching, carbonation, beverage filling) to enable innovation, productivity, sustainability, and brand stewardship within the PepsiCo portfolio. Nick was heavily involved in upgrading PepsiCo’s on-site pilot plant and managed the installation and commissioning of several pilot-scale processes/production lines.
Nick joined the Strategy and Business Development team at Amogy in May 2022. His role within the S&BD is two-fold: to provide techno-economic analysis that aids Amogy's go-to-market strategy as well as to establish, develop, and maintain connections with industry partners.
Jake Guglin is CEO and founder of Foundation Alloy, where they take a materials-first approach to enabling modern engineering through faster production of better metal parts for a variety of applications. He is most excited about Foundation's broad potential to bring the best of what can be designed into reality and make the world a safer, greener, and more exciting place in the process. Jake has previous experience in business formation, supply chain, operations, and strategy at companies like Blue Origin and SpaceX and an MBA from MIT.
Daniel Oran is an artist, scientist, inventor, and entrepreneur who combines these skills to unlock the full potential of light. He earned a bachelor's degree in Natural Science and Photography from Hampshire College and later worked as a photographer and fine art printmaker. In 2016, he enrolled in the Synthetic Neurobiology group at the MIT Media Lab, where he completed his PhD. During this time, he developed a new method of nanofabrication called Implosion Fabrication, which was published in Science. This technique allows for the creation of 3D nanostructures using a variety of materials, including silver, semiconductors, dielectrics, proteins, and DNA. After earning his PhD, Daniel founded Irradiant Technologies, a company that uses Implosion Fabrication to manufacture advanced optical and photonic components that have the potential to transform the fields of computing, telecommunications, imaging, and sensing.
Paul is part of the Einblick team, developing a visual & collaborative platform for data science. In current and prior roles, he also partnered directly with organizations to understand how best to make data science faster and more accessible. Ask him about building product analytics from scratch or how machine learning models should be as easy to make as bar charts.
Zack Hendlin is the CEO & co-founder of Zing Data - a platform for simple, collaborative data analysis that works anywhere. Built mobile-first to make it easy to query data in seconds on your phone, Zing has been called the ‘Figma of data' for making hard data questions a couple of taps on the phone with easy collaboration functionality. The company was part of the TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield 200 and is backed by Kindred Ventures (Uber, Coinbase, Postmates, Poshmark) and Correlation Ventures.
He was previously VP of Product at OneSignal, where he 10xed ARR in two years, a product leader at Facebook, where he shipped their first mobile ads format and their first work in speech recognition, and a product leader at LinkedIn, where he shipped major news feed improvements. Prior to that, he was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman, advising major financial institutions across Japan, Singapore, and the US. He holds multiple machine learning patents, and has been featured in Techcrunch, Fortune, and VentureBeat. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Cherif is Director of Client Operations at TechNext. After completing his Bachelor of Science at the University of California Berkeley, he worked as an Analyst, Associate and Vice President in Investment Banking in Paris, London and New York with Montety & Feral, Citigroup and Macquarie Capital. Cherif worked on sell-side and buy-side transactions, debt and equity raises and IPOs for a variety of companies. Before joining TechNext, Cherif worked in Private Equity in Shanghai on restructurings and mergers before transitioning to a SaaS Company in New York as Director of Strategy & Financial Planning directly reporting to the Board of Directors and the CEO.
Jordan is the CEO and Founder of Mobilus Labs. As an Inventor, Engineer, and Entrepreneur, he has focused his career on developing intelligent systems to operate in extreme environments. His experience in this field includes working with MIT and Lockheed Martin and Co-Directing the NASA Frontier Development Lab. He’s a member of the Royal Academy of Engineers, a former TEDx speaker, and enjoys working with underrepresented youth in STEM fields. Jordan received his degrees from MIT and Stanford University in Aeronautical / Astronautical Engineering with a focus on Ocean and Space Robotics.
Ramiro Almeida is Co-Founder & CEO of Tram.Global, developing technology on Blockchain to build digital marketplaces to reduce global carbon emissions. Instructor and research scholar at the MIT Media Lab, focusing on venture studio courses at the intersection of technology and social innovation. Scholar in residence at Harvard University, where he was awarded the prestigious Loeb Fellowship at the Graduate School of Design. He was Co-Founder & President of Optimus Ride, an MIT spinout, whose mission was to build technology for safe, sustainable, and equitable autonomous mobility solutions with deployments in California, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, Virginia, and New York.
Rick Pierce is the CEO and Co-founder of Decoy Therapeutics, Inc., founded in 2020. He is a serial biotech entrepreneur with over 20 years of senior leadership and operating experience, co-founding and building successful biotech companies. Including senior management and turn-around advisory roles at several public biotech start-ups that are listed on the NASDAQ, New York Stock, and Toronto Stock Exchange. At Javelin Pharmaceuticals (NYSE:JAV), he was VP of IR and Business Development while the company raised $183M, went public, and got a non-opioid pain drug Dyloject™ approved globally before being taken over by Hospira, now Pfizer. After Javelin, he was President of US and International Operations at SemBioSys Genetics (TSE: SBS). He further served as a strategic advisor to Canada-based Cangene (TSX:CNJ), sold to Emergent BioSolutions for $222M. He advised Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals management and board of directors during and after its IPO on NASDAQ. Prior to his career in biotech, Rick worked for investment banks Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers and was an advisor to well-known biotech companies. He is currently a Mentor at Mass Bio, an Advisor to the Canadian Consulate of Boston/Cambridge’s Healthcare and Technology Accelerator, and a Board member of the Canadian Entrepreneurs of New England, where he is Chairman of the Life Sciences Leadership Council. Mr. Pierce has a proven track record in attracting capital, forging transformative strategic global alliances in biotech and pharmaceuticals, and working with investors to create successful outcomes for public and private healthcare companies.
MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry. Qualified startups are those founded and/or led by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni or are based on MIT-licensed technology. Industry participants are principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP).
MIT Startup Exchange is a community of over 1,000 MIT-connected startups with roots across MIT departments, labs, and centers; it hosts a robust schedule of startup workshops and showcases and facilitates networking and introductions between startups and corporate executives.
STEX25 is a startup accelerator within MIT Startup Exchange, featuring 25 “industry ready” startups that have proven to be exceptional with early use cases, clients, demos, or partnerships and are poised for significant growth. STEX25 startups receive promotion, travel, and advisory support and are prioritized for meetings with ILP’s 240 member companies.
Professor Grossman received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from the University of Illinois and performed postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2009, he joined MIT, where he developed a research program known for its contributions to energy conversion, energy storage, membranes, and clean-water technologies. He served as the Head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from 2020-2023, and in 2021 he helped create and became the founding co-director of the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium, a new type of academia-industry partnership. In recognition of his contributions to engineering education, Grossman was named an MIT MacVicar Faculty Fellow and received the Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has published more than 200 scientific papers, holds 17 current or pending U.S. patents, and co-founded two Massachusetts companies to commercialize novel membranes materials for efficient industrial separations: ViaSeparations, a company that commercializes graphene-oxide membranes to separate chemicals for manufacturing, and SiTration, a company that commercializes silicon membranes for chemical-free, energy-efficient extraction and recycling of critical materials.
Our planet’s health needs an acceleration in the pace of progress towards clean and sustainable technologies that are critically dependent on materials innovation. Materials science and engineering provides the ability to understand and control matter at the atomic scale to realize optimized performance across an exhaustive set of metrics. Since many key mechanisms are dominated by the intrinsic properties of the active materials involved, our imperative is to predict, identify, and manufacture new materials as comprehensively and rapidly as possible to enable game-changing forward leaps rather than incremental advances. This lecture will discuss the impact of materials design in different applications, with a focus on our recent work on resilient nanofiltration membranes for more efficient industrial separations, which are responsible for 15% of global CO2 emissions. Two commercial spinouts from this research will also be highlighted, one in the pulp and paper industry and one in battery recycling and mining.
Miho Mazereeuw is the Associate Head for Strategy and Equity and is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at MIT and is the director of the Urban Risk Lab. Working on a large, territorial scale with an interest in public spaces and the urban experience, Mazereeuw is known for her work in disaster resilience.
In the Urban Risk Lab multi-disciplinary groups of researchers work to innovate on technologies, materials, processes, and systems to reduce risk. Operating on several scales, the Lab develops methods to embed risk reduction and preparedness into the design of the regions, cities and urban spaces to increase the resilience of local communities.
Miho Mazereeuw taught at the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and the University of Toronto prior to joining the faculty at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an Arthur W. Wheelwright Fellow, she is completing her forthcoming book entitled Preemptive Design: Disaster and Urban Development along the Pacific Ring of Fire featuring case studies on infrastructure design, multifunctional public space and innovative planning strategies in earthquake prone regions. Her design work on disaster prevention has been exhibited globally. As the director of the Urban Risk Lab at MIT, Mazereeuw is collaborating on a number of projects with institutions and organizations in the field of disaster reconstruction/prevention and is currently working in Haiti, India, Japan and Chile.
Mazereeuw was formerly an Associate at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture and has also worked in the offices of Shigeru Ban and Dan Kiley. Mazereeuw completed a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Sculpture and Environmental Science at Wesleyan University and her Master in Architecture and in Landscape Architecture with Distinction at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where she was awarded the Janet Darling Webel Prize and the Charles Eliot Traveling Fellowship.
Within the last decade, the cost of climate-related disasters has continued to rise steeply. However, the impacts of these disasters are not distributed equally. Resource constrained communities, in urban as well as rural areas often disproportionately feel the burden of these disasters. This talk will present technology, design and planning strategies which anticipate climate change and seismic disasters. Drawing from her forthcoming book Design Before Disaster, Mazereeuw will share case studies from Japan which have influenced her work. She will conclude by sharing current projects from the MIT Urban Risk Lab, which she leads. The projects range in scale from built housing prototypes, to online interactive planning strategies, to innovative AI and machine learning platforms to prioritize action. Based on the Urban Risk Lab’s main principals, all projects work to connect everyday actions with actions during disaster. They also connect the digital world with the spatial and social worlds we design, build and want to protect.
Franz-Josef Ulm is Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering at MIT. A structural engineer by training he joined MIT in 1999, where he is responsible for Materials and Structures. He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering, of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts and of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He is Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Engineering Mechanics of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Never before have the challenges for engineers been greater and more burning than in the face of climate change, from the energy transition to the sustainable construction of a just society. Will it be possible? In this talk, I will discuss some approaches that all originate from the same idea of preparing us engineers for these challenges and opportunities. With sustainability and resilience at heart, I will advocate that engineers and industries take up the new physical realities in a data-centric way and translate them into engineering solutions; from new multi-functional building materials such as concrete that can store energy, to smartphone-enabled infrastructure sensors and molecularly inspired retrofitting of our urban neighborhoods for more resilience and social justice in the face of climate change. As research continues to advance in all of these areas, it will depend on all of us to break out of our silos (academic, disciplinary, cultural) and translate these emerging approaches into actual sustainable solutions for our societies at large.
Dr. Richard D. Braatz is the Edwin R. Gilliland Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT, where he conducts research into advanced biomanufacturing systems. He is the Director of the Center on Continuous mRNA Manufacturing and leads process data analytics, mechanistic modeling, and control systems for projects on vaccine, monoclonal antibody, and gene therapy manufacturing. Dr. Braatz received an M.S. and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and was the Millennium Chair and Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University before moving to MIT. Dr. Braatz has collaborated with more than 20 companies, including Novartis, Pfizer, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Biogen, Amgen, Takeda, and Abbott Labs. He has published over 300 papers and three books. Dr. Braatz is a Fellow of IEEE, IFAC, AIChE, and AAAS and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
Increased attention has been directed in recent years towards advanced manufacturing systems technologies towards making advances in product quality and productivity under such efforts known as Digital Manufacturing, Smart Manufacturing, and Industry 4.0. This presentation describes an integrated approach to accelerating process development that involves (1) greatly increased understanding and optimization of each unit operation while exploiting process intensification and continuous manufacturing, (2) automated high-throughput microscale technology for fast process R&D, (3) plug-and-play modular systems with integrated control and monitoring to facilitate deployment, (4) dynamic mechanistic models for unit operations for plant-wide simulation and control design, and (5) smart process data analytics to automatically select and apply the best data analytics and machine learning methods for a process dataset based on its characteristics and the user objectives. The strategies are illustrated in applications to monoclonal antibody, vaccine, and gene therapy manufacturing systems.
Hiroshi Ishii is the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. He was named Media Lab Associate Director in May 2008. He is the director of the Tangible Media Group, which he founded in 1995 to pursue new visions in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI): "Tangible Bits” and "Radical Atoms.” Ishii and his team have presented their research at a variety of scientific, design, and artistic venues (including ACM SIGCHI, SIGGRAPH, Cooper Hewitt Design Museum, Milan Design Week, Cannes Lions Festival, Aspen Ideas Festival, Industrial Design Society of America, AIGA, Ars Electronica, Centre Pompidou, Victoria and Albert Museum and NTT ICC) emphasizing that the development of a vision requires the rigors of both scientific and artistic review. In 2006 Ishii was elected to the CHI Academy by ACM SIGCHI, and received the SIGCHI Lifetime Research Award in 2019.
Prior to joining the MIT Media Lab, from 1988-1994, Ishii led the CSCW research group at NTT Human Interface Laboratories Japan, where he and his team invented TeamWorkStation and ClearBoard.
Mainstream Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) research today primarily addresses functional concerns – the needs of users, practical applications, and usability evaluation. Tangible Bits and Radical Atoms are driven by a vision at the intersection of the arts and computer science to make the digital tangible.
Tangible Bits and Radical Atoms seek to realize seamless interfaces between humans, digital information, and the physical environment by giving dynamic physical form to digital information and computation. They make bits directly manipulatable and perceptible both in the foreground and background of our consciousness (peripheral awareness).
Our goal is to invent new media for artistic expression, communication, and design, taking advantage of the richness of our human senses and the skills we develop throughout our lifetime of interacting with the physical world, as well as the computational reflection enabled by real-time sensing and digital feedback.
During the past quarter century, our research can be seen as a battle against the Pixel Empire, represented most definitively in the trend of the “metaverse.” We believe that augmented physical/digital materials that people can touch and manipulate should be the new media to interact with the digital world instead of pixels in an HMD. We envision the “MATTERverse” as an alternative future of the pixel-oriented metaverse.