Prof. Elsa A Olivetti

Esther and Harold E Edgerton Career Development Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Margaret MacVicar Faculty Fellow

Primary DLC

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

MIT Room: 8-403

Assistant

Terra Cholfin
terra@mit.edu

Areas of Interest and Expertise

Energy and the Environment
Manufacturing
Materials Processing
Materials Systems and Analysis

Research Summary

Olivetti focuses her research on sustainable and scalable materials design, manufacturing, and end-of-life recovery within the larger context in which materials are used. She is especially interested in linking strategies to reduce the environmental burden of materials across different length scales — from atoms and molecules to industrial processes and materials markets. She conducts work to inform our understanding of the complex and nuanced implications of substitution, dematerialization, and waste mining on materials sustainability.

Recent Work

  • Video

    5.20.21-Japan-Sustainability-Elsa-Olivetti

    May 20, 2021Conference Video Duration: 23:58
    Elsa Olivetti
    Edgerton Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

    3.9.21-Sustainability-Elsa-Olivetti

    March 9, 2021Conference Video Duration: 23:58
    Elsa Olivetti
    Edgerton Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

    2020 Energy Transitions & Economics - Elsa Olivetti

    May 6, 2020Conference Video Duration: 23:27

    2020 Energy Transitions & Economics - Elsa Olivetti

    Materials Supply Chain Considerations in the Energy Transition

    Elsa Olivetti - RD2017

    November 22, 2017Conference Video Duration: 36:8

    Informing design of resource-effective materials, processes and systems

    Global demand for materials is immense and rapidly growing; extraction and processing of materials accounts for more than one-third of global carbon flows for human-related activities, on the order of 5.5 Gigatons/year. Direct materials production represents approximately 7% of total US energy consumption. This talk will describe the development of analytical and computational tools that consider the economic and environmental impacts of design, systems, and process choices relevant to materials use. The speaker will describe approaches to assessing the environmental and economic impact of materials and processes as early in their development as possible. The work described leverages information along the development trajectory including data mining of literature about laboratory synthesis, creating techno-economic models of protyping and scaled manufacturing as well as assessing macroeconomic implications on materials markets particularly for the case of substitution and shifts in recycling. The presentation will also describe an example on beneficial use of industrial byproducts in the built environment.

    2017 MIT Research and Development Conference

    Elsa Olivetti - 2016_RD_Conf

    November 23, 2016Conference Video Duration: 28:40

    Beneficial Use of Non-Hazardous Industrial Wastes in Building Materials

     

    2016 MIT Research and Development Conference