Lincoln Laboratory/MIT Campus Interactions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Lincoln Laboratory's status as a research and development center of MIT promotes research collaborations, knowledge exchange, and staff development. The MIT Office of the Provost and the Laboratory Director's Office strongly support the Campus Interaction Committee.

As a large interdisciplinary system laboratory, Lincoln Laboratory is able to offer a breadth of expertise to campus researchers, both faculty and students. The Laboratory's ability to architect and build sensors that enable significant campus science research is well established. The synergy between the campus focus on basic research and the Laboratory knowledge of defense applications has benefited both communities.

Collaborative studies and research and development are under way in the following areas:

  • Convex optimization of integrated communications systems
  • Air traffic management with weather-induced capacity constraint
  • Magneto-optical materials for integrated optical isolators
  • Multispectral infrared detector arrays using amorphous semiconductors
  • Blind calibration algorithms for a digitally enhanced high-speed analog-to-digital converter architecture
  • Nanotube dispersions in polymer matrices


Beaver Works

Entrance to Beaver Works

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works, a joint venture between Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT School of Engineering, was established as an incubator for research and innovation. The center facilitates project-based learning, a hallmark of an MIT education, and leverages the expertise of MIT faculty, students and researchers, and Lincoln Laboratory staff to broaden research and educational partnerships. By encouraging collaborative projects, Beaver Works strengthens the potential of both institutions to make an impact on pressing global problems.

Beaver Works supports student involvement in a broad range of research and educational pursuits, including two-semester, course-based capstone projects; joint and individual research initiatives; and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program internships.


Summer robotics program for high school students is first of its kind
Lincoln Laboratory News
October 2016

Beaver Works hosts Assistive Technologies Hackathon
Lincoln Laboratory News
March 2015

MIT Lincoln Laboratory Beaver Works Center builds collaboration
Lincoln Laboratory News
June 2014

A Chance to Fly:  AeroAstro's Beaver Works class offers undergraduates an unusual challenge
MIT Technology Review
17 December 2013

MIT Lincoln Laboratory challenges students to power an autonomous undersea vehicle
Lincoln Laboratory News
October 2012

Advanced Concepts Committee

The Lincoln Laboratory Advanced Concepts Committee (ACC) supports the development of innovative concepts that address important technical problems of national interest. Collaborative efforts between Lincoln Laboratory and the MIT campus are encouraged. The ACC provides seed funding, as well as technical and programmatic support, to investigators with new technology ideas. These ideas are typically high risk, but offer the potential to significantly impact national needs by enabling new systems or improving existing capabilities. Projects are scoped to demonstrate concept feasibility and typically last 9 to 12 months.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Shown here is an electrospray thruster that emits ions. An Advanced Concepts Committee project investigated by Lincoln Laboratory and Prof. Paulo Lozano of MIT focused on fabricating a novel high density electrospray device using photolithographic techniques integrated with novel materials and processes. This project aims to demonstrate an improvement of the state of the art of electrospray propulsion by at least a factor of 10x in thrust density propulsion, allowing for application to small satellites and high-power space applications.

Recent ACC-sponsored initiatives include research into terahertz computational imaging arrays, ingestible electronics for physiological-status monitoring, reconfigurable photonic crystals, novel applications of 3D printing, advanced lasers, and low voltage analog electronics.

Two recent collaborations by MIT faculty and Lincoln Laboratory dealt with interesting investigations: Prof. Lydia Bourouiba and William Lawrence explored How Bubbles Burst, and Profs. Caroline Ross and Juejun worked with Laboratory technical staff Reuel Swint, Paul Juodawlkis, and Gerald Dionne on Integrated Magneto-optical Isolators for Infrared-Visible Wavelengths.

The ACC also sponsors a Defense Studies Seminar Series that includes speakers associated with the MIT Security Studies Program.

More information for MIT faculty interested in proposing to the ACC.

Integrated Quantum Initiative

The Integrated Quantum Initiative (IQI) is exploring ways for Lincoln Laboratory and MIT campus researchers to better leverage their unique expertise and resources to develop quantum information science solutions for sensing, communication and computation. The program centers around supporting graduate students who work part time at the Laboratory on projects such as the development of magnetic sensors based on nitrogen vacancies in diamond and the investigation of quantum communication protocols. Additionally, IQI participants are looking at ways to support large-scale experiments and scalable quantum systems; for example, a dedicated fiber link for quantum communication experiments between the Laboratory and MIT campus was recently established. The initiative is focusing on applications that are of interest to the Department of Defense and that have the potential to advance the Laboratory’s core mission areas.

Find out more about this initiative at the IQI website.

Independent Activities Period at MIT

Lincoln Laboratory technical staff annually lead activities offered during MIT’s Independent Activity Period (IAP), a four-week term during the January semester break. Under the IAP program, for-credit classes are available for registered MIT students, and non-credit activities, which may span the full four weeks or a limited number of days, are open to all members of the MIT community. IAP offerings range from academic classes to hands-on engineering projects to artistic pursuits.

In 2017, Lincoln Laboratory technical staff led seven non-credit activities:

  • Build a Small Radar System
  • Free-Space Laser Communication
  • Hands-on Holography
  • Mathematics of Big Data
  • RACECAR: Rapid Autonomous Complex-Environment Competing Ackermann-steering Robot
  • Software Radio
  • Technology Innovation Accelerator

Administrative Resources

Some Lincoln Laboratory administrative functions and services are enhanced by connections with resources at MIT.

  • Under the umbrella of the SAP business software system, the Laboratory's finance and human resources systems are integrated with those of Campus.
  • The Laboratory's Safety and Mission Assurance Office draws upon the resources of the Radiation Protection and Industrial Hygiene programs operating within the EHS Office on the MIT campus.
  • Child care services are available to Laboratory employees at a center that is one of the four MIT Technology Childcare Centers.
  • The MIT Medical and Athletic departments operate the Health and Wellness Center and the Fitness Center, respectively, at Lincoln Laboratory.
  • The MIT Office of General Counsel provides legal services for MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  Legal inquires may be sent to the onsite legal advisor at Lincoln Laboratory.


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