Brian L. Wardle
Professor, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics
Director, necstlab
Founder and Director, Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace STructures (NECST) Consortium
office: 33-408
email:wardle "at"


Professor Wardle is Director of MIT's Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace STructures (NECST) Consortium, and necstlab. He is active in the Materials Processing Center (MPC) ISN, CMSE, and MEMS@MIT (part of the Microsystems Technology Laboratory) communities.

Post Doctoral Associates & Research Staff

Luiz Acauan
Research Scientist (formerly a necstlab PostDoctoral Associate)
lacauan "at"

Dr. Luiz Acauan is a Research Scientist in Material Science and a former Postdoctoral Associate with necstlab. His past projects involved hybrid solar cells composed by photovoltaic polymers, inorganic semiconductors and carbon nanotubes as well as carbon nanotubes/graphene 3D nanostructures for a broad range of applications. His current work focuses on multifunction composites and the synthesis of nanostructures. He has double graduation in Material Science Engineering at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS-Brazil) and the Institut National Polytechique de Grenoble (INPG-França) and obtained Masters at the INPG and UFRGS as well. Completed his PhD in 2015 at the UFRGS.

Estelle Cohen
Postdoctoral Associate

escohen "at"

Dr Kalfon-Cohen is a senior postdoctoral associate at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.  Her research with Prof. Wardle at MIT focuses on the mechanism of interlaminar reinforcement by aligned-CNT in thin ply laminates.  Estelle completed her PhD in Applied Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel in 2010. At the Weizmann institute, as a postdoctoral fellow, she specialized in AFM based nanomechanics and nanoindentation. Then she moved to Harvard University to study imaging and electron transport in graphene. Her extended research interests include polymer science, polymer composite, material characterization and microscopy, and nanomechanics.

Carolina Furtado Pereira da Silva
Postdoctoral Associate (
formerly a necstlab Graduate Student)
cfurtado "at"

Carolina Furtado returning to MIT as a postdoctoral researcher in the fall of 2020.  During her pursuit of a Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering at University of Porto in Portugal, she was a visiting student at MIT partially funded by the Fulbright Program. She received her M.S degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2015 from the University of Porto and before starting her Ph.D program, she worked on the simulation of damage propagation in composite laminates with AIRBUS Group. Her interests include thin-ply laminates and numerical simulation of damage in composite laminates.  Outside school, she enjoys backpacking, juggling and playing soccer, rugby and hockey.

Jeonyoon Lee
Postdoctoral Associate (
formerly a necstlab Graduate Student)
jeonyoon "at"

Jeonyoon Lee was a S.M student in Mechanical Engineering and joined necstlab in Fall 2012. He received B.S in Mechanical Engineering from KAIST, South Korea in 2012. His research is focused on mechanical properties of CNT enhanced CFRP.  Outside the lab, he enjoys travelling and snowboarding.


Graduate Students

Travis Hank
Graduate Student
travish "at"

Travis Hank is an undergraduate researcher in necstab, and is pursuing a B.S. in AeroAstro. Outside of the lab, Travis is a member of the MIT Baseball Team. Outside of MIT he enjoys biking along Chicago's lakefront and reading thrilling books.

Ashley Kaiser
Graduate Student
kaisera "at"

» web:

Ashley Kaiser is pursuing her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2017. During her undergrad, she worked in necstlab as an MPC-CMSE Summer Scholar in 2016. Her research is focused on the design, synthesis, and multifunctional property characterization of carbon nanotube-reinforced polymer nanocomposites.  Outside of the academic environment, Ashley enjoys gymnastics, rock climbing, and hiking in America’s National Parks.

Reed Kopp
Graduate Student
rkopp "at"

Reed Kopp is pursuing a Ph.D. within the AeroAstro Department and is partially supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). He received his B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Between receiving his B.S. and M.S. degrees, he participated for 14 months in the Postgraduate Research Program, which was administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, at the Vehicle Technology Directorate of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD. His research interests include modeling and experimental characterizations of polymer nanocomposite mechanical properties.  Outside of academics, he enjoys basketball, football, weightlifting, and various outdoor activities.

Palak Patel
Graduate Student
palak "at"

Palak Patel is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering. While she was pursuing her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at PDPU, India, she interned at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 2019. She joined NECSTLAB in 2020. Her research project involves the life-cycle enhancement via data-driven nanoengineering of advanced composite structures by developing a fused-multifunctional nano-engineered system. Outside of the academic and research environment, she enjoys playing soccer and basketball, reading fiction books, and drawing.


Undergraduate Students

Brenden Barbour
bbarbour "at"

Brenden is a second year undergraduate in the AeroAstro department. He is working on the development of an artificial intelligence for the application of segmentation of complex damage in aerospace composite materials. Outside of his work, he spends his time cooking, playing video games, and cycling.


Shannon Cassady
scassady "at"

Shannon is a senior at MIT studying Aeronautical Engineering and Physics.


Minsu Jung
minsuj "at"

Minsu Jung is pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, conducting research in nanoporous networks assisted void consolidation.  In his free time, he likes to hike and watch movies.


Matt McGillick
mmcgilli "at"

Matt is a second-year undergraduate student studying aerospace engineering as well as materials science and engineering. In addition to his schoolwork, Matt is also an Air Force cadet in Detachment 365 at MIT. In his spare time, he enjoys refining his cooking techniques, exercising, and riding motorcycles.



Visting Scientists & Students

Richard Li
Visiting Scientist
richli "at"

Richard Li was a S.M. Student in necstlab who started working with Prof. Wardle as a UROP in 2009. He received his S.B. in Aerospace Engineering from MIT in 2010. His research is focused on multifunctional properties characterization and scale-up of carbon nanotube/ carbon fiber hybrid multiscale composites.  Outside of research, Rich was the Co-President of the Graduate Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and enjoys bike touring, performing Chinese Yo-Yo to the Greater Boston Area, and windsurfing.


Affiliated Faculty and Researchers

Prof. Hulya Cebeci, Istanbul Technical University, Aerospace Engineering Department
geyikh "at"


Prof. John Dugundji, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics
Emeritus Professor
dugundji "at"



John Kane, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics
Research Specialist
kane "at"

Dr. Antonio Miravete
Visiting Scientist
miravete "at"

Prof. Desiree Plata
Visiting Professor
dplata "at"

Seunghyun Kim, Brown University
Associate Professor
Seunghyun_Kim "at"


Administrative Staff

Britton "Bryt" Bradley
Administrative Assistant II
bryt "at"