In February 2014, Martin Schmidt was appointed Provost of MIT. Beginning in 2008, he served as Associate Provost, managing the Institute’s space and the renovation/renewal budgets. Since January 2012, he also assumed responsibilities for “all things industry” as the senior administrative officer responsible for MIT’s industrial interactions. In this capacity, the Technology Licensing Office and Office of Corporate Relations report to him.1 Beyond his regular responsibilities, he also co-led the Institute’s Task Force on the Budget in response to the 2008 financial crisis. He has played an active role as MIT’s faculty lead in support of the MIT president’s role as co-chair of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), a national effort bringing together the federal government, industry, universities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in emerging technologies with the potential to create high-quality domestic manufacturing jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the United States.
A member of the MIT faculty since 1988, he has been a faculty member in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, and from 1999 to 2006, he served as the director of the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) at MIT. MTL is an interdepartmental laboratory that provides shared research infrastructure for all of the campuses’ activities in micro and nanotechnology, and supports the research of approximately 500 students and staff.
His teaching and research is in the areas of micro and nanofabrication of sensors, actuators and electronic devices, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), design of micromechanical sensors and actuators, and micro/nanofabrication technology. He is the co-author of more than 80 journal publications and 120 peer-reviewed conference proceedings. He is also an inventor on more than 30 issued U.S. patents. More than 25 students have completed their PhD degrees under his supervision.
He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and has an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Denmark. He was elected as a fellow of the IEEE in 2004 for contributions to design and fabrication of microelectromechanical systems. He has received the Ruth and Joel Spira Teaching Award and the Eta Kappa Nu Teaching Award at MIT.
In addition to his academic pursuits, he is active in consulting with industry in the commercialization of technology. His research group has transferred a number of new technologies to industry, and he has co-founded or has been the co-inventor of the core technology of six start-up companies.
Professor Schmidt received his BS degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1981 and his SM and PhD degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 and 1988, respectively.