Prof. Mike Short and a team of students work to build stronger cement

MIT students are working to utilize recycled plastic to strengthen concrete. IDC’s Mike Short is leading the effort to radiate the plastic and mix with concrete – resulting in concrete that is 20% stronger.

“There is a huge amount of plastic that is landfilled every year,” says Michael Short, an assistant professor in MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. “Our technology takes plastic out of the landfill, locks it up in concrete, and also uses less cement to make the concrete, which makes fewer carbon dioxide emissions. This has the potential to pull plastic landfill waste out of the landfill and into buildings, where it could actually help to make them stronger.”

MIT News: MIT students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic 

Mike Short is working to quantify radiation damage

Prof. Mike Short, the Norman C. Rasmussen Career Development Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering whose lab is part of the MIT International Design Center, is working to measure radiation damage, a measure that is currently not available. This damage, while invisible, holds major implications for nuclear technologies.

Spectrum: How Can We Measure Damage? Quantifying radiation damage in materials is the first step towards safer reactors and better nuclear compliance, says Mike Short.

Miho Mazereeuw’s team at the Urban Risk Lab is using an online tool to collect information from social media and coordinate planning during flooding.

The Urban Risk Lab, housed at the MIT International Design Center, utilizes information collected through social media platforms to create real-time maps. Working in collaboration with the local government and public at large, the platform is linked to Twitter, Facebook and Telegram. Using this gathered information, the team can share reports on damage and real-time impact.

PBS.ORG: Data Scientists Use Social Media to Map Hurricane Irma’s Flooding

Jose Gomez-Marquez is part of a team that designed a new blood test to help detect Zika and other dengue viruses

Jose Gomez-Marquez, director of the MIT Little Devices Lab, which is housed in the IDC, is part of a collaboration that designed a new blood test to quickly detect the difference between the Zika virus and other dengue viruses.  The team is working on commercializing the test, which is expected to cost less than $1.

StatNews: Cheap, fast test for Zika and dengue could cost just $1