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GBH

Former postdoc Leah Ellis speaks with GBH All Things Considered host Arun Rath about   Sublime Systems, an MIT startup she co-founded that aims to produce carbon-free cement to combat climate change. “Sublime Systems and this technology spun out of my postdoctoral work at MIT,” says Ellis. “My co-founder and I are both electric chemists, so we have experience with battery technologies and electrochemical systems. Our idea was thinking about how we might use renewable energy—which we know has become more abundant, inexpensive and available—to eliminate the CO2 emissions from cement.”

Financial Times

Writing for Financial Times, economist Ann Harrison spotlights research by Prof. Daron Acemoglu, Pascual Restrepo PhD '16 and Prof. David Autor, that explores the impact of automation on jobs in the United States. Acemoglu and Restrepo have “calculated that each additional robot in the US eliminates 3.3 workers” and that “most of the increase in inequality is due to workers who perform routine tasks being hit by automation,” writes Harrison.

Dezeen

Researchers from the MIT Self-Assembly Lab have developed a 4D-knit dress that uses “heat-activated yarn that allows its shape and fit to be altered in an instant,” reports Rima Sabina Aouf for Dezeen. Prof. Skylar Tibbits notes that by having “one dress that can be customized for fit and style, it can be perfectly tailored to the individual while being more sustainable and adaptable to changes in season, style or inventory.”

The Boston Globe

A more than $40 million investment to add advanced nano-fabrication equipment and capabilities to MIT.nano will significantly expand the center’s nanofabrication capabilities, reports Jon Chesto for The Boston Globe. The new equipment, which will also be available to scientists outside MIT, will allow “startups and students access to wafer-making equipment used by larger companies. These tools will allow its researchers to make prototypes of an array of microelectronic devices.”

The Wall Street Journal

Prof. Julie Shah speaks with Wall Street Journal reporter Lauren Weber about the implementation of automation in the work force. According to Shah, “when companies adopt automation successfully, they end up adding workers as they become more productive and fill more orders,” writes Weber. “And machines’ lack of flexibility has often resulted in what Shah calls ‘zero-sum automation,’ where gains in productivity are canceled out by the need for people to fix or reprogram robots and compensate for their drawbacks.” 

MIT Technology Review

Cement production is a climate catastrophe, writes MIT Technology Review’s Casey Crownhart, pumping billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Sublime Systems, a startup founded by MIT Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang and former postdoc Leah Ellis, uses electricity to trigger the chemical reactions that form the building material. Over the past few years, it’s gone from making palm-sized batches to producing 100 tons a year. The next stage is a commercial facility producing tens of thousands of tons of material a year. 

Time Magazine

Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang has been named to the TIME 100 Climate list, which highlights the world’s most influential climate leaders in business. “When it comes to cleantech, if it won’t scale, it doesn’t matter,” Chiang says. “This is a team sport—companies large and small, and governments state and federal, need to work together to get these new technologies out there where they can have impact.” 

Popular Science

MIT researchers have developed a new programmable, shape-changing smart fiber called FibeRobo that can change its structure in response to hot or cold temperatures, reports Andrew Paul for Popular Science. “FibeRobo is flexible and strong enough to use within traditional manufacturing methods like embroidery, weaving looms, and knitting machines,” writes Paul. “With an additional ability to combine with electrically conductive threads, a wearer could directly control their FibeRobo clothing or medical wearables like compression garments via wireless inputs from a controller or smartphone.”

WBUR

WBUR reporter Daniel Ackerman spotlights Sublime Systems, an MIT startup working to develop “construction-ready, emissions-free cement.” Ackerman explains that: “Sublime’s new approach uses electricity instead of heat. That means the process can be powered with renewable energy rather than fossil fuels. The method also prevents carbon dioxide from escaping the carbon-rich limestone during combustion.”

Bloomberg

Prof. David Autor and his colleagues have documented China’s impact on manufacturing jobs in the U.S. after joining the World Trade Organization in 2001, an effect known as the China shock, reports Shawn Donnan for Bloomberg in an article about how manufacturing job losses impacted Rockingham County in North Carolina. “Declining populations of young workers, as well as lower pay, have persisted in Rockingham and other communities hardest hit by this China shock, the researchers found in a 2021 paper,” writes Donnan.

The Economist

In a letter to the editor of The Economist, Prof. David Autor makes the case that while pursuing industrial policy has substantial risks, “forswearing industrial policy has equally many risks, especially when our chief economic and strategic competitors are currently using it to great effect.”

Forbes

Writing for Forbes, research affiliate John Werner spotlights Prof. Stefanie Mueller’s presentation at the CSAIL Imagination in Action event on her work developing a new type of paint that allows users to change the color and pattern of different objects. “The long-term vision here, really, is to give those physical objects the same capabilities as we have in digital,” said Mueller. “I hope in the future we will all get some free stuff, and we would just have an [app] where we can download different textures we can apply, and change our outfits.”

Marketplace

Prof. Yossi Sheffi speaks with Marketplace host Meghan McCarty Carino about how AI has impacted the workplace, highlighting the wide deployment of robots in warehouses. “Instead of people running around the warehouses, the people stand and the robots run around the warehouses,” Sheffi said. “But they bring the work to the people who then put it in boxes, package them.”

MIT Technology Review

Sublime Systems, a startup founded by Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang and former MIT postdoc Leah Ellis, is working to decarbonize cement making – a process which currently accounts for eight percent of global carbon emissions. The world has a huge appetite for cement, and Sublime is working to scale its production to meet it,” writes Casey Crownhart for The SparkMIT Technology Review’s weekly climate newsletter. 

The Washington Post

Randolph Kirchain and Hessam AzariJafari of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub speak with Washington Post reporter Sharon Osaka about the importance of reducing the emissions produced during the cement manufacturing process. Kirchain noted there is a way to cut carbon emissions significantly and ensure safety at the same time. “The things that concrete goes into are things that we need to last,” he said.