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Daniel Hastings

Cecil and Ida Green Education Professor of Engineering Systems and Aeronautics and Astronautics

Dr. Hastings, who earned a Ph.D. and an S.M, from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1980 and 1978 respectively, received a B.A. in Mathematics from Oxford University in England in 1976. He joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1985, advancing to associate professor in 1988 and full professor in 1993. Dr. Hastings served ESD as the Director of the Technology and Policy Program from 2000-2003, Associate Director of ESD from July 2001 - April, 2003, Co-Director from May, 2003 - June, 2004, and Director from July 2004 - December 2005.

A s Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, Hastings has taught courses and seminars in plasma physics, rocket propulsion, advanced space power and propulsion systems, aerospace policy, technology and policy, engineering education, and space systems engineering.

Dr. Hastings served as chief scientist to the U.S. Air Force from 1997 to 1999. In that role, he served as chief scientific adviser to the chief of staff and the secretary and provided assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. He led several influential studies on where the Air Force should invest in space, global energy projection, and options for a science and technology workforce for the 21st century.

Dr. Hastings’ recent research has concentrated on issues with global education and with aerospace systems, and has also focused on issues related to spacecraft-environmental interactions, space propulsion, space systems engineering, and space policy. He has published many papers and a book in the field of spacecraft-environment interactions and several papers in space propulsion and space systems. He has led several national studies on government investment in space technology as well as science and technology (S&T) policy for the government.

Dr. Hastings is a Fellow of the AIAA and a full academician in the International Academy of Astronautics. He has served as a member of the National Science Board, the Applied Physics Lab Science and Technology Advisory Panel, as well as the chair of Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He is a member of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Advisory Committee and is on the Board of Trustees of the Aerospace Corporation and the Draper Laboratory. He is a member of the AAAS Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy and has served on numerous National Research Council studies on space issues, S&T workforce issues and engineering education.  Dr. Hastings was elected as a Fellow of INCOSE (the International Council on System Engineering) in June 2007.

Please also view: and


Daniel Hastings featured on MIT World videos:
> How Can We Improve Disaster Response? – September 30, 2005
> Engineering Engineering Systems – October 7, 2004

Looking Ahead – March 30, 2004

Selected Publications:

Ross, Rhodes and Hastings Receive 2008 Best Journal Paper Award from Systems Engineering – August 7, 2009

SEAri Scholars Receive Best Paper Awards at INCOSE International Symposium 2008 – July 9, 2008

SEAri Researchers Receive RS6 Student Paper Award – May 13, 2008

Papers presented at the 2004 Engineering Systems Symposium:
> Author of Monograph Chapter "The Future of Engineering Systems: Development of Engineering Leaders"
> Co-Author of Monograph Chapter "Uncertainty Management for Engineering Systems Planning and Design"
> Co-Author of Submitted Paper "A Framework for Understanding Uncertainty and its Mitigation and Exploitation in Complex Systems"
> Co-Author of Submitted Paper "To Reduce or to Extend a Complex Engineering System Design Lifetime? What is at Stake, for Whom, and How to Resolve the Dilemma"
> Co-Author of Submitted Paper "The Case for Evolving Systems Engineering as a Field within Engineering Systems"
> Co-Author of Submitted Paper "Calculations of Flexibility in Space Systems"

Related News:

Professor Daniel Hastings has been appointed to a three-year term as director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), effective Jan. 1, 2014. Read article from the MIT News Office. – July 18, 2013

Daniel Hastings to step down as dean for undergraduate education: MIT News article – January 8, 2013

MIT News Office story on MIT's new energy minor; Daniel Hastings quoted

Daniel Hastings and a task force to assess college programs “Colleges Advised to Look Again at Effectiveness of Their Programs” Chronicle of Higher Education – November 20, 2008

Prof. Daniel Hastings and new MIT video “Video Argues That MIT Students Are Not All Geeks” Chronicle of Higher Education – September 22, 2008

Working Together: A Report on the Task Force for the Educational Commons – December 1, 2006

Hastings named undergraduate dean – December 2, 2005

Hastings Named Next Undergraduate Education DeanDecember 2, 2005

Hurricane Symposium zeroes in on response (features ESD Professors Larson, Oye, and Sheffi. Moderated by Prof. Hastings.) Click here for article and here for online video. – October 9, 2005

Rhodes, Frey Honored at INCOSE Symposium ESD plays major role in event – July 22, 2005

Click here for archived news items


Contact info:

Daniel Hastings
77 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307

Phone: 617.253.0906
Email to: hastings "at"

Support Staff:

Name: Frances Marrone
Phone 617.253.4885



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