Julie Shah is Faculty Director of the Industrial Performance Center and co-leads the Work of the Future Initiative.
Despite advances in automation technology, the promise of productive and flexible automation, with minimal involvement of human workers, is far from reality, for two main reasons. First, adoption of automation technology has been limited. Second, when firms do automate, what they gain in productivity they tend to lose in process flexibility, resulting in what the […]
Florian Metzler is a Research Scientist at the IPC, where he leads the Progress Studies program.
New technologies that exhibit large (>10x) jumps in performance limits compared to incumbent technologies are radical technological innovations. This paper considers three cases that exhibit such jumps: the evolution of engines from the early 18th to the late 20th century (with the transition from coal-based steam engines to hydrocarbon-based internal combustion engines); the evolution of […]
David Autor is Ford Professor in the MIT Department of Economics, co-director of the NBER Labor Studies Program, and co-leader of both the MIT Work of the Future Task Force and the JPAL Work of the Future experimental initiative.
With a focus on innovation, productivity and competitiveness, the MIT Industrial Performance Center brings together researchers in engineering, science, management and the social sciences at MIT and beyond to carry out applied research in the following areas.
Work of the Future
The MIT Work of the Future initiative explores the relationship between technology, work and society. It envisions an economy where dramatic advances in automation and computation go hand in hand with improved opportunities and economic security for workers.
Manufacturing research at the IPC examines technology adoption, workforce development, and productivity at U.S. factories. With teams of engineers and social scientists, the IPC has a long legacy of industry studies research in manufacturing dating back to the Made in America study published in 1989.
How can science make faster progress toward addressing big, broadly desirable goals like abundant affordable clean energy and curing dementia? We advance research and intellectual exchange around the emerging field of Progress Studies, focused on new models for harnessing scientific inquiry to improve humanity.
Scholars from across MIT pursuing multidisciplinary research and education
With the participation of faculty members and students from the Schools of Engineering, Management, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science, and Architecture and Planning, the Industrial Performance Center today serves as a hub for multidisciplinary research on technology and work. More than a dozen faculty members and more than a hundred graduate students from sixteen MIT departments have taken part in the IPC’s activities since its inception in 1992.
Today, the IPC draws on the expertise of faculty, students, and staff from across MIT in pursuit of its three main research thrusts in manufacturing, progress studies, and the Work of the Future Initiative. Our work benefits from the contribution of faculty affiliates, student fellows, and program leads who help implement our programs.