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David Hardt

Ralph E. and Evelyn F. Cross Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

About Me

Professor Hardt is a graduate of Lafayette College (BSME, 1972) and MIT (SM, PhD, 1978). He has been a member of the Mechanical Engineering faculty at MIT since 1979. His disciplinary focus is system dynamics and control as applied to manufacturing. His research has been on flexible automation, and process control, with an historical emphasis on welding and forming processes, and a current focus on polymer micro embossing. In welding, he pioneered the use of multivariable control techniques for modeling and control of GMAW, and demonstrated the use of adaptive control in these systems. In the forming processes, he concentrated on the use of in-process measurements and real-time modeling to reduce sensitivity to machine and material variations, and has developed a flexible tooling and closed loop shape control that has implemented in the aerospace industry with specific uses for repair part manufacture. His more recent work has been in the hot micro-embossing process for micro-fluidic device manufacture and scale-up of soft lithography methods using roll to roll processes. In both cases the theme of the work is novel equipment design and overall equipment and process statistical control Prof. Hardt has taught classes in both Mechanical Engineering and Manufacturing, and has led the creation of a new graduate degree: Master of Engineering in Manufacturing" at MIT. This is the first professional degree offered by the ME Department at MIT, and is the culmination of many years of course and curriculum development. Prof. Hardt served as Director of the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing from 1985 - 1992 and as Engineering Co-Director for the MIT Leaders for Manufacturing Program from 1993 to 1998. From 1999 to 2011 he was the MIT Chair of the Singapore MIT Alliance (SMA) Program: "Manufacturing Systems and Technology", a research and teaching collaboration with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He was a member of the MIT Commission on Productivity in an Innovation Economy, and served on the Workforce team on the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership program (AMP 1.0).

Courses and Programs taught by David Hardt

1 course in a series
1 course in a series


Principles of Manufacturing

MicroMasters® Program
8 courses