troutsmallBernhardt L. Trout, Ph. D.
Director, MIT Benjamin Franklin Project
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Bernhardt L. Trout is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT. In addition to his role in the Benjamin Franklin Project, he is Director of the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing and the Co-Chair of the Singapore-MIT Alliance Program on Chemical and Pharmaceutical Engineering. He received his S.B. and S.M. degrees from MIT and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, he performed post-doctoral research at the Max-Planck Institute.

Professor Trout’s passion is to educate engineering students broadly to give them the ethical and leadership foundations for success in the broadest sense. His research focuses on Pharmaceutical crystallization and separations, Pharmaceutical manufacturing and development, biopharmaceutical (protein and antibody) processes and stabilization, multi-scale modeling, electronic-structure calculations, and rare events simulations in order to engineering chemical products and processes with unprecedented specificity. In 2007, together with several colleagues from MIT, he set up the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing, an $85 million partnership with the objective of transforming pharmaceutical manufacturing. In addition to Novartis, he has worked with many other pharmaceutical companies in research or consulting. He has published over 130 papers and currently has 10 patents pending.


IMG_0238danielDaniel Doneson, Ph. D.
Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Daniel Doneson was educated in philosophy and classics at Harvard and Swarthmore and received his Ph.D. as a Century Fellow from the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought. He has held fellowships and taught at the Centre Raymond Aron of the École Des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris; the Rosenzweig Center of the Hebrew University and the Van Leer Institute, both in Jerusalem; and the Lauder School of Government Strategy and Diplomacy, The IDC, Herzliya, Israel.  In addition he has held fellowships and taught at the University of Virginia in their Program in Constitutionalism and Democracy and The Program in Political Philosophy, Policy and Law, both of the The Department of Politics, as well as in The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.  He has written and lectured widely on issues in philosophy, politics and ethics, especailly in relation to modern science and technology for both the scholarly and popular presses.


MITBenjaminFranklin_0176Alberto Ghibellini, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Alberto Ghibellini received his university degree and Ph.D. – both in philosophy – from the University of Genova (Italy), where he has also conducted research as a post-doctoral fellow and lectured as adjunct professor in History of Political Thought. He has been research fellow at the Luigi Einaudi Research Center in Torino, visiting researcher and research assistant at the Institute for Research in the Fundaments of Law at the University of Lucerne (Switzerland), as well as visiting scholar at the University of Southern California, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and at the Leo Strauss Center and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He has published on authors such as Plato, Richard Rorty and Leo Strauss, on whom he has also written the monograph Al di là della politica. Filosofia e retorica in Leo Strauss (Genova University Press, 2012). In addition to being a lecturer at the MIT Department of Chemical Engineering, he is currently also visiting scholar at the Department of Government at Harvard University.


Kathryn-Sensen-photo-MIT-128x150Kathryn E. Hansen, Ph. D.
Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Kathryn Hansen is a Lecturer in the Chemical Engineering Department at MIT. She teaches a freshman seminar on “Engineering, Science, and the Good Life,” and serves as an academic adviser to freshmen. She received both her A.B. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University. She has also done research at Cambridge University, and has taught at both Tulane and Harvard.

Dr. Hansen loves helping students to examine and reflect on the ends or goods for the sake of which they pursue science and engineering. Most students would like to improve the world, and make a good life for themselves. But what does it mean to live a good life? And what sorts of changes would truly make society better? These aren’t easy questions to answer, but Dr. Hansen thinks they are necessary ones for any thoughtful student of science and engineering to reflect on. Her own work has explored the question of how the study of nature may—or may not—help to provide normative guidance for human life. She has examined this question particularly through a careful study of Aristotle, who was outstanding as both a political scientist and natural scientist, and whose approach differs from that of modern scientists in ways that are often instructive.


MITBenjaminFranklin_0189Peter J. Hansen, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Peter Hansen received his A.B. from the Department of Government at Harvard University, and his Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He has also taught at Washington & Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute. Dr. Hansen’s scholarly work has focused on the question of justice and its place in a good human life, and on the relation between philosophy and science and the ground or basis of science. In addition to teaching at MIT, Dr. Hansen works in finance, and he founded and ran his own company for many years. He has written on a variety of philosophic, political, and financial subjects for both popular and scholarly journals.


MessDerek Mess, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Dr. Mess received his B.Sc. from Queen’s University and his Ph.D. from MIT, both in Chemical Engineering. His research interests include materials development for energy, environmental, and aerospace applications; synthesis and processing of high temperature materials, including thermal barrier coating and solid oxide fuel cell ceramics; and fundamental gas-solid reactions associated with carbon dioxide capture in coal gasification processes. In addition to his teaching at MIT, he is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Tufts University, where he teaches courses in transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and laboratory investigations. He is committed to ensuring that engineering students receive a comprehensive education that includes societal and philosophical perspectives.


schacterRory Schacter
Lecturer, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT

Rory Schacter holds degrees from Harvard and the University of Toronto in political science, and from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Jewish and Islamic Thought. He has taught courses at Harvard in political philosophy, bioethics, and the ethical foundations of economics. His research has been supported by fellowships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada; The Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna; the Asper Foundation, Israel; and the Mercatus Center, George Mason University. In his writing, lecturing and teaching he is especially interested in the relation between modern scientific explanations of human behavior and the defense of human rights and democratic freedoms.